Thumbs up for In the Garden of Iden by Kage Baker. Science fiction.
The premise here is very clever – in our future, “Dr. Zeus, Incorporated” has figured out both A) immortality and B) time travel; the main character, Mendoza, was born in Spain in the age of the Inquisition, but was drafted by one of Dr. Zeus’s agents to join them in their efforts to preserve extinct species for the future. (I’m not doing this justice.) Trained as a botanist, she relates the story of her first field assignment and how it goes horribly horribly wrong. Learn some history, giggle, turn pages quickly. It’s good. Think Jasper Fforde’s wonderful Thursday Next series with history instead of literature, and a lot less silliness. But have the sequel, The Sky Coyote, handy, because it’s clear that In the Garden of Iden is but the first episode in a long and checkered life.
So why don’t we rise in rebellion, as in a nice testosterone-loaded science fiction novel, laser pistols blazing away in both fists? Because in the long run (and we have no other way of looking at anything) we don’t matter. Nothing matters except our work.
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