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Reviews by Contributor: Hogan, James P. (1)

Cradle of Saturn by James P. Hogan

Cradle of Saturn  (Cradle of Saturn, volume 1)

By James P. Hogan  

20 Jun, 2000

Ghastly Beyond Belief


Cradle of Saturn

James P. Hogan

Baen Books [1999]

421 pages

I’m a die-hard hard SF fan. HSF has never been an especially large genre and to read any amount of it, I have had to develop a certain ability to forge my way through seemingly endless crap to get my HSF fix, which is why I was able to finish James Hogan’s Cradle of Saturn. Hogan’s grasp on certain aspects of physics has never been the firmest [The orbital mechanics in his first novel, Inherit the Stars are dodgy at best] but he used to turn out readable pulp, something one could happily read sitting in the back of an old van, listening to Ian and Sylvia 8‑tracks.

It’s not uncommon for older writers to get fixated on one issue at the cost of their fiction or to suffer a general decline in their ability to write, perhaps due to age, illness or even burnout. Mr. Hogan has apparently fallen victim to both: he has become an ardent Velikovskyite and his prose has declined as well. This means that not only is the book filled with crack-pottery, it is filled with badly written crackpottery.

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