Sunday, December 29, 2013

Echoes of an Alien Sky

By James P. Hogan

People of Venus have arrived on Earth and are studying the remains of a vanished civilization, a civilization that spread over the face of the planet and then just disappeared. The Venusians want to understand what happened to these people, who, it appears, were very similar to the Venusians themselves.
Kyal Reen and Lorili Hilivar are scientists who have traveled to Earth as part of the on-going effort to understand the fate of the planet's denizens. It's a puzzle thousands of years old, with crumbling ruins showing signs of massive destruction. But the most puzzling thing about it all is the similarity between the lost people of Earth and the Venusians themselves.

This was a fairly good story, as Kyal and Lorili and their associates manage to piece together the last days of humanity. As for their being, as they believe, Venusians, it turns out, no surprise, that they are the descendants of the people of Earth, who, in the last days, managed to establish a refuge out in space and that later ended up settling on Venus when its climate became more livable. All this due to Hogan's idea that evolution and cosmology don't require the massive amounts of time that is the current accepted view.
I will say that I thought the book was too long, too slow, and too mean in its view of the people of Earth. Democracy is pretty much dismissed as being under the control of corrupt government and the media as hand-in-glove with the government to keep the population deluded. Also I didn't really understand or buy into Hogan's versions of evolution and cosmology.

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