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The Night of Kadar (Penguin science fiction) Paperback – 31 Jan 1980

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Paperback, 31 Jan 1980
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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (31 Jan. 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140048685
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140048681
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,566,190 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Essef - Their dreams were programmed thousands of years ago for survival on an unknown planet. A starship nears its journey's end. Its programmed destination: a world chosen for its similarity to Earth. Frozen embryos warm to life, their growth accelerated, and intelligence units instruct the occupants in their future role on the new worls. But before instruction is complete, a malfunction occurs...

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By Euromancer TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 7 Jun. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
'The Night of Kadar' was - I seem to recall - Garry Kilworth's second novel, originally published by Faber, then Penguin in paperback. It has been out of print for about 30 years, which is a crying shame as its a super little SF novel and my favourite of his early works.

The book begins with a wonderful opening chapter that describes the arrival of a spacecraft near an Earth-type planet. The presence of a suitable world for colonisation triggers activity in the ship and gametes in suspended animation are activated and race through a magnificently described growth process into adult human beings. This prelude is written in a fleet, engrossing and exciting style of no little lyrical power and is one of the best sequences of its kind I've read in any SF novel - I was partially reminded of the vertiginous opening scenes of Lem's 'Solaris', when Kris kelvin is fired without any feeling of reistance and inertia into interstellar space.

So after this excellent opening that recalls the idea of the Generation Starship and homages the Pantropy stories of James Blish (in his classic 'The Seedling Stars'), it soon dawns on the reader that this is no ordinary colonisation tale, as the newly-born adult humans are Muslims, explaining why the book (which was published in the 70s) begins with an epigraph stating that the author has nothing but respect for the religion of Islam. Kilworth himself was a well-travelled ex-serviceman by this time, who had spent time in North Africa. My view? It just goes to show that even pre-Rushdie, some Muslims could be a bit touchy about depictions of their religion.
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