Friday, 22 February 2008

Review: "Oath of Fealty" by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle

I picked up a handful of used paperback editions of books jointly authored by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, which I'll be working my way through and writing up shortly. I read some of the "Ringworld" books in high school and enjoyed "Mote in God's Eye" a lot more recently, so I decided to pick my way through other works in their library.

The first I finished is "Oath of Fealty", which is set in the near future, or at least the near future of 1981. It centers around an arcology built in the wake of a disaster in Los Angeles. Instead of aliens and advanced technology, "Oath of Fealty" deals with a change in culture, politics, and economics. It's a satisfying work, and only very slightly dated.

Like "Execution Channel", "Oath of Fealty" is clear to portray the changes in society as steps along the path to a distant and more fantastic future. The seeds of the future are believably rooted in the soil of our modern society. In both "Execution Channel" and "Oath of Fealty", the distant future is one of space travel, but the near future is firmly earthbound.

I would say that this book would be a good read for readers of general fiction who don't mind a little bit of speculation as well as for avid Science Fiction readers.

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