- File Size: 1375 KB
- Print Length: 303 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: AIA Publishing (June 15, 2015)
- Publication Date: June 15, 2015
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00ZSPMG8G
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #938,968 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Spiderworld Kindle Edition
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When we start the story the spiders have already travelled to Earth and brought humans back to their homeworld as slaves. Actually, a lot of times the humans end up in fates that are worse than slavery: most become livestock for food, some become feral and are hunted, some are gladiators, and some are used for more salacious purposes.
The primary human hero is an escaped slave named Jack. Jack becomes a sort of Spartacus figure—also, he’s kind of like John Carter of Mars, wandering around in Spiderword’s weird and dangerous wilderness. Usually when Jack appears, the story becomes a rollicking adventure, although sometimes the action turns very dark. Despite ‘SpiderWorld’s’ grim premise, there are usually flashes of hope from the maltreated humans and from the spider overlords. It’s fascinating to see how the hermaphroditic, 8-limbed, egg-laying spiders view our species. And the book is a thought-provoking rumination on free will, on human society, and on what it means to be human.
A science fiction book of 306 pages. Spiderworld is a huge canvas of a story set on a planet/planets at an extraordinary distance from Earth. The strange planet is ruled by a cruel society of intelligent enormous spiders. They enslave several species, including humans. An intriguing aspect of the story is that they treat their captures as we treat cattle and other animals as a source of meat; for entertainment, for hunting and indeed for other pleasures. This is food for reflection on what we ourselves do to other animals.
Inevitably there are escapees from confinements into deep forests. The worry is that these escapees might breed and become a concern. They must be hunted down. Jack Baker is one such escapee. He becomes the hero of the story. I will not divulge how the story ends. I will leave that to other readers.
If you are a science fiction reader this is the book for you. It is not just that it is a piece of imaginative writing, a horror story, and the possibility of strange life forms out there - but more importantly it discusses the thinking and the philosophy behind the conduct of these strange creatures. Five Stars.
Richard Bunning’s speculative science fiction Spiderworld explores a future where Hawking’s ominous prediction comes true in ways few could imagine and completely shatters the clichéd expectation of humanoid invaders.
In the prologue, narrated by time-lord Orlando Oversight, we learn that in addition to humans, there are two other highly intelligent, sentient species: the eight-legged Aranians, who resemble giant spiders, and the ten-legged, roly poly Cheetans. Both species are hermaphroditic, and the gender neutral terms ‘ze’ and ‘zis’ are used when referring to them. Waterball (Earth) has been invaded by Aranians, who transport captured yeng (humans) back to their home planet Ungoliantis. Those yeng not fortunate enough to become house slaves are doomed to a cruel subsistence as experimental test subjects, gladiators, hunted prey, or livestock.
Jack Baker is the escaped house slave stud who has evaded detection for several months in the jungle. A yeng posse ́ commissioned by Jack’s Aranian owner, Boklung, recaptures him along with his pet Pugwash, the boy Anton, and the woman Athalie. Boklung punishes Jack by sending him to the arena to become a gladiator, where he becomes the embodiment of Spartacus, adopting both the name and the dream of freedom of his idol.
As far as Aranians go, a yeng could do no better than Boklung for a master: ze is a believer in the rights of all species and trusts that a formless God includes all sentient beings among zis flock. However, the yeng reader must compartmentalize Boklung’s repugnant attributes, such as zis love of hunting yeng, zis interest in Mengelesque yeng breeding experiments, and zis serving of yeng casserole to esteemed guests. In spite of this, Boklung is a unique visionary in that ze can see the big picture and is the driving force behind the Arcraft project, a deep space one-way colonization journey that will take over a century to complete and depends on hundreds of yeng crew along with robots. Aranians and Cheetans are ill-suited to such a lengthy, dangerous, and (likely) suicidal mission, while yeng would jump at the chance to have a semblance of control over their own destinies. For the project to be a success, Boklung understands that ze needs yeng like Jack, who have shown a fierce streak of independence and ingenuity, as robots would be unable to respond to situations requiring complex logic to be applied.
Will Boklung be able to conceal zis true intensions for the Arcraft from the Council? Will the yeng chosen for the journey be more cunning than Boklung could imagine? Will Jack and Athalie have a future together? Spiderworld kept me in suspense over these questions.
Fans of the Dr. Who series will immediately recognize Orlando Oversight’s home world of Gallifrey, and perhaps Oversight and the Doctor have an untold past that will come to light in a future Bunning novel.
Spiderworld is not about laser battles and mutants going berserk, but rather is a speculative science fiction novel for the thinking man, designed to make the reader question the nature of alien life and human philosophy, and to reflect upon how we treat species that we have deemed inferior.