Lorinda Taylor's Reviews > The Directorate

The Directorate by Berthold Gambrel
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really liked it

“A measure of independence” was given to the worlds, said Kannengieser

This is a book in the mold of earlier science fiction, where the emphasis is on technological advancement and exciting adventure rather than on character (although Gannon, the principal character, is well developed). It’s laid in 2223, after Luna and Mars have been terraformed, given atmospheres, and populated by humans. This precipitated warfare, with Earth trying to take over its smaller neighbors – wars that were ended by the heroic Admiral Kannengieser who united the three worlds and established the Directorate. The premise is that everyone on these worlds is equal. But humans will never see life that way and now certain elements are trying to populate the worlds with cloned humans who can be educated in science and technology, with no knowledge of history or the humanities in general, and so be more controllable. In the end, this fails – even genetically engineered individuals can develop basic human characteristics like altruism and compassion.
There are some descriptions I really liked. Here is one example, a view of Nightingale Station from space: “Across the surface little points of light flickered through the windows, making the huge sphere glitter like a snowball on a sunny winter day.”
Certain aspects of this book made suspension of disbelief difficult for me. First off, I doubt Earth technology will have advanced anywhere near that far by 2223. I’ve always been skeptical of terraforming, anyway. Also, a clone is an exact copy, by most definitions, and the clones in this book don’t seem to be exact copies. Possibly, embryos were produced instead by genetically controlled in-vitro fertilization, then matured in jars.
This book has interesting concepts and lots of action and excitement, but I have one final quibble: it has absolutely no humor. Humor is such a basic part of the human psyche, and I prefer science fiction that makes use of this. Humor is a huge part of what made StarTrek so successful. But I did find the book very readable, with ideas worthy of consideration.
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Reading Progress

November 10, 2019 – Started Reading
November 10, 2019 – Shelved
November 10, 2019 –
3.0%
November 11, 2019 –
10.0%
November 13, 2019 –
24.0%
November 15, 2019 –
40.0%
November 18, 2019 –
66.0%
November 21, 2019 –
85.0%
November 24, 2019 – Finished Reading

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