GOD'S WORLD by Ian Watson


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Abstruse, gnarled transcendence/alien-contact/nature-of-reality mÉlange, first published in Britain in 1979, from the author of the recent Whores of Babylon. In 1997, a number of angels, avatars, and holy spirits appear at sacred sites around the world, summoning human emissaries to God's World, a planet 22 light-years away circling the star 82 Eridani. So aided by an alien device that sends the ship through High Space, an expedition of scientists--some psychically gifted, some not--is dispatched. While in High Space, the ship is induced to attack itself, and thus dispose of its weapons. Then, upon arrival at 82 Eridani, the ship is attacked by arachnoid aliens in a dirigible meteoroid; some of the crew are captured, the rest flee to God's World. Here, the alien Getka explain that most of their civilization lies in Heaven--a reality of the imagination where all things are possible--and that the human race is being groomed to join their multiracial community. But, in dreams, the humans on Getka come into psychic contact with the captives of the arachnoid Group-ones and their intelligent-computer allies, the Harxine; it emerges that the Getkans are victims of a dreadful, predatory entity, the Veil Being, which will enslave humanity rather than liberate it. Watson's penchant for cosmic convolutions and recondite chat is all too apparent here. And, in the absence of recognizable characters, the upshot is sometimes curious but more often just dull or unintelligible.

Pub Date: May 20th, 1990
Publisher: Carroll & Graf