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Reviewed by Mike Dixon for Readers' Favorite
The gospels speak of a Jubilee year in which the Children of Israel released slaves, cancelled debts, and redistributed wealth. It was a great leveling operation and the cosmos did something similar. Every so often, a mass extinction wiped out a bunch of creatures and replaced them with others. The last extinction was bad news for the dinosaurs. The next is just around the corner according to Gerard O’Neill in his latest sci-fi thriller, Jubilee Year. The novel is set in the small Australian town of Coonabarabran, which is home to one of the world’s leading astronomical observatories. The scene is idyllic but all is not well in the small community. Astronomers are meeting violent deaths at leading observatories and governments are placing them under strict controls. Strange objects have appeared in the sky and their presence is being kept secret. Friends of the scientists realize that something is seriously wrong and prepare for worst.
Gerard O’Neill gives us a taste of the perils that lurk in outer space. A comet wiped out the dinosaurs. It came as if from nowhere and there was nothing the huge creatures could do about it. The same is not true of us. Our scientists monitor the solar system and know when danger threatens. Unfortunately, there are governments that crave weapons of mass destruction. Jubilee Year takes a look at what might happen if powerful people attempt to harness a threat from outer space and use it for their own ends. As always, ordinary folk get caught up in the quest for power. I liked Jubilee Year. The underlying philosophy is great, the science is okay and the writing style is often brilliant.