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  • Interesting Idea

    Culture Clash and First Contact are important subjects in science fiction and Andrew Elgin’s novel, Songs of Harmony, has them both. The book starts out by detailing the colonization of two planets in the same solar system. On one, the colonists dig in to recreate the technological world they have left. On the other, they decide to try and live in harmony with nature. As the two planets lose contact and develop on their divergent courses, the book appears to be on a path of war—the ultimately clashing of two cultures—but the author cleverly diverts onto a path of discovery and first contact as a man without memory slowly comes to know what Harmony is really all about. There are some very clever moments in this book—especially the final solution to the problem of the coming invasion—but the plot was very slow moving—fitting for the casual, not technological, life on Harmony but at times frustrating to the reader. If you enjoy novels about First Contact, Elgin’s unique spin will make you happy you gave this a try.

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