Review: RIME

RIME (Kindle Single)RIME by Tim Lebbon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This story is a science fiction adaptation (loose) of the poem Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1897). If you have never read that poem, or can’t remember it if you have, then I recommend you go back and re-read it before you read this story.

I recommend you read it regardless, because it is one of the best poems I know. Grab it for Free on Amazon.

Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

There is a lot to unpack in this short tale. I found it likable, but with some negatives.

The favorable attitude I have toward the story is derived from what it attempted to achieve. The unfavorable attitude comes from some of the ideas posited in the ‘universe’ where it takes place.

The writing style is decent, if slightly overly dramatic. I give that a hand wave because it was trying to bring out the emotion of the poem it was modeled after. I did find myself speed reading (which for me means skipping over ‘fluffy words’) through parts of it because of this.

The Main Character (no name given, MC for short) is a member of the crew on the generation ship, Cradle. It is controlled by an A.I. of the same name. The A.I. is directly connected to minds of its ‘crew’ from shortly after their births. It is several generations since they left a dying Earth to save humanity by escorting a few million sleeping humans to another star. The crew is generational, while the passengers are Earthborn.

The story itself is the MC telling what happened to the ship and why he is the sole survivor and responsible for their deaths. This is great tie-in to the Poem, as the Ancient Mariner was also a lone survivor of a ships crew whose deaths he was responsible for causing.

I think the author did a great job of steering a story set in space and the far future in parallel to the Poem. I admire and compliment the creativity that was used. I can definitely recommend reading this one (after re-reading TRotAM). I give this 3 stars can call it a Worthwhile Read.

Now, there are some issues I have with the overall universe, which I will detail below. They are spoiler filled, however, so do not read further until you read the story itself.

Go read the story, then come back and tell me in the comments section if you agree with my assessments below. As of today (11/24/17), it is Free with Amazon Prime

==========SPOILERS AHEAD!!! READ THE STORY FIRST===========

YOU

HAVE

BEEN

WARNED!

The problem I have with this generation ship is that several thousand individuals are required to maintain the ship, but instead of rotating the crew who volunteered for the mission, they utilized a breeding community who’s descendants are born and die on board, and are forced into the roles of crew. That they blithely accept this after several generations is a flawed assumption to me. They are basically slaves to the sleeping passengers and the A.I. I think some of them would have revolted by now.

The sudden blaming of the MC for all that transpires seems unjust. In the Poem, the Ancient Mariner commits an act of malice with no reason, which results in his being blamed for events that transpire after. In Rime, the MC commits an act that, while perhaps rash, was also a result of fear at being separated from contact with Cradle and all other crew – which had never happened in his whole life – and also had been ushered into a cannon emplacement on the ship that was designed to be used in defense. The A.I. of Cradle was really at fault for this situation more so than the MC, IMHO.

Ultimately, Rime of the Ancient Mariner is interpreted as a comment on appreciating the beauty of God’s creation and prayer. This story, was more of a cautionary tale about overreacting in a violent way that could result in a tragic misunderstanding & hostility between humanity and alien beings. While I can see the difficulty in projecting the encouragement of prayer in the context of space based sci-fi, the non-violence message (in the face of a threat) seemed a bit off-putting to me. That resulted in the loss of a star in my review.

Still, this is one of the better stories I’ve read in a while, and I do recommend it.

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Review: For the Triumph of Evil

For the Triumph of Evil (The Frontiers Saga - Part 2: Rogue Castes, #6)For the Triumph of Evil by Ryk Brown
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Despite the low rating, I still like this series. The problem with all long running series is that you always end up with some episodes that are not at the top. This is one of them for the Frontiers Saga.

The story, although well told in Ryk Brown’s usual fashion, was completely predictable. The action only happens at the last moment, and it has been all but telegraphed, with the expected outcome, since the start of the book.

The continuation of the overall story arc is only minimal, with brief appearances by the various bit characters just to let you know that they are up to something that will pay off eventually.

The main issue I had with this one was the fact that Nathan, et al, committed so much energy, and risk to achieve a very minimal goal. It was hyped as significant, but I just don’t buy it. Perhaps my disbelieve was not sufficiently suspended, but that’s how I felt reading the book.

Overall, the book is worth reading to keep up with the series, but it was sub-par for the series as a whole. I look forward to the next episode in hopes that it will be more in line with the high quality I’ve come to expect with this series.

Overall, I can only give this book 2 stars and call it a Passable Read.

View all my reviews

eConscience Beta has been released!

eConscience Beta

Now available on Amazon!

Share with your friends! Spread the word!

3D-eConscience-BetaPeacekeeper Incorporated’s breakthrough nanotechnology could bring repeat offense crime to an end, freeing society from the need for criminal incarcerations. But first, they have to finish testing it. With funding on the line, and time to prove out the project getting short, the lead scientist must find a way speed things up. That’s unfortunate for his guinea pig, and anyone who would stand in his way.

Can the goal of ending most crime justify committing one… even a few?
And what happens when you conflate altruism with egotism?

Find out in eConscience Beta, where two lab techs and an uncouth petty criminal must outwit a brilliant but sociopathic scientist who’ll stop at nothing to establish his legacy as the man who ended crime.

For those of you wanting paperback copies, they won’t be ready until early next week. When they are ready, I’ll send out another announcement.
Don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon for me. It help the word to spread. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did writing it!