A Journal for Western Man

 

 

Review of Eden against the Colossus

by G. Stolyarov II

Christopher Schlegel

Issue XXVIII- November 18, 2004

Published on TRA's new site on July 5, 2006

See the Eden against the Colossus Home Page.

 

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The novel Eden against the Colossus by G. Stolyarov II is at once an amazing sci-fi story, an excellent adventure novel, an exciting detective-intellectual puzzle and an outstanding work written from an Objectivist philosophical perspective.

Being set in the future time of 2753,
Eden against the Colossus can be said to fall into the category of science fiction.  Also supporting this classification is the overwhelming amount of hypothetical, futuristic advanced technology of which the author invents & integrates into the storyline.  The human race has colonized the stars.  At the core of the plot we find a mystery of sorts, involving an alien species that a lone, brave scientist must unravel on a far, distant world.  On a wider scale, there is a central conflict between warring factions of the future human race as to whether or not endless colonization is indeed a desirable goal; and ultimately, if a virtually endless lifespan is a desirable goal.

All of these, and many more, details easily place this work into the category of sci-fi, fantasy, futuristic poli-sci, utopia literature, et cetera.  However…

First & foremost, this is a novel of ideas. 

Much of the storyline of
Eden against the Colossus is driven forward in the form of correspondence from the characters.  This is an important detail in three respects.  First, it helps set the tone of the whole work as ideological & conceptual in nature.  Second, by enabling us to see the character express their ideas concretely we are treated to an ideological debate on a universal scale.  Finally, as a narrative device the characters can easily guide us through this futuristic, fictional Earth history.  The author has provided an incredibly rich, complex, thought provoking “future” history in which the characters live,  and consequently, a firm foundation upon which the setting of the story rests.

The story opens with an urgent missive from a scientist working on the fringes of the civilized universe.  This letter clearly sets the stages for the two interrelated conflicts that will drive the plot:  the mystery of the newly discovered alien species & the issue of future human expansion & colonization.

Immediately we are thrust into an amazing universe.  The author has envisioned an astonishing array of advanced technology, a highly organized, complex future human society based on the concept of a “meritocracy” (its central feature being laissez-faire capitalism).

This first letter is quickly followed by the “opposing viewpoint” thereby completely establishing the story’s central conflict.  This opposition viewpoint is essential non-expansionist; it is a hypothetical future projection of an environmentalist/collectivist/irrationalist position.  The protagonist of the novel is Aurelius Meltridge, scientist, man of thought & action.  Meltridge & his wife, Margaret, provide a lively dialogue/debate, in order to show us he is a man of firm, resolute, individualistic convictions.  He favorably mentions knowledge & appreciation for the works of Ayn Rand.  (This, in turn, shows us the convictions of the author, Mr. Stolyarov).  Our esteemed hero is entrusted to travel to the fringes of the unexplored universe & unravel the mystery involving aliens with strange characteristics living on an equally strange planet.  I don’t want to give any specific spoilers, however, I must mention that the mystery involving these aliens is highly epistemological in its nature and cleverly worked out by the author.  The mystery of the planet is intertwined with a great deal of philosophical symbolism.  The manner in which the various conflicts & mysteries of the novel are resolved is an excellent example of literary integration.   

The advanced technological scope is, quite simply, incredible.  Stolyarov has worked out many concepts, some in great detail about the future developments of the human race.  He dovetails a perceptive account of our actual history, from an appropriate philosophical perspective, into a speculative, fictitious “history” of events that happen from the present forward to the “present” of the book’s world.  And what an amazing scope of history it is!  It is interesting to note the novel has the United States temporarily losing the battle of individual freedom to collectivism.  It is instructive in pointing out that our freedom is not automatically guaranteed as “God’s chosen land of magic freedom & happiness & plenty forever regardless of reality & consequences”.  Also interesting & insightful is the part of the future history in which history repeats the very ancient process of a necessary military directly shoring up any possible standing civilization that protects freedom.  Many people living in the present have ZERO sense of history or what the social pre-conditions of freedom actually are; the author, however, completely understands these issues and integrates them convincingly into the storyline.

I can easily recommend this novel to anyone that loves sci-fi, futuristic adventure, or detective-intellectual puzzles.  To anyone interested in a novel of ideas, especially written from an Objectivist philosophical perspective, I highly recommend it.

Christopher Schlegel is a musician and composer of Objectivist convictions. He is additionally a writer of short fiction and essays and a contributor to The Rational Argumentator and its store. You can also visit his website (http://www.truthagainsttheworld.com) and contact him by e-mail.

Click here to return to TRA's Issue LXV Index.

Learn about Mr. Stolyarov's novel, Eden against the Colossus, here.

Read Mr. Stolyarov's new comprehensive treatise, A Rational Cosmology, explicating such terms as the universe, matter, space, time, sound, light, life, consciousness, and volition, at http://www.geocities.com/rational_argumentator/rc.html.

Visit PanAsianBiz for interesting perspectives on international business and current events in Russia and Asia. Dr. Bill Belew's blog especially addresses Asian countries' contributions to the emerging global economy. Dr. Belew also writes a blog on business in China - ZhongHuaRising - business in Japan - RisingSunofNihon - and business education - TheBizofKnowledge.

 

 

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