Stephen R. Donaldson:The Gap Into Vision: Forbidden Knowledge

The first book in the Gap series would have been almost perfect as a standalone. In fact, it was initially written as such. But having read the next book in the series, I can't regret that he decided to continue the story.

The Gap series focuses around three characters--Angus Thermopyle, a pirate; Nick Succorso, another pirate; and Morn Hyland, a member of the United Mining Company Police. Neither Angus nor Nick is a really sympathetic character, but Donaldson uses his talent for making you sympathize with the unlikeliest of people. Angus is scum, with few morals and fewer scruples, but he has a tenacity that you can't help but respect. He takes an unfortunate background role in this book after his starring role in the last one.

Much of the book is about Morn Hyland's self-corruption and deception of Nick Succorso. She plays the game about as far as she can before Nick finds her out, and even then is ultimately victorious. Nick is nowhere near as sympathetic as even Angus(despite his much better public reputation), and by the end of the book you will likely end up hating him as much as Morn does.

In the middle of this are some highly interesting science-fictional ideas. Datacores(a form of write-once memory used to record everything shipboard for UMCP perusal)were explored in the first book, but are more precisely explained here...the zone implant(a device implanted into the brain which allows control of much behaviour)is also more fully explored, especially since Morn, implanted in the last book, has her own control for much of this book...

You also get to explore Forbidden Space, and the alien race of the Amnion, whose idea of communication is to use mutagenic viruses to make you into their image. And the tension rarely lets up for more than a few pages, as Morn plays a dangerous game for her survival...

%A Donaldson, Stephen R.
%T The Gap Into Vision: Forbidden Knowledge
%I Bantam Spectra
%C New York
%D July 1991
%G ISBN 0-553-29760-0
%P 455 pp.
%S Gap
%V Book 2
%O Paperback, US$5.99, Can$6.99

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The Den of Ubiquity / Aaron V. Humphrey / alfvaen@gmail.com