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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

Mortal Gods

Copyright 1978 by Jonathan Fast

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Awful (1/5)

I first read this in January 1908 and most recently on the 1st July 2002

Mutagen is the company that revolutionised genetic engineering. They've even been able to manipulate the genes of humans to create gods worshipped by the rest of humanity. Now they're going to attempt to save an alien race from extinction by some brilliant application of their near-magical techniques. Our hero, Nick Harmon, intrepid public relations officer, has landed what should be a plumb job: he's to escorting an Alta-Tyberian alien around town while Mutagen work on saving the alien's species. Of course the alien is not really in the best of spirits, balanced on the edge of racial extinction and all. Nick also does himself no good by being late to meet the alien and managing a number of insults in the initial contact.

And when the man-made gods start getting assassinated, Nick's particularly upset, because these dudes are his personal friends. Nick decides that he's going to have to save the gods himself, and rescue his alien charge from becoming the scapegoat of angry humanity.

Luckily, as a public relations officer, Nick is, of course, up to the job.

OK, OK, so it's really for teenagers but it was fun and exciting when I first read it, even if now it's terribly, terribly trite. There were some great ideas - multiple universes and turning humans into gods by genetic engineering. I was all for the latter, and in fact am still awaiting, though rather less hopefully, a sufficient advance in genetic techniques to make it possible. I'd take the godhood over multiple universes any day.

The only book I've read by Mr Fast. He's not a prolific writer and perhaps his main claim to fame is co-authoring the Disney children's book "The Rocketeer" which is a movie I enjoyed (as a bratlet I spent many of my Saturday mornings watching "Rocket Man" at the local cinema).

What's it got? aliens, alien sex, bondage, drugs, genetic engineering, less than awe-inspiring demigods reduced to performing as sideshow acts. I should perhaps point out, before you rush to buy the book, that the alien sex, drugs and indeed the bondage aren't exactly earth-shaking episodes within the novel.

Loaded on the 19th August 2002.
Cover of Mortal Gods