THE FINAL PLANET by Andrew M. Greeley


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Greeley's second foray into speculative realms (God Game, 1986), fair to middling when he sticks to social science fiction, disastrous whenever he veers towards anything vaguely scientific. Pilgrim ship Iona, full of monks, warrior-priests, and nuns from planet Tara searching for a new home, arrives at planet Zylong, which was settled a millenium ago in a previous wave of migrations. Unfortunately, Iona is so old and worn out that the Tarans must settle on Zylong or perish. Zylong society, while scientifically advanced, is on the point of collapse--thanks to ingrained bigotry (they oppress the australopithecine-like natives), creaky leadership, sexual repression, and general inertia. Various revolutionary armies lurk in the jungle, ready to pounce. So the Tarans cautiously send down a one-man scout ship containing Seamus O'Neill, who represents himself as a wandering space-bard. O'Neill's task is to explore Zylong society and determine whether or not the Tarans would be welcome. (He's psychically linked to Iona, so his boss, the Cardinal Lade Deirdre, knows exactly what's going on.) Thanks to his involvement with the beautiful Lieutenant Marjetta, O'Neill is gradually drawn into the inevitable revolution. (Oh, yes, O'Neill is a battle-hardened soldier, too, which helps.) Passing over Greeley's wretched ""science"" (borrowed, all too plainly, from Star Trek), this is a modestly involving and appealing yarn that should tempt some Greeley regulars as well as curious sf fans.

Pub Date: June 3rd, 1987
Publisher: Warner