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Saint Vidicon To The Rescue by Christopher…
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Saint Vidicon To The Rescue (2005)

by Christopher Stasheff

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201584,153 (2.93)6
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    God Game by Andrew Greeley (MyriadBooks)
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    Magnifi-Cat by Carolyn Sheehan (MyriadBooks)
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If you are a computer troubleshooter, you need to know about St. Vidicon of Cathode. He was martyred in the year 2020 when he was electrocuted in order to keep the Vatican broadcast equipment working so that Pope Clement could send his message to the world. Since his death, people throughout the world have prayed for his intercession to combat those terrors of technology, Murphy's Law, the Imp of Perversity, and Finagle.

His story is recounted in St. Vidicon to the Rescue, a novel by Christopher Stasheff. St. Vidicon is a spin-off of Stasheff's popular Ron Gallowglass series (The Warlock in Spite of Himself, etc.). Father Vidicon employs the help of computer troubleshooter Tony Ricci to come to the aid of various people plagued by the forces of entropy. Tony gets to wield Occam's Razor, travel through time, and thwart the legal system. At the same time, Father Vidicon helps Tony in his relationship with Sandy, the object of Tony's affection.

Stasheff writes very light, enjoyable science fiction, peppered with Catholic references. If you've ever wished you could take a sword to the gremlins and viruses that interfere with your computer work, be sure to call on St. Vidicon. ( )
  nsenger | Nov 12, 2017 |
Not terrible, but slight. First, I don't think it would be all that interesting to someone who hadn't encountered St. Vidicon elsewhere in the Warlock stories. Second, the frame - Tony's romance - is a little pointless; it's not a bad story, but could have been encapsulated in 5-10 pages (and would have been more interesting that way). The internal stories - Tony helping out in various places - are rather random; there's no pattern or rhythm to them, no arc. Tony goes, fights whoever, solves the problem and comes home. Lots of cute ideas - the gremlkins and other enemies, the Techgnomes - but nothing that really leads anywhere. And the final one, with the sort-of hostage situation, the utterly idiotic visible enemy - and then the real enemy just fades away, without a confrontation...yeah. There are also logical contradictions in the writing - things where it looks like the author forgot what was going on. If the coffee break just ended, how did Sandy know the problem was fixed? If St. Vidicon has been walking through Hellmouth all along, why does he get so squicked out when it becomes more like what it's been all along? And if he's fictional...bleah. That story and only that story seemed to be set in the real world...except none of the events actually happened, so what the heck? Mildly enjoyable, but no point, no drive, no message - aside from "understanding paradox disarms it", and that's presented so vaguely and symbolically that it doesn't carry much power. Cute, and I may reread at some point, but not one of his best. ( )
  jjmcgaffey | Feb 27, 2013 |
Tony is a computer trouble-shooter - the hot shot computer experts brought in when a company has a problem that their homegrown IT staff can't figure out. Father Vidicon is a soon-to-be saint, martyred by acting as a resistor (electronic device) during a world-wide broadcast to allow the Pope to talk to the entire world. Vidicon is now traveling through the Hellmouth, fighting off minions of the evil, twisted, perverse Finagle. The problem is that he can't battle Finagle and his forces while also dealing with the regular pleas for help from IT staffers who have their own little demons to battle. And so, Vidicon recruits Tony to be his assistant - fixing the unfixable problems while Vidicon vanquishes the gremlins and demons of the Hellmouth. And, oh by the way, Tony is also trying (unsuccessfully) to woo the woman of his dreams and needs a little divine inspiration to help him navigate the uncharted emotional waters of true love and long-term relationships.

To me, this book was very reminiscent of Rick Cook's Wiz Biz series - another series that I enjoyed a great deal. It also doesn't hurt that I'm an IT guy and I actually get most of the jokes and situations. The love story was actually what I was most interested in. I'm afraid it wasn't particularly realistic, especially since it was trying to place itself in the modern age. Then again, Stasheff has also been a little reserved on the premarital relations. To his credit, he's very consistent in that regard. ( )
  helver | Jun 23, 2012 |
Tony Ricci, a computer troubleshooter, is called upon by Father Vidicon of Cathode, patron saint of computers, machines, and anything else susceptible to Finagle, master of perversity and chaos. While Vidicon fights the greater demons, Tony is sent to put out smaller fires, helping people on Earth with their problems. It's a cute idea, that a self-described fictional saint fixes the inexplicable failures of modern technology, which are caused by actual microscopic beasties like gremlkins and scuttlefish. I was a little confused at first (how did Sandy already know that Tony had fixed the problem?), but once I got used to the regular switch between Tony's regular life and his adventures with Saint Vidicon, it was a lot of fun. If you enjoy silly sci-fi, it's a worthy read - if only for the ridiculous (and funny) climax at the PBS station, WBEG. ( )
  melydia | Oct 28, 2009 |
Two comments for Christopher Stasheff. First, Vidicon is a really bad name for a character, especially a saint. I kept reading it as vicodin. And while I'm sure that some people do pray for and maybe even to, vicodin, that wasn't the type of book he was trying to write.
Second, allegory is good if you are Nathaniel Hawthorne, but just barely. Allegory comparing software problems to the salvation of souls, probably can't be redeemed even if you could write as well as Hawthorne. And I hate Hawthorne's allegory anyway.
I have liked Stasheff in the past. This type of religious stuff works best in a medieval setting. In fact, I like his fantasy because too many authors like the medieval stuff, but leave out the predominant religious aspect. It does not work in a more modern setting, at least for me. ( )
1 vote readermom | Apr 15, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 044101271X, Mass Market Paperback)

Tech troubleshooter Tony Ricci has been recruited by Saint Vidicon--the patron saint of computer geeks--to combat the forces of evil that wreak havoc within all things technological.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:14 -0400)

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