“A Wonderful SF Read.”
Review by Byron Merritt
Merritt Not having read any of this author’s previously hailed works (Hyperthought and Neurolink), I approached this science fiction work as a Buckner virgin. Being a bit of an SF buff myself (writing some and being the grandson of Frank Herbert, author of Dune), I always approach authors new to this genre with a grain of salt
poised on my tongue. But here, I need not have worried.
Buckner layers War Surf with so many ethical, moral and religious undertones that I dare say any reader will find enjoyment on some level within these pages. There’s an underlying current dealing with mortality and the need for the rejuvenation of youth. There’s advanced biological technology that may or may not be helpful. There’s the recycling of humans in great nutrient vats. And, toward the end, there’s the obvious “eat and drink of me and you will live forever” religious parallels to Catholicism. This might sound a bit heavy-handed, but it’s not. Buckner has complete control over the story and never preaches to the reader. War Surf unfolds in a first person narrative through the eyes of Nasir, and it is through him that we learn the ways of this time and this Earth. Not once did I feel that the author was forcing information onto me (something that’s quite refreshing).
My only beef with the novel would be that Buckner occasionally utilized 20th century terms that took me out of the 23rd century and flung me back into my own time (i.e., jet skis, Chilli Diablo, etc.), but this was seldom.
If you’re looking for a wonderful SF read that doesn’t get bogged down in details and has great characters and a believable futuristic premise, you couldn’t go wrong here.