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on 1 January 2003
"Degranon"
Duane Simolke
Review by Mountman
Degranon is Duane’s first venture into the world of Sci-Fi. And what a venture it is. Duane really shows just how talented he is with Degranon. When I was asked which of Duane’s book I wanted to review it was very hard for me to choose. As you may know, I reviewed Acorn Stories. I was excited about reading it, but, when I got Degranon, I chose it because I am a Sci-Fi fan from way back.

The story begins on the world of Valchondria. A negative utopia that is ‘Maintained’ by, who else, the Maintainers, sort of, like the Firemen in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. They watch for people using words from a banned word list. Words that are considered anti-glory to Valchondria, words such as colonization. There are no books, like in Fahrenheit 451, only wallscreens that project the things that the Maintainers want the people of Valchondria to see and think. For their own good, of course.
There is a ‘miracle drug that has given the people of Valchondria a virus that makes them immune to almost all diseases and the ravages of time… but, along with that there are things that it takes away also like, the ability to see in color, and hear as many tones as we do now. With this loss people have lost interest in music and anything related to it, such as dancing.
There are some that have not lost the ability to see in color. One such person is Dr. Lorfeltez. A 26-year-old scientist that recently became a representative of the SSC (Supreme Science Council), a strong branch of the government. She is as strong willed as her adversaries. She thinks that Valchondria should reopen space travel exploration, something that is considered anti-glory.
She along with another brilliant scientist, Dr. Nabold, creates Life. Life is a computer that had many tentacles that reach deep into the Valchondria soil looking for energy deposits. There is another ‘scientist’ along with them, Dr. Geln. Did I say scientist? I forgot to add the word Mad. Dr. Geln is also an operative placed there to watch, and make sure that Life does what it’s actually meant for, creating a doorway to Valchondria’s past.
Dr.’s Lorfeltez and Nabold fall in love and become married. At the same time, Dr. Geln falls in love with Lorfeltez. Which creates some very interesting twists later in the story. When Dr. Lorfeltez becomes pregnant with twins, something that is forbidden on Valchondria, Dr. Geln, with the help of Life, takes one of the twins, Telius, to the past, where Alom brings him up. Alom is an aging priest of his time.
Dr. Geln has got to be fashioned after 20th Century’s worst criminal, Hitler. He creates a youth organization called Youth For Valchondrian Reform. Where he brain washes, Argen, the twin that stayed in Valchondria’s present. Argen, best friend is Kryldon who happens to be same-gendered, something that is considered normal in Valchondrian society. Sometimes it is even preferred. Kryldon unwittingly, gets Argen involved in the Youth For Valchondria’s Reform. You can take it from there.
Whether you are a Sci-Fi fan or not, Degranon is a must read. It is fast paced, and compelling. Thanks Duane for giving us another place and friends I would like to revisit again.
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on 24 May 2002
Even with 'hoverlanes', 'same-gendered people', 'legally permitted language', and all manner of other strange terms, the two worlds in this science fiction novel both sound like our world at times. The plot might boggle some minds, but theres plenty of action too! Twin boys are separated by a doorway in time, when their parents begin to go against their government. Things keep getting stranger from there.
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