The Orion Property [Nublis Chronicles 7] [MultiFormat]
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eBook by Kate Saundby
eBook Category: Science Fiction
eBook Description: Under Andromedan law, Orion Veniston is ruled a biotechnical clone rather than a human being. Then he is seized to satisfy a tax claim and sold to the highest bidder. When Orion discovers that his new owner is a medical research scientist dying of an incurable brain disease, the term "spare parts" takes on an entirely new meaning. Completed just three weeks before the announcement of the cloning of Dolly the sheep, this novel raises disturbing questions about biomedical ethics and human tissue experimentation, and it asks "Does the end ever justify the means?" and "How far is too far?"
eBook Publisher: Double Dragon Publishing, Published: 2001
Fictionwise Release Date: April 2002
This eBook is part of the following series:
35 Reader Ratings:
"Was it coincidence? Or karma? I'd just finished reading a book by David Suzuki. This famous geneticist and media figure has written a book of warning, and yet of hope, focusing on the ways humanity is currently destroying itself. Two of the chapters in this wide-ranging work assessed the likely impacts of genetic engineering, which after all is Suzuki's specialty. His conclusion: it is as dangerous as all-out nuclear war.
"And then I received a science fiction book for review: Kate Saundby's 'The Orion Property'. This is the seventh volume of her 'Nublis Chronicles'.
Orion, the hero of this story, is a genetically engineered creation. He is a cloned and mechanically improved version of a scientist who had sought immortality.
"Suzuki shows that meddling with the genes of plants and animals is fraught with deadly danger. Saundby explores dangers of a different kind. Her story is centered on the social and personal consequences of attempts to improve humanity by these means, the dangers facing us if genetic engineering should prove to be as successful as its proponents hope.
"Not that 'The Orion Property' is heavy reading, far from it. It is thankfully free of preaching and long tracts of pseudo-scientific mumbo-jumbo. Instead, it is a lighthearted romp through a world which is an intriguing mix of medieval social organization, 19th Century customs, futuristic science and magic.
"We follow the attractive and lovable hero through misfortune and escape, and in the process, learn of some of the bad things about having been created instead of born. We learn about the effects of greed, that universal poison, and how it inevitably transforms what should be a boon into a terrible problem.
"This was the first book in the 'Nublis Chronicles' that I have read. No doubt fans of the series will be familiar with several of the characters, but I found my introduction into the middle of a sequence of books to be painless. Occasionally the author was forced to insert a paragraph or two that was obviously the summary of a previous book, and this interfered with my immersion in the story, but apart from this, the writing is excellent. Orion and several other characters will be loved by all, the villains are delightfully mean and ruthless. This is an enjoyable tale. And if it is the sugar coating around a serious message, well, all the better. No-one has yet been damaged from being confronted by questions of ethics, only from failing to think about them."
Following the Professor's stooped figure through the door of the laboratory, Claudius Veniston called over his shoulder, "Well, son. Are you coming?"
Before leaving, the young man re-tucked a sheet that was slipping, reviewed his sleeping charges, then sighed happily.
In a few short weeks, he would be welcoming his siblings into their new world. In the meantime, the Professor had promised him a celebration. "You're my crowning achievement," he'd said, "and tomorrow morning, you and I will make history."
Even though the young man was consumed with curiosity, the Professor refused to elaborate.
Despite that fact that he had ordered the cook to prepare a veritable feast in honor of the occasion, the young man's father seemed unusually morose and he wondered why. While the normally talkative Claudius remained uncharacteristically silent throughout dinner, the Professor made up for it in spades. Almost bubbling, he even went so far as to tell a couple of racy stories from his distant youth. This surprised the young man who had never thought of the Professor as anything other than old and even his father raised an eyebrow.
When the servant came in to clear away the dessert plates, he rose from the table. The Professor had told him to make it an early night and he sensed the two wanted to talk alone. Turning in the doorway, he saw Claudius reach across the table to refill the Professor's glass. The Professor said something and for the first time that evening, his father laughed.
Heading up the stairs, the young man could hear the continuing rumble of voices from the dining room. As he was preparing for bed, the front door opened and closed.
Tomorrow, he thought drifting off to sleep, tomorrow morning we're going to make history.
The year was 4186, the place was the planet Andromeda and it was the last time the young man saw the Professor alive.
Copyright © 2003 by Kate Saundby