Reading: “Railsea” by China Mieville; and “The Cassandra Complex” by Brian Stableford.

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Continuing to read across the wide spectrum of SF & fantasy.

Currently reading:

 “Railsea” by China Mieville; and “The Cassandra Complex” by Brian Stableford.

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“Railsea” (c) 2012 by China Mieville
A young adult novel set in a very imaginative world. The novel is a mix of SF & fantasy, with aspects similar to steampunk SF (salvage and archaic inventions extended into a futuristic world). The story is told in a language that is very expressive of its fictional world. Many elements of the story draw on Herman Melville’s classic novel “Moby-Dick” and the adventure stories of Robert Louis Stevenson.

The railsea is an endless network of rail tracks over land, for all kinds of trains, including moletrains. Like whalers at sea, molers hunt with harpoons giant carnivorous moles (moldywarpes), and other animals that live underground. Sham Yes ap Soorap is a young apprentice doctor aboard a moletrain. His journey takes a different direction when he finds a corpse, and a memory card from a camera on a derelict train, with pictures of two children, and a single rail track running into the unknown.

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“The Cassandra Complex (Emortality #1)” (c) 2001
by Brian M. Stableford

SF novel set in 2041 (London): a futuristic biotech thriller. It is a prequel, written after other novels by Stableford about longevity, near-mortality (or “emortality”), and immortality.

Dr. Lisa Frieman is an experienced forensic scientist working in the police department (London). Dr. Morgan Miller, a brilliant research scientist and geneticist in the areas of survival and overpopulation, was Lisa’s research mentor many years ago. They have been close friends for many years.

One night, intruders break into Lisa’s flat, threaten to kill her, and steal all of her computer data wafers. At the same time, Morgan Miller disappears (kidnapping?). A major long term genetics experiment involving mice is firebombed.

The term “Cassandra Complex” comes from Greek mythology. Cassandra was cursed by Apollo that her knowledge and warnings of future events would not be heeded. Anyone whose dire predictions go unheeded are victims of the Cassandra Complex.

Morgan Miller is a victim of the Cassandra Complex as his warnings of the impact of overpopulation have gone unheeded. Had he found a solution to the population crisis and was his disappearance related to his discoveries?

Lisa Frieman is drawn into the criminal investigation, to find Dr. Morgan Miller.

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