Morgan (Heroes of the New Eden, 2012, etc.) delivers the first installment in his Morning Bliss trilogy, an imaginative, allegorical sci-fi tale.
The battleship Kincazion is a living being—more specifically, it’s a male. Its potential mate is a female cathedral named Mahandaahl. In the cathedral, blue-haired human Anthem is fascinated by the Kincazion and wants to build a baby ship, while human wage slave Skiff, aboard the battleship, craves escape. Kincazion eventually fights another ship for Mahandaahl’s affections. The novel, set entirely on the ship and the cathedral, is filled with allegory, often sexual in nature and sometimes unsubtle. Intriguingly, some inanimate entities are given life while many living creatures—including giant spiders, lizards and even men—function as transportation; the women on Mahandaahl, for example, ride on males’ shoulders. One of the book’s most convincing elements is Skiff’s changing concept of freedom, which includes such goals as garnering knowledge or accumulating wealth. There are also occasional dips into political incorrectness—there’s more than one reference to dolphins as food, for example—and Morgan has a tendency to provide only a modicum of description for things that beg for more, including a snake infantry unit and a “scoob moonty,” a nuclear-powered “walking brain,” but these are minor faults. Gorplid, Anthem’s antagonist, also adds notes of dark humor with her colorful insults—“fetid little tart” and “puke face” are just two of her less offensive jabs.
An innovative and triumphantly bizarre story, with enough material to keep readers eager for an entire trilogy.