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Deucalion by Brian Caswell

Deucalion (1995)

by Brian Caswell

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Deucalion is an extremely inventive novel, and while it may seem a little slow at times, it is amazing to see the thought that Caswell has put into creating the races, governments and people of the planet Deucalion. His theory on how matter can be transmitted by warp is also quite original. This is probably a good novel for more scientifically literate people who are keen on a more ‘interesting’ read, rather than an ‘exciting’ one. It’s true that Deucalion does have its exciting moments, but they do not really serve to make it an exciting book.

Any Australian worth his salt will pick the parallels between the Elokoi and the Aboriginals in about two seconds flat – they are even unnecessarily made too obvious by reference to an Aboriginal boomerang – so at first, the entire book can seem like a comment on how it was unfair that we pushed the Aboriginals out of their ‘uninhabited land’. When the real plot is introduced, it can seem somewhat arbitrary. Once the reader gets into the new story, however, they are likely to find the parallels in the latter half of the novel – the ones about republics and loyalty owed to a ‘mother nation’ – much more interesting.

Although Caswell’s writing style is commendable, it doesn’t necessarily fit the story of Deucalion very well. At times, this book needs to decide what type of novel it wants to be – fast paced chapters of excitement with assassinations and conspiracies followed by sections of slow politics and elections can leave readers bored by comparison. This book would probably work better if it were all fast or all slow – and in my opinion, Caswell’s writing style would better complement a slower book.

Deucalion is good, but not great – a book to read once, but not twice. Recommended for technology-literate people who don’t mind a novel that’s quite different from most other novels.
  SamuelW | Jun 12, 2009 |
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Across light-years of space, millions of settlers have come to the planet Deucalion to escape their past and build their future.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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