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by Cat Sparks, Talos Press 2017
a review by Kyla Lee Ward

cover art Lotus Blue Cat Sparks

Dear legislators, bioengineers, and the team who built that robot leopard;

Please, please don't make the mistakes your counterparts did in Lotus Blue. Although a solid read, evoking wonder and excitement, it presents an appalling future where all our ingenuity has run amok in the name of war.

In Lotus Blue, most of the world has been reduced to toxic ruin, inhabited only by such plants and animals as were genetically modified for use as guards, and semi-sentient tankers, preying upon each other for spare parts. Few still comprehend what brought humanity to this pass—all has become myth, dictating the ritual use of unreliable technological relics. Such as Quarrel.

I'm certain that creating cyborg soldiers with superhuman strength and endurance may seem a wonderful idea. But consider them lingering on, centuries after the conflict they were designed for. Quarrel makes for a brilliant character, as prickly as he is driven, but the pathos of his situation is well-nigh unbearable. Above all else, never, ever create an "Old Blue"--a Lotus General.

If left to themselves, the remnants of humanity may indeed adapt to this situation. They may become warlords, carving out their petty fiefdoms along the Great Sand Road or they may become traders, driving caravans along its length. Healers and shamans may come to fill the needs formerly addressed by doctors and priests. But "Old Blue" filled a different kind of need, and leaving humanity to itself is not part of the plan...

To read the full review, please go here.


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