A DEEPER SEA by Alexander Jablokov


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Near-future exploration of war and dolphin/whale intelligence, from the author of a stunning debut, Carve the Sky (1991). In 2015, Colonel Ilya Stasov of the (forcibly) United Soviet Republics is researching dolphin intelligence at Uglegorsk station on Sakhalin. Furthermore, encouraged by the stories and ideas of mythologist Georgios Theodoros, Stasov believes that, 3500 years ago, the Minoans of Crete talked with dolphins. But why did they stop? (Dolphins, we learn eventually, were persecuted by the Greeks after Minoan civilization collapsed.) Using computer-produced sonic images, Stasov broadcasts to his dolphin experimental subjects a simulation of the Cretan seabed before the volcanic island Thera exploded and Minoan civilization fell. The dolphins, convinced by Stasov's images, begin to communicate. But then a non-nuclear war between Germany/Russia and Japan/US breaks out; Stasov's dolphins willingly become warriors of cyborgs in the struggle. At last, with Russia defeated, Stasov is taken prisoner by the Japanese. Meanwhile, attempts are being made to communicate with intelligent creatures in the atmosphere of Jupiter--a subject that the orcas, aggressive and natural leaders, seem to know all about. Released from prison, Stasov experiences a vision of a cyborg whale flying in the Jovian skies, and soon joins forces with American researcher Anna Calderone to work on the Jupiter project; they will be helped by a self-proclaimed dolphin Messiah, one of Stasov's wartime charges, whom Stasov can still control. A jumble of half-digested ideas, many stimulating, none displaying real insight. Jablokov's characters are sharply defined, but not a one possesses a particularly interesting or appealing personality; the general lack of plot or structure doesn't help. Disappointing.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1992
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Morrow