cover image Games of the Strong

Games of the Strong

Glenda Adams / Author Cane Hill Press $8.95 (180p) ISBN 978-0-

This tedious novel envisions a futuristic society beset by frequent revolutions and characterized by cruel bureaucracies. Adams (see review above) clutters her tale with artifices, conjuring whole cultures, governments--even a fictitious language. While some of her inventions critique specific institutions (an island that serves as a penal colony, for example, recalls the history of Adams's native Australia), most merely exaggerate a familiar theme of alienation in a technological society. The characters here cannot truly know one another; they worry that their closest associates may be patriots, resisters, spies. Even lovers see only each other's images: the sole sex scene is set in an ornately mirrored room where the couple's reflections dominate. Preoccupation with the incoherent diction of political propaganda suggests the inadequacy of words to convey innermost thoughts. The plot, which concerns a young woman catapulted to fame (and infamy), is peppered injudiciously with coincidences and such hoary developments as the surprise reappearance of a character given up for dead. (May)