ORION SHALL RISE by Poul Anderson


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A post-holocaust nuclear-political parable, as obvious as it is prolonged, from a prolific but often predictable sf pro. The combatants here: the US-Canada-based Northwest Union, old-style polluting-industrial technocrats led by the megalomaniacal Mikli and the more reasonable survivor-type Ronica; the Mong, various Asian tribes now occupying America, whose ""Gaean"" ethos is Cosmic Oneness; the Oceania-based Maurai (familiar from earlier yarns), ecologically impeccable imperials to whom nuclear technology is anathema, led by spy-diplomat-warrior Terai; and feudal Uropa, kept peaceful by the armed-to-the-teeth balloon-satellite Skyholm, whose natural captain, Iern, has been usurped by Gaean Jovain. Why is the Union secretly stockpiling forbidden fissionables? That's what everyone wants to find out here. And the answer is a constructive one: they're building a fleet of spaceships. But mad Mikli can't resist also making and using nuclear bombs--which leads to an everybody-blows-up-everybody-else ending . . . with some heroism from lovers Ronica and Iern and a final plea for sanity. Creaky, fitful maneuvering, with stock characters and formula writing: heavy going for all save ardent Andersonites.

Pub Date: March 28th, 1983
Publisher: Timescape/Pocket Books--dist. by Simon & Schuster