Science fiction and fantasy                                            

The One and the Golden Circle

by Don Allen Beene

In 2018, Blane MacBain is looking perky for an 80 year-old. He's a billionairre philanthropist who is well respected for some service he did for mankind. We cut back 16 years to find out what made him so special.

Something is eating Blane's friend, Bob, and he won't tell anyone what. It takes a fishing trip and a fair bit of patience before Bob decides to talk about the secret genetic research he has been involved in.

It seems that Bob, who won a "Nobel prize for science", has found a marker on the end of everyone's genes called a cenad, which allows people to relive past lives when injected. He tells Blane his theory, that "Aliens have invaded us!", implanting our DNA for their own purposes in the distant past. He needs a volunteer to help him prove this this, someone who will regress to the memory of the earliest ancestor to find out how we really began. This volunteer would be risking his life and sanity in an untested procedure. Blane is chosen for this task because he's an experienced astral traveller and Bob considers him to be emotionally stable. And not at all because he's expendable.

This is spiritual science fiction with an emphasis on various new-age philosophies and beliefs. The action tends to involve one person explaining things in depth, as another nods and says things like "Exactamundo!". There's very little dramatic tension, as we are told at the start Blane is still alive in 2018 and he's the only one who is really ever at risk. When he makes his regressions we get to see short snippets of his ancestors lives. For some reason we also see their deaths rather than their lives up to the time of the conception of the next heir, which the "cenad" marker somehow records even though cenads are passed on genetically. These regressions go on for several chapters, and very soon get tedious.

The character of Blane is very obviously modelled on the author, who is a similar age and also a retired maxillofacial surgeon, as well as a self-proclaimed astral traveller. Unfortuanately Blane seems to have a very passive personality - things keep falling into his lap, and he accepts what he hears without question.

Not to beat around the bush, this is the worst novel I've read in at least fifteen years. The author has no concept of conflict, creating an atmosphere or dramatic tension. Characters spend too long putting on slippers, eating and showering, and I don't want to read about someone's dinner unless it's been poisoned. There's simply too much ordinary life and discussion, peppered with infrequent episodes of the incredible, and even these episodes are hard to get excited about. Beene frequently insults the intelligence of his readers with obvious remarks, and it's riddled with factual errors. The author is on an ego trip in this thinly-disguised attempt to expound his beliefs which reconcile evolution, creationism, and a host of other philosophies. This is a science fiction novel that wanted to be a new-age pamphlet at about one tenth of its original length.

It's thanks to the joys of publish-on-demand that this book is freely available for sale, in spite of its significant shortcomings. The One and the Golden Circle is one book best ignored.

Book Details

Year: 2003

Categories: Books

  Science fiction

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0 star rating

Review © Ros Jackson