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The Anguished Dawn Hardcover – 31 Oct 2003


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"A nicely done hard science disaster novel."

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Amazon.com: 4 reviews
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A Conflict of Worldviews 23 Oct. 2003
By Arthur W. Jordin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The Anguished Dawn is the sequel to Cradle of Saturn. In the previous volume, a new planet, Athena, has been ejected from Jupiter in a Velikovskian scenario, ravaging the Earth and disrupting orbits. A few people have been evacuated off the planet by the Kronians and resettled on the moons of Saturn. Athena has passed beyond the Earth, but continues to disrupt the inner-system with its gravitic attraction, electrical discharges, and poisonous tail. Moreover, smaller debris from this ejection are still sweeping through space as far out as the Kronian colonies, impacting on planets, moons and manmade objects.
In this novel, Landen Keene leads a group of Kronian engineers developing an dual-purpose fusion-plant, producing both thrust and electrical power, thus providing mobile temporary power for settlements and work camps. He is on LORIN 5 above Saturn learning about orbital operations, when a cluster of objects is detected in an orbit intersecting both Titan and Rhea. The Long Range Intercept Station launches heavy-metal lasing rods at the most dangerous objects, but does not have enough to dissipate the whole cluster. People on both moons are killed and the Security Arm training center on Rhea is demolished.
After his memorable visit to LORIN 5, Lan returns to Titan for a meeting with his boss, Pang-Yarbat, and a potential addition to their group, Jan Wernstecki. After Pang and Lan describe their development of electrogravitic devices, Jan is definitely sold on changing jobs.
After this meeting, Lan has drinks with Ludwig Grasse and Claud Valcroix, European governmental officials who had evacuated from the planet through the Eurospace facilities in Algeria. Ludwig sounds out Lan's willingness to participate in a political effort to achieve power for the Terran survivors. Although Lan is not interested, he acts noncommittal to draw out more information.
Lan's close friend Vicki is working in the Planetary Sciences section of Kropotkin's Polysophic Academy. She and her boss, Farzhin, have been delving ever deeper into the Vedas and other ancient literature to discover more about the catastrophic changes that have occurred within the Solar System. Now they have invited Sariena and Charley Hu to a briefing on their latest discoveries.
Vicki's son Robin has been moody and despondent since their evacuation and is considering leaving school to join the Security Arm. When Lan talks to him, Robin is brusque and noncommunicative.
This story is about a clash of cultures. The Kronians had originally settled on the moons of Saturn to get away from the intense competition between individuals and groups on Earth. Over the decades, the Kronians have developed a cooperative society that values individual competence over material wealth. In fact, the Kronians have no means of exchange, but rather everything is available to anyone. Now they have an influx of self-selected immigrants, many of whom are firm practitioners of competitive and even cutthroat tactics.
Although some of the Terran survivors try to explain the danger, the Kronians are naive enough to believe that they are not in any danger from these powermongers. They learn their lesson the hard way.
These story also involves some Terran survivors who experienced the catastrophe first-hand, a group of the left-behind. The contrast of these hunter-gathers with the technological sophistication of the Kronians increases the suspense and impact.
The philosophical differences between the Terrans and the Kronians are discussed to some extent, but the story itself contrasts the different consequences of these apprproaches. Essentially, the story illustrates the destructive effects of the Terran methods and the creative effects of the Kronian approach.
Recommended for Hogan fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of cutting edge technology and truly different human cultures.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
post apocalyptic non-stop action thriller 4 July 2003
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Though it was nearly Worlds in Collision, but actually the orb missed a direct hit on the Earth, but still the aftereffect destroyed the land masses and oceans, polarity, and ecosystems leading to the end of civilization though survivors exist. The last remnant of Earth culture resides on the Saturn moon of Kronia. Kronians have two strategic goals that of reaching the stars and rebuilding the Earth.
When the Earth finally stabilizes, former resident Landen Keene joins the first Kronian expeditionary force establishing a planetary base to explore building a Utopian world where contribution to society rules. However, many of those who managed to escape the consequences of planetary destruction did so because they wielded the power and wealth to flee to Kronia. These Pragmatists plan to regain their status of domination. Two groups isolated by the vastness of space from the only human civilization battle while those who remained behind want to obliterate any returnee regardless of their philosophy.
Though loaded with action, readers will be split over James P. Hogan's latest science fiction thriller that in some ways feels like an Irwin Allen movie. The story line leaps nicely from the events chronicled in CRADLE OF SATURN (though it helps to have read that book first). However, the plot concentrates on the mass destruction at the cost of failing to fully explore an interesting philosophical debate between two divergently thinking groups and in turn never truly develops key cast members except somewhat Landen. Only readers who enjoy a post apocalyptic earth with non-stop action that defies gravity will want to peruse THE ANGUISHED DAWN.
Harriet Klausner
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
chloroform in print* (why isn't a zero rating a choice?) 9 July 2011
By Paul Odgren - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
*Thanks to Mark Twain for supplying that line for the title.

I read quite a bit of science fiction. This is dreadful.

Hogan's prose is so bizarre and simultaneously so poorly written as to make you not care a whit what he's going on, ad nauseum, about. He violates basically every rule of decent prose writing on almost every page. He uses the wrong words for things. He offers incomplete and inept descriptions of totally incidental and irrelevant background items that have nothing to do with plot or character. He starts with a line of dialogue, then meanders unprovoked for pages among his wandering celestial bodies, junk-science biology, and ridiculous geology, then snaps back into the conversation leaving the reader to turn back the pages to try to remember what the heck was going on. He uses first names for a character for a few pages or chapters then switches to last names, again leaving and the reader to fend for himself trying to remember who was who. After a while, I stopped caring. He interrupts his own sentences with hyphenated insertions at the wrong places. These are not rare instances. They happen with a depressing regularity.

He appears here to be taking up the challenge of treating the nonsense celestial catastrophism of Velikovsky as if it were somehow plausible. On top of that steaming pile he adds his own nonsense molecular biology, nonsense orbital mechanics, and nonsense political plotting. It all comes together in a yawn-inducing clash of too-good-to-be-true, idealistic Kronians and too-bad-to-be-true, power-hungry Terrans. The reason they are not believable has more to do with how shallowly and ineptly the movers and shakers are portrayed than with actual human potential for good and evil.

Most decent sci-fi treats actual science as true, but something that can and/or has been superseded by future insight. Hogan just dismisses virtually all of science in favor of "truths" discovered in a grab-bag of ancient myths from Vedic to Biblical to everything in between. Just how the gas giants are supposed to periodically belch out planetoid bodies to wreak havoc through the solar system is never explained, despite his endless, stultifying passages on how all of paleontology, evolution, physics, and molecular biology are totally wrong.

I stuck with this book sometimes in disbelief, sometimes out of a sheer, perverse desire to see just how badly he would mishandle plot elements developed so painfully slowly. Consider yourself lucky if this review saves you from wasting your own time.

Read Gibson, Delany, Stevenson, Bear, Vinge, Russ, Heinlein, Bradbury, Varley, Bester, etc., etc., etc., etc. Anyone who actually has a clue how to write a story.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Can you find this story? 19 Mar. 2006
By Clathrus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm not very familiar with Hogan's works, though I have enjoyed some of his collaborations. This is one of the very, again, very, few books I simply didn't want to finish. The social structure he describes for the Kronians is simply too laboured to be believable even in context. The story itself is buried under the mass of verbiage used to describe the social, historical, and scientific setting of Hogan's, er, uh story(?). It may be that a platoon of Reader's Digest Condensed Book editors could have made this tome readable, but then it would have been, at best, a novella or perhaps no more than a short story.
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