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Assault on the Gods

by Stephen Goldin

Assault on the Gods - Stephen Goldin
Part of the The Society Universe series:
Editions:ePub: $ 4.99Paperback: $ 11.99
ISBN: 978-1478352297
Pages: 242

Starship captain Ardeva Korrell is used to fighting prejudice, both because she's a woman in what's normally a man's line of work and because she's from a world with a misunderstood religion. But now, on a trading mission to a backwater planet, she finds herself with another kind of fight on her hands; she and her small crew must battle an army of robots and defeat the tyrannical, god-like beings who have enslaved the native population. The task before them is straightforward: to storm the gates of Heaven itself!

Reviews:Amazon Customer on wrote:

I ran across this book when I was ten or so. As usual, I was drawn by the cover--a kick-ass babe with a gun--and thought the story sounded interesting as well. It was not what I expected, but that was actually for the better.

Instead of a pulpy action tale, there was a thoughtful story about a female star ship captain named Dev with Zen-Buddhist like principles who has to deal with chauvinism and incompetence from most of her male crew. Normally, it wouldn't have been a big deal, but they happened to be stuck on a jerkwater planet where the locals lived in fear and awe of 'gods' that limit their development so much that they essentially existed in a permanent medieval state.

In a drunken fit, one of the crew curses out the gods, and an 'angel' reduces him to a smoking pile of ash. After being put under strict scrutiny by the 'gods', Dev, ever the rationalist, undertakes a mission to find out who these gods are, exactly. She and a crew of misfits break into the gods' mountain stronghold and seek answers to the mystery of who the gods really are, and how they can keep an entire planet enslaved.

Dev is a great character, and easy to root for. She's flawed in the sense of being too logical--sort of like a female Spock, in a way--but this only enhances her realism and appeal. The final confrontation between Dev and the gods fits the novel perfectly.

I reread this book when I was 30, and was happy to discover that I liked it even more. It's unfortunate that it isn't better known.

Amazon Customer on wrote:

Dev is a female spaceship captain stuck on a jerkwater planet where the natives live in mortal terror of their omniscient and omnipotent gods. One of her crew decides to curse out the gods in a drunken fit, and he gets vaporized by one of their 'angels'. Dev, always logical and sensible, has no belief in gods and assumes that some powerful entities are masquerading as gods in order to exploit the superstitious and backward locals. She discovers that these 'gods' are holed up in a nearby mountain complex and decides to pay them a visit.

A very entertaining and thought-provoking book with a definite feminist slant. Simple enough to be enjoyed by older kids, but sophisticated enough to be enjoyed by adults, as well. There is also enough action and suspense to keep the pages turning, and the climax where Dev finally meets the 'gods' is very satisfying. I've read this book multiple times at different ages and enjoyed it immensely each time.

Mike Vasich on wrote:

This book really deserves to be better known. It is thoughtful science fiction with an intelligent and interesting female lead character. A smart and thought provoking read that flows along like a pulp sci fi story (meant in a positive sense).

About the Author

STEPHEN GOLDIN is a Nebula Award finalist science fiction and fantasy writer who was born in 1947 in the city of Philadelphia. When he was 13, his parents moved to California and, upon reflection, he decided to accompany them. It was a lucky thing he did, too; otherwise, when he went to college, the commute to UCLA would have been quite difficult. He eventually graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor's degree in Astronomy.

His first job out of college was as a civilian space scientist for the U.S. Navy. The urge to write was strong, though, and after several years he left to try writing full time. He only regretted the move every other Thursday, when he would have gotten paid.

After several years of genteel poverty, he took a job as writer/editor for a pornographic humor paper, the San Francisco Ball. In retrospect, this was a great crucible; because of deadline pressure, he had to learn to make his writing dirty, funny, and one draft.

At about this time, too, he began selling novels on a regular basis. While he has, from time to time, held down other full-time employment (he helped design the Star Trek: The Next Generation computer game "A Final Unity" for Spectrum HoloByte and has also written manuals and game design documents for Maxis), his real love is fiction writing and he continues to pursue it.

His first wife was fellow author Kathleen Sky. In the 10+ years of their marriage, in addition to their individual works, they collaborated on a pair of stories ("Painting the Roses Red" and "The Devil Behind the Leaves") about the diMedicis, a family of interstellar swindlers.

Mr. Goldin's current wife is fellow author Mary Mason. They currently live in the San Francisco East Bay area. So far they have co-authored two books in the Rehumanization of Jade Darcy series: Jade Darcy and the Affair of Honor and Jade Darcy and the Zen Pirates. More books in this series are planned.

Mr. Goldin is an atheist whose interests include Broadway show albums and surrealist art. He has lived with cats virtually all his adult life.

Mr. Goldin served the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America as editor of the SFWA Bulletin and as SFWA's Western Regional Director.