Genetic Soldier

George Turner, Author
George Turner, Author William Morrow & Company $22 (403p) ISBN 978-0-688-13418-1
Reviewed on: 07/04/1994
Release date: 07/01/1994
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-380-72189-4
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Brilliantly combining world-building, genetics and Buddhist philosophies, Australian writer Turner achieves a thought-provoking, far-future sequel to The Destiny Makers . Nugan is a colonist aboard the spaceship Search , which was designed to explore distant suns and settle its occupants on an inhabitable world. After hunting for several decades, however, the ``Searchers'' have found no new suitable planets and are desperately homesick. By applying faster-than-light physics, they return to an Earth that is 700 years in their future--and populated by a human race redesigned through wholesale genetic tinkering. Earth's new intelligentsia, wedded to a mysterious philosophy revolving around the Buddhist concept of ``Indira's Net,'' doesn't want the Searchers to upset their plans by rejoining the planet's population. Key to the scheme of the ``Earthers'' to keep the colonists from resettling is Soldier, an overly educated man-of-action whose assignment to repel the Searchers is complicated by his pheremonally induced attachment to Nugan's daughter, Anne. Soldier's innate sense of duty inspires him to struggle to find a humane way to fulfill his mission, even though separation from Anne, who proves his genetic match, will eventually kill him. The final confrontation between the Searchers and the genetically altered Earthers proves woefully and disappointingly one-sided, but the outcome allows Turner to speculate on the long-term effects of Indira's Net and to provide an intellectually satisfying conclusion to the philosophy, as well as the action, of this challenging novel. (July)
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