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Cool idea, but not enough for a full-length novel

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In The Veils of Azlaroc, Saberhagen presents an interesting idea with a flimsy plot wrapped around it as an excuse for writing about his idea. Azlaroc, located near an anomalous binary star system comprised of a pulsar and a black hole, can sustain life as long as man brings his own oxygen and water. Every year (conveniently about 365 days long) a veil falls -- an odd space/time/energy phenomenon created by Azlaroc's unique astronomical situation. When a veil falls, the veil traps all objects and people on the surface of Azlaroc.

The story had a lot of potential for a fun if Saberhagen had limited the action to a few interesting characters, but he introduces too many characters and too many ideas. In fact, he continues to introduce characters and ideas right up to the end, producing a fatal effect for a novel this short. In a longer novel, Saberhagen could have still presented Azlaroc's interesting phenomena, but put the environment in the background, rather than having the characters subservient to the development of a cool idea.

Read my complete review at interrogation reports.

Added by tjeffress
10 years ago on 16 July 2008 16:04

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