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Pastel City based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
An old Soldier and his band of warriors is called back when rebel forces unearth an elder technology to try and conquer the Empire of Viriconium. But the problem goes far beyond the rebels and their strange weapons when the elder weapons begin to fulfill their own purposes.That's a Loose rendition of the story of stalwart heros going forth to save the day-- except here the world is so old that everything is strange and not what it seems and technology is so old it can only be described as eldritch. This is old style sci-fi/fantasy adventure that gave me goosebumps.
This is a short science fiction novel that explores an era in the distant future, after the collapse of industrial - technological civilization, when scavenging ancient scraps of machinery is a large part of how folks get by. The book contemplates the question of whether the power achieved at the pinnacle of technology was such a positive thing. The destruction resulting from that power was not just a by-product like pollution, but also a directly intended product, produced by the use of ever more powerful weapons. In 2011 we seem more worried about climate change. The violence of our worries is ruled more by political chaos than by technological advances. This book was published in 1971, when the technology of war was more the key driver of conflict. Who knows, though, what the coming decades might bring, what desperate measures increasing scarcity might trigger.Harrison sketches some interesting characters here, but what really resonated for me was the landscape. Everything is desolate,. but the flavors of desolation are quite varied. Much is covered by ancient ruins, but there are natural deserts too. The descriptions that were most poetic were of the plants growing in the various locales.This is a short book which absorbed me from start to finish. It is not a deep book, but it does do a good job of creating a narrative context in which to pose the core question of the value of technology. There are enough twists in the plot to keep one entertained.