Jul 4, 2009

God of Tarot by Piers Anthony

Well, this is a weird one. It's clear that Piers Anthony was in an experimental stage when he wrote this trilogy. The first book is only nominally and superficially science fiction; it's really more a book of philosophy and religion. With, of course, the obligatory, graphic sex scene that no sci fi book seems to be able to do without, but which cheapens considerably the weight of what Anthony is trying to convey.

Set in a not-too-distant future where a form of teleportation (here called mattermission) has sucked most of the energy and technology from Earth's civilization, Brother Paul of the Holy Order of Vision is set on a mission to Planet Tarot. There, he must assess a curious phenomenon: the physical manifestation of thoughts, particularly of a religious nature, and which God of the many cults and religions represented on Tarot is responsible for these visions.

The interesting parts are when Paul must toe the line in this ideologically divided society. The actual visions...these start to get ridiculous toward the end of the book. And while it's clear that Anthony is definitely going for some deep thoughts of a philosophical nature, it gets over the top the deeper we go into them. This is, in the end, not a series I am interested in continuing.

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