The Watcher

Nicholas P. Oakley. See Sharp (IPG, dist.), $12.95 trade paper (230p) ISBN 978-1-937276-45-4
Tian’s people are hunter-gatherer nomads determined to preserve their consensus-driven, nonhierarchical society at all costs; by their lights, they are a free people. They are also abjectly poor, brutally conformist, willfully ignorant, and incapable of mustering a useful response to the predatory Qah raiders. Exiled because of her nonconformity, Tian encounters 578-MORI-AO142, one of the enigmatic Watchers; from “Mori,” Tian learns much about the greater universe that her people have rejected, a universe whose brutal conflicts are about to transform her world and Tian herself. Oakley’s ambitions are greater than his current skill—the frequent flashbacks are particularly obtrusive—but he provides a degree of complexity in what could very easily have been a one-sided didactic novel. This ambivalent examination of an idealist society and its less than ideal behavior offers the hope that Oakley will grow into a significant SF novelist. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/18/2013
Release date: 11/01/2013
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 230 pages - 978-1-937276-57-7
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