David V. Stewart takes us in a completely different direction with his second book Deep Time: Prophet of the Godseed. While his first Muramasa: Blooddrinker was a historical fantasy based in feudal Japan, Prophet of the Godseed tackles, what I can imagine, is a human race expanded not just beyond the stars but beyond the galaxy as well. With just enough technical Sci-Fi jargon to keep the most ardent Science Fiction reader interested while exploring the social constructions and life expectancy of a far flung human race restricted by the laws of time and relativity.
The flight of man into deep space follows the MacBeth Clan aboard the Icarus and their fleet of ships as they arrive at a planet they left just months before from their perspective, traveling at near light speed, while untold centuries have past on Terra Nostra’s surface. The MacBeth clan have become mythology among the people living on the planet: enter Padolmo, a man seeking to escape the religious-political conflict of the planet by attempting the Prophet’s trials. A heretic in his own right, Padolmo finds that the his plan to escape the conflict all together puts him face to face with his progenitors – the Gods of his people.
David V. Stewart writes an incredibly diverse cast who must find common ground to make the tenuous existence of extended space travel as well as planetary colonization a reality. Whether it’s Anders being overlooked for a promotion only to have it given to his twin sister Claribel (who happens to be more than twenty years older than him due to having spent part of her life on a ship that couldn’t travel as close to light speed as the Icarus), or MacBeth himself who travels from planet to planet as a businessman and familial patriarch only to be worshiped as a god upon his return. The cast of Prophet of the Godseed have recognizable connections in cosmic conflict that create provocative dialogue and an introspection into the social human experience.
The human experience is pushed to the limits of our imagination with Deep Time and I look forward to it being a long lived series with its epic scope painted across the cosmos. My essential question going forward is: how will humanity exist as a whole when their relationship to time is so different from space traveling clan to planet-side resident?
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