|John E Tannock: Divine Suicide|
E-Books ISBN 1-928670-10-5
"I AM God!"
John E Tannock throws divinity and creation theories into the abyss with his innovative novel Divine Suicide. Divine Suicide. Connor Rile, the human half of a space pilot who is currently recovering from the dubious hospitality of Jalfreezi-Yamoto, accepts a dodgy but lucrative exploratory space trip. (Pollis, a vaguely tentacular creature confined to a tank and attached by sophisticated cybercircuitry to Connor, is the navigator half of the pilot.)
Enemies of the Jalfreezi-Yamoto Corporation try to enlist Tamar Azor, lover of the pilot who previously attempted the same trip, to stop Connor. Ram now lives as a disembodied brain in a pyschiatric unit where they destroy the body to rebuild the mind. Tamar Azor wants to know why people are interested in Ram and her memories of him.
Kim Suk, black market trader and friend of Connor, likewise wants to learn the goal of Conner's journey. For protection, he loans Connor his very special pet, Bicer.
Thrust together by fate, these three people (plus Pollis) embark on a fight for survival against an unknown enemy who will stop at nothing to destroy them -- up to and including the detonation of suns. During these trials Connor, Tamar Azar and Kim Suk learn about the existence of God, Evil and the universe that Tannock has created.
Tannock writes a powerful novel with awesomely descriptive prose. Unfortunately his surrealism makes it difficult, at first, to follow where the plot leads. For example, some characters aren't named until many pages after they first appear. After five or six chapters, Divine Suicide becomes easier to follow. Yet the initial confusion, combined with an overemphasis on death, torture, murder for pleasure, sex and a resoundingly gloomy view of future life made this apparently meaningful novel hard to understand.
Divine Suicide is worth reading for the immense strength of the imagery and descriptive work. But it requires patience to interpret what is being said.
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The Author's Views
That's rather apt...my wife tells me I take a lot of patience as well...hehehehe Watch the skies (and for the sequel Devolution Degrade).
I enjoyed The Divine Suicide by John E. Tannock and agree with Stephen Smith's review in that it was somewhat hard to follow at first. I found that to be an enjoyable puzzle rather than a distraction, though. The imagery and the creation of an interesting universe kept me going until things became more clear. The elements of torture, death and sex did not seem overdone to me; my memories and impressions of the novel are more centered on the existential philosophy than the action around it. I agree that view of the future and the questions about existence were gloomy on the surface, but I thought there were nuggets of hope contained within certain elements -- from the character's sacrifices and dedication to the quest to the existence the mysterious whale. The pain and suffering apparent in the universe of this novel was offset by the human and divine elements struggling to survive and triumph. The novel worked on several levels -- poetic descriptions, an interesting future view, and the discussion of the nature of god and existence in both the universe and a single mind. It was well worth the time, and I hope Tannock continues the tale.