PRISONERS OF PARADISE by Ronald Anthony Cross
Kirkus Star


Email this review


Weird, endearing, ultimately inconclusive expansion of a long story: tribes of humans, their origins lost, struggle to survive within a vast, decaying, computerized resort hotel. Nightglider, expert survivor and fleet-of-foot chief of the brutish Shopping Center gang, schemes to break into and loot the luxurious Tropical Lagoon Room, which presently is occupied and alertly defended by the brownskins. Unfortunately, however, Nightglider runs into Big Knife, the brownskins' best warrior. Nightglider kills a big Knife but is captured by the brownskins, who, after a horridly painful initiation ceremony involving a robot dentist, induct Nightglider into the tribe. At length, the brownskins become jealous of Nightglider's successes with their women and his superior survival skills, and he flees--only to discover that everything has been orchestrated by agents of the Adversary, opponent of the Hotel Mind that runs the Paradise Hotel. The Adversary wants Nightglider to accept a brain implant that will give him total Hotel Consciousness as a means to defeat or control the Hotel Mind. Nightglider resists as best he may, but eventually he is forced to accept the implant. His further adventures will take him to the mysterious Outside, a colossal bright space covered by a blue dome (Nightglider thinks), where, opposite the main entrance to the Paradise Hotel, stands another vast building: the Disneyville Hotel! An arresting, original idea that Cross doesn't quite do full justice to. Still: amusing, inventive, appealing work.

Pub Date: Oct. 31st, 1988
Publisher: Watts