Friday, February 18, 2005

Book Review: Gorgon's Child -- Steven Barnes

To honor Black History Month I recently read Steven Barnes' Gorgon Child. I could probably count the number of African American Sci-Fi authors I know on one hand. Steven Barnes is one of them (Simon Delaney is another). Gorgon Child is one of those novels that sound better explaining than actually reading. Aubrey Knight, former Nullboxer (never explained what that is) now a heavy weight hero in the not too distant future helps a near super band of (gay) mercenaries escape a fanatical leader that has his eyes on being president. Then Aubrey finds himself a target, so he escapes with his sexy dancin' girlfriend, Promise, to her lesbian ruled commune, Ephesus. The plot gets murky as Aubrey learns about fetuses being sold to create a powerful army and a renegade group trying to destroy the above mentioned fanatical leader. Dragging on throughout the book is Aubrey's personal demons constantly doubting his love for Promise and whether he cares about living at all. At times I had trouble sorting through who was doing what and what side they were on. And, in the middle of bloody fighting and balls-out battling, there are these awkward tender moments with Aubrey and Promise. I guess I'm not recommending Gorgon Child, but I'm not sure I'll cross Steven Barnes off my reading list. If his story-telling matched his story he'd really have something.

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