Kerry Nietz – a bold new voice
I am a debugger. For all you freeheads that means I serve at the whim of my masters, the Abduls, to correct whatever goes wrong with their machines. And they have many machines, all designed to do their work for them. Then again that is also why they have me. But I guess this is all hard for you to understand since you are freeheads, unhindered by the constraints of an implant that prevents you from disobeying your masters in any way.
Do I have your interest yet? Kerry Nietz debut novel is about as an inventive and thought provoking a piece of Science Fiction (any fiction for that matter) I have come across in a long time. Written in first person and at times direct narrative to the reader, A Star Curiously Singing places you inside the head of one small cog in the machine of a future world dominated by a global fundamentalist religion. That cog is Sandfly, a debugger. Like all debuggers, he has served at the will of his master since the age of ten, that obedience insured by a surgically implanted and state approved conscience. While we are never told the name of this all-pervasive religion, Nietz leaves little doubt what he modeled this future world after. In one candid moment the main character relates how Sharia Law became the law of the world: "We struck and then we hid. We talked peace while planning destruction. We used our own brothers’ suffering as fuel against those who were more sympathetic of such things. We sowed discontent."
Sandfly is sent by his master to a place few of his world ever go, space. There he discovers a fantastic secret tool of interstellar exploration known as Dark Trench. What happens next is left for you to find out. You, meaning all you freeheads that dare read A Star Curiously Singing. People like Sandfly have paid a terrible price for instant and direct access to all the information of the world, freedom to think for themselves. And, freedom to know the truth.
While some may take offence at obvious allusions to Muslim Fundamentalism and the kind of life such a movement might bring to a world dominated by it, this story goes much deeper than any one religion. In some ways it takes a swipe at all works oriented religions. More importantly it leads the reader to consider what Sandfly discovers on Dark Trench. “A” is not God. There is another. One who is so much more. He is “A3”. Does “A” stand for Allah in this story? We are never told. But there is no doubt who “A3” is. He is the One “who stoops” down to man and becomes one of us. He is the One who created all. The One who the stars sing about.
After reading A Star Curiously Singing, I was glad to hear the sequel is already in the publishing stages. Glad because this story ends with Sandfly headed to the stars to learn more about the new song he has just discovered. A song that is about to not only change one lone debugger but a world.
Reviewed by Tim George
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Marcher Lord Press
Publication Date: October 2009
This entry was posted on Monday, February 8th, 2010 at 1:57 pm and is filed under Book Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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