Tag Archives: alpha centauri

Centauri Dawn by Michael Ely

Centauri Dawn by Michael Ely: I have never played the video game on which this book is based (Alpha Centauri) nor its more famous predecessor, Civilization. This probably hampered my enjoyment. Though you do not need to be familiar with the games to understand the plot, I suspect that anyone not obsessed with the game will feel much the way I did: meh. Basically, Earth is tearing apart itself with war so a colony ship is sent off to another planet. It breaks up in space and each pod, holding roughly one thousand people and one leader, lands on a different part of the planet. The leaders are the diplomat, the warrior, the farmer-hippy, the economist, the professor, and two others I can’t recall just now. Anyway, they each found their own groups following their personal philosophies, thus creating large numbers of walking stereotypes. The warriors (who call themselves Spartans, natch) are the most grievous offense here, obsessing over honor and battle even more than your average Kling-on. They are not in the least bit sympathetic, fighting the other groups for no more reason than they feel like it. The author makes some weak attempts at motive but it’s not convincing. In short, this is not something I would recommend to a lover of science fiction…or to anyone, in fact, except those who simply cannot get enough of the Alpha Centauri universe.

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