Friday, March 17, 2006

Manifold Origin

Although I like Latin I did not wish to watch The Passion. There are not that many films in Latin but that one was too bloody to enjoy. Stephen Baxter’s Origin reminded me of why I wouldn’t watch Gibson’s Christian film.

In a scenario that would partially please those New Agers that believe that the Moon was planted by some conscious force in our solar corner, Baxter imagines a satellite maneuvered by some civilization. Obviously, it is a society ahead in technology by millions of years. However, it is totally absent from galactic affairs. Given the background of suffering that takes place in that world, the “old ones” sound like exclusivist earthly gods absent during the many genocides, starvation and suffering on Earth.

In this parallel science-fiction world, a shock of civilizations and hominids follows similar patterns in attitude when followers of a religion encounter different local hominids:

Another lash to the shoulders … “Look on His merciful face. … Do you know what my fathers suffered to bring the Word to this world? When they fell here, they had nothing … They were set upon by beasts like yourself; they starved; they fell prey to diseases. And yet they survived, and built this community … And that is how the Word of the Lord came to this pit. … And now you, an animal of the field … you presume to call on Him for help?” (pp. 376–377, paperback edition)

The tone is evidently pessimistic as “The universe aged: indifferent, harsh, hostile, and ultimately lethal.” (p. 494) Which does not mean I didn’t enjoy this book. Even though
his fictional solution to the Fermi Paradox did not follow my expectations in imagination, as in his previous book (Space), I find that Baxter did an excellent job in trying to get into the consciousness of Neanderthal-like beings, trying to show us how it would feel.

Enter your email address below to subscribe to Cafe Moksa!