Code of the Lifemaker

Code of the Lifemaker - James P. Hogan I really liked this beyond expectation. Those expectations were set by 8 other Hogan books on my shelves I'd been rereading deciding whether or not they'd keep a slot on my precious shelf space--I was finding the answer up to this had been no. They'd tended either to be too heavy-handed and preachy (especially Mirror Maze) or technobabble infodump (almost all, especially Thrice Upon a Time and Two Faces of Tomorrow), took too long to get going--and in the case of Cradle of Saturn too crackpot--that one was dedicated to Immanuel Velikovsky of Worlds in Collision infamy. According to the Wiki, late in life Hogan became attracted to a host of "fringe" views--one critic claimed he had encountered a "brain-eater." So this was an unexpected delight on several levels I wouldn't have expected from the author of those other books. In fact, ironically, the theme of this one is science as a candle in the dark, reason as a way to ward off superstition--notably against pseudoscience as embodied in Karl Zambendorf, purported psychic. It's well-paced, not preachy or of any recognizably political flavor, has memorable characters, is free of eye-glazing overdetail--and has an original premise: On Titan, abandoned machines of a dead alien civilization have evolved a mechanical "biosphere" of robots. And I had to smile at the prologue introducing it all. After telling how a supernova destroyed the progenitors, the line after that is: Everybody has a bad day sometimes. *snerk* This novel had a sense of humor and light touch that was much appreciated. *pats book fondly and puts it back on my shelves where it belongs*