Like Storm Over Warlock, this is another book with Andre mixing sci-fi and fantasy. This time its the turn of mermen to be mixing it with the alien invaders/visitors/settlers to their planet. Once again, Andre carries this off brilliantly: wonderfully written, classic sci-fi.
Quite thought provoking, in that it dips its toe into the early ideas of the Star Trek prime directive. Should we interfere, should we get involved? But if we, in the future, launch ourselves into the cosmos and into other people’s societies, then haven’t we already broken that prime directive? Simply putting ourselves into space is interfering with whatever is already out there, yet here we go spewing our space junk in every direction in arrogance and ignorance not even caring what effects we may have.
There’s part of this harkens back to Childhood’s End and the proclamation that the stars are not for humans, and that Homo sapiens would become extinct upon the Earth and never reach beyond because we simply aren’t suitable and capable to do so mentally.
Maybe it’s too late to realise and accept that just because we can do something physically does not mean that we should do it. But off goes science and progress charging into the future without any care or consideration for the spiritual progress that is needed to temper our greed and wants.
Let’s be honest, we aren’t charging into space for the well being of our species, we’re charging into space due to xenophobic paranoia that some other country will get there and exploit it first. The space race has never been a marvel of human development, but a charge fuelled by fear, greed and paranoia to beat other’s to the prize and plant a stupid flag before someone else can in order to claim that little bit of the infinite cosmos for our own little inbred sub-set of Homo sapiens. This is not a good way to introduce our species to the cosmos. Homo sapiens are so fucking crass!
Available as a single book or in the collection, Visions of Distant Shores.