A Star Curiously Singing
Marcher Lord Press
A Star Curiously Singing is a novel by Kerry Nietz. The setting of the novel is a future earth in which Islam rules the world. Some of the people are chosen to serve as debuggers. Sandfly is such a person. He is known by a number DR 63. It is his task to fix his Master’s machinery. The debuggers are given the ability to think more broadly than the rest of the populace, but the price is that they have ‘stops’ that prevent them from putting certain thoughts into action. As well, the Masters have controllers that can cause pain through the debugger’s implant.
Sandfly is sent into orbit to work on a robot that malfunctioned while on an interstellar voyage. In order for such voyages to be declared safe he must find out why the robot malfunctioned. Putting the robot back together is the easy part. Learning why the robot dismantled itself in the first place is a challenge that isn’t made easier by the concern that the ship designers are keeping secrets.
I really like the near future dystopian feel of A Star Curiously Singing. The culture and ideas ring true. It didn’t take long for me to get caught up by the story and characters. Sandfly particularly is an interesting conundrum. He is a highly moral person though his morals don’t match the society around him. I also found it refreshing in a book set in a technological society that the action is driven by character, not technology. This is not a story in which a problem with one yet to be discovered gizmo is fixed by the introduction of a different gadget. The technology is central, but it is just one part of a satisfyingly complex world.
Like the rest of Marcher Lord Press’s list this book is Christian fiction. Rest assured that there is no preaching at the reader in this book. The moral and spiritual challenges are given without commentary and do no get in the way of the story. There is plenty to think about, but it is not explained. There is a great deal of mystery even at the end of the book. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
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