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  • By Rod Hylands
    Dec 1, 2010
    Ever wondered what an intelligent, technological entity would make of religion, war and the trashing of the planet for economic gain? The novel while predominantly a thriller attempts an answer. The following excerpts are from Online Originals reviewers' comments of Saul's Prophecy dated April 2000 * * * I submitted the novel to Online Original in 2000. They accepted it for publication. However, shortly afterwards Online Originals stopped trading so the novel was never published. I put the novel aside. In 2009 I re-wrote it and published it as 'Saul's Prophecy: Sword of Gaia' on www.lulu.com. Many of the reviewer's comments remain relevant though. Saul's Prophecy: This novel is unique, and, in my opinion, of far better quality than most science fiction, perhaps because it is set at a time not too remote (the coming century) and so confronts us with both a technology that remains within our comprehension and with problems which are already our problems, in particular, the problem of... More > environmental destruction due to our failure to respect nature. The particular device employed to generate the dramatic tension is also plausible. Haley's comet passed by not so long ago and an asteroid fell into Jupiter (or was it the sun) even more recently with effects which were staggeringly explosive. We know that an asteroid of even modest dimensions falling into the earth would bring most life to an end, leaving the earth with the task of regenerating life again over hundreds of millions of years (as it did once before), perhaps in a manner more conducive to the mutual claims of life and nature.These issues of negotiation and co-operation versus military force are all reasonable extensions of problems we already face today, so that science fiction is being powerfully used to drive home some lessons which humans will have learn sooner or later. There is an interesting, almost spiritualist, dimension to the story in this work. We begin with the slaying of the last of the Delphic priestess, representative of a nature cult which the Roman empire is no longer prepared to tolerate. Her protégé, Saul, invokes the heavens, and a prophecy of divine retribution is disclosed in the form of a flaming sword destined to destroy mankind at some time in the future. This brings science into relation with mysticism is an interesting way. I have a proposal. It seems to me that, at the very least, the very first paragraphs, dating back to the Roman era, should be separated out into a Prologue. The intra-chapter break used to distinguish these paragraphs from the fast forward to the 21st century seems to me insufficient. And if possible the material at the end should be reassembled to create an Epilogue in which the now mythical figure of Gaia returns to deliver her warning and to open the way to a future in which Hayes works to make mankind aware of the environmental issue that have been neglected. This means there would be two endings. The first would be the destruction of the asteroid, witnessed by the earth's inhabitants and experienced as a release. But the question then remains open whether mankind will merely postpone the moment of destruction by continuing to destroy the planet's natural resources as they have done over the past two centuries. This is where the re-appearance of Gaia would be critical, warning Hayes of the consequences of not following through on the warning represented by the asteroid. The work needed to recast this Prologue and Epilogue would be minimal. And not merely would it bring beginnings and ending together in an interesting way, it would leave us with the important conclusion that the end (the destruction of the asteroid which would have destroyed human civilisation) is not really the end (humans being of themselves more than capable of making the planet unliveable by simply continuing along the present path of development). Having said all that Saul's Prophecy is, in my opinion, the best science fiction we have had submitted to date.< Less
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Product Details

ISBN
9780473117825
Published
April 27, 2011
Language
English
Pages
200
Binding
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
Weight
0.76 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6.14 wide x 9.21 tall
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