Alan Dean Foster

BOOK REVIEW | Sagramanda: A Novel of Near-Future India by Alan Dean Foster Thumbnail

This is the second of two book/movie reviews I had published in the Fall 2007 issue of Prometheus, the quarterly newsletter of the Libertarian Futurist Society.

Sagramanda: A Novel of Near-Future India
By Alan Dean Foster
Hardcover, 287 pages
Pyr/Prometheus Books, 2006, $25.00

Alan Dean Foster’s Sagramanda is a far better novel than his Transformers [see my review]. While not especially libertarian, it is also far more so than his Transformers. Sagramanda is a science fiction techno-thriller set in the near-future Indian city of the novel’s title. In this, Foster’s novel follows in the footsteps of Ian MacDonald’s River of Gods and MacDonald indeed has a blurb on the back cover in praise of Foster’s novel and remarking on “the growing swell of writers realizing we may be living in the Indian Century.” As far as I can tell Foster does a good job of capturing the spirit and atmosphere of India. (My wife is Indian but she was unable to read the novel before the deadline for this issue.)

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BOOK AND MOVIE REVIEW | Transformers Thumbnail

This is one of two book/movie reviews I had published in Fall 2007 issue of Prometheus, the quarterly newsletter of the Libertarian Futurist Society. See also my chapter in Transformers and Philosophy: “Freedom Is the Right of All Sentient Beings” (pdf).

DreamWorks SKG, 2007
Directed by Michael Bay
Screenplay by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman
Starring Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Anthony Anderson, Jon Voight, Rachael Taylor, John Turturro

Transformers: The Novel
By Alan Dean Foster
Paperback, 304 pages
Ballantine/Del Rey, 2007, $7.99

This summer saw a blockbuster movie remake of a classic animated television series and movie. Transformers retells the story of the millennia-long conflict between the Autobots and the Decepticons – both factions within a race of sentient alien machine-life forms – but this time the story is told in live action and primarily from the human perspective. Die hard fans of the original television series and movie may not like some of the changes made to the characters and storyline, but the movie succeeds on its own merits. The novel by Alan Dean Foster, based on the screen play, however, is not so good.

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