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Reviewed by Rich Follett for Readers' Favorite
Future Prometheus II by J.M. Erickson is a collection of three novellas which continue the story of a future earth called Nemericana. Nemericana is a fast-paced twenty-second century world at war, full of compelling and richly textured human and non-human characters. In exploring the various relationship dynamics between human and A. P. citizens as they try to establish dominance and tolerance at the same time, readers are invited to examine sexual, social, political, and psychological roles in contemporary society. The idea that history repeats itself is so deeply ingrained in our modern culture that it threatens to render inane any attempt at further examination; this remarkable series of novellas detailing Erickson’s dystopian vision steers clear of expected clichés with astounding dexterity.
Erickson’s narrative is delivered primarily in dialogue. The fluidity and grace of the meaningful conversations between key characters gives the entire series a marvelous cinematic feel that sweeps the reader up and carries the story along seamlessly. The result is complete immersion in a fascinating alternate reality without any of the strain of having to acquaint oneself with a plethora of specially coined words and complex scientific theories. No glossary is needed to enjoy this marvelous adventure; similarly, an advanced degree in quantum physics is not mandatory for entry. When Erickson introduces unfamiliar terms and new characters, he does so expertly, with appropriate (but never repetitive) context clues and prior event references which help the reader follow the story without losing the thrill.
Readers wishing to reap maximum enjoyment from Future Prometheus II should be prepared to relax perceived norms of sexual orientation, social conventions, class structure and response to conflict - Nemericana is at war and J.M. Erickson is not fond of euphemisms. Those who allow themselves to be absorbed into the thrilling dystopian vision will be richly rewarded: J.M. Erickson has created a vivid cautionary tale, from which all may gain insight and wisdom. This is marvelously crafted adventure reading at its finest.