Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Seven Views of Olduvai Gorge, by Mike Resnick

Seven Views of Olduvai Gorge was a fine discovery for me.  This story is a followup to his book Birthright: The Book of Man.  Birthright is a series of complete vignettes illustrating the rise of mankind to dominate the galaxy.  It portrays a universe where Man cuts a vast swathe through a universe of less ambitious species.  Birthright is heavily influenced by Resnick's fascination with Africa, and the book could be read as his view of how Europeans came through the African continent--an overwhelming, destructive, and at times inspiring and beautiful force.

Birthright is the central example of a book with massive scope, the sort of thing that really appeals to me.  One should really go and read it before reading Seven Views of Olduvai Gorge, as it continues the story after the fall of Man, when the race is supposedly extinct.  The story benefits from Resnick's 14 years of further experience as a writer as well--it is more polished and complete.  Both the book and the story are well worth reading, and get four stars from me.  Go read them.

An aside--I was active on a science fiction forum in the pre-Internet days of Compuserve, and we had some interesting discussions of Heinlein and politics.  The guy just can't get enough of writing.  It's been fun and interesting to read more of his work as time has gone by.

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