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Shadrach in the Furnace de Robert Silverberg
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Shadrach in the Furnace (1976 original; edició 1976)

de Robert Silverberg (Autor)

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348255,795 (3.35)3
The stunning novel of a man surrounded by machines that flash instantaneous pictures of everything happening...a man surfeited with drugs that allow him to be eyewitness to the living past and pleasured by sensual women who vie for his favours...a man named Shadrach who finds little rest in his miracle-infested world. A supershocker about what happens when telemetric sensors no longer suffice, when the great Khan, ruler of the Earth, needs more...when he needs to survive through the body of a virile, healthy very special man - through Shadrach Mordecai… (més)
Membre:mflatebo
Títol:Shadrach in the Furnace
Autors:Robert Silverberg (Autor)
Informació:Bobbs-Merrill (1976), 245 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca, Science Fiction
Valoració:
Etiquetes:Box 20

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Shadrach in the Furnace de Robert Silverberg (1976)

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ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

It??s the summer of 2012 and the Earth is a disaster. A deadly virus has killed most of the world population and those who remain will eventually succumb to its organ-rotting effects if they are not given an antidote before they start to show symptoms. All of the national governments have collapsed and the world is now ruled by the opportunistic dictator Genghis II Mao IV Khan with the help of the bureaucrats who do his bidding. All of them have been inoculated against the virus and, according to the Khan, they are working on increasing their supply of the antidote so it can be distributed to the people. Meanwhile, the Khan spends his day in his room, observing the dying people with the surveillance equipment that watches every part his domain.

One of the Khanƒ??s most important advisors is his doctor, Mordecai Shadrach, a tall attractive black man whose implanted sensors constantly alert him of the Khanƒ??s physical and emotional status. He loyally attends the Khan daily and regularly performs organ transplants and other surgeries that keep the elderly leader alive. All of this has worked fine so far, but what will happen when the Khanƒ??s brain starts to deteriorate? There are signs of it already.

To prepare, the Khan has teams of scientists working on different projects that he hopes will ensure his survival. When Shadrach learns that one of these plans involves transferring the Khanƒ??s consciousness into Shadrachƒ??s body, he has a big decision to make. If he stays, heƒ??ll lose himself. If he flees, heƒ??ll be caught, tried as a traitor, and sent to one of the Khanƒ??s organ farms. He is being watched very closely...

Iƒ??m always fascinated by Robert Silverbergƒ??s novels, but I canƒ??t say that I always like them. I did, however, thoroughly enjoy Shadrach in the Furnace. The dystopic ƒ??Big Brotherƒ? setting is intriguing, the plot is exciting and tense, there are numerous ethical issues to consider, and Shadrach is a likeable protagonist. Silverberg uses the story to discuss the history and possible future of the field of medicine. Especially interesting are the ideas about how we might preserve someoneƒ??s consciousness after the body deteriorates ƒ?? a common theme in modern SF, but not so common in 1976 when this was written.

Silverberg takes the usual time-outs for sex scenes and extended drug trances, but these fit into the plot successfully (not always the case in Silverbergƒ??s stories). For example, the hallucinogenic trips allow us to visit major historical and fictional world events and to see them from the perspective of people who lived in that time.

Similarly, Shadrachƒ??s vacation (when heƒ??s trying to discover whether he can flee) takes us to Jerusalem, Istanbul, and Rome where we see the evidences of a past glorious civilization alongside the new devastated ƒ?? but still hopeful ƒ?? life that people are now leading. Silverberg also uses this time to remind us of the slavery that the Jews and Blacks endured in Egypt and America and the pain that Jesus Christ suffered along the Via Dolorosa on his way to the cross.

There are other Biblical allusions. (There often are in Silverbergƒ??s novels.) The title Shadrach in the Furnace refers, of course, to the Biblical story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who were put into the furnace by King Nebuchadnezzar because they refused to worship him. When they didnƒ??t burn up, Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged the power of the Hebrew God. Will Shadrach burn up when he refuses to bow to the Khan? Or will he walk the Via Dolorosa and become the savior of the world?

Shadrach in the Furnace was nominated for the Hugo and Nebula Awards. I listened to Audible Frontiersƒ?? production which was narrated by Paul Boehmer who always gives a great performance. He never overacts or uses annoying accents and his enunciation is crystal clear. This was an excellent story for audio. ( )
1 vota Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
This story was written in the mid 1970s and set in May 2012 of a possible future 30 years from then. It pictures a world ruled by an autocrat who has taken advantage of its weakened state following a devastating virus war that has left all mankind susceptible to the organ rot. Shadrach is his personal physician, but like his biblical namesake, he finds himself in a difficult situation facing almost certain death with no apparent way out. That he finds a way out and manages to maintain his Hippocratic oath is remarkable. This is a good story without achieving great heights. There is drama and there is suspense, but not enough of either to make it a great novel. ( )
  Bruce_McNair | Mar 30, 2013 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Robert Silverbergautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Barbesti, SilvanoIntroduccióautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
González Anïa, C. tr.Traductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
JaelAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Louit, RobertTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Tedesco, GiulianoTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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The stunning novel of a man surrounded by machines that flash instantaneous pictures of everything happening...a man surfeited with drugs that allow him to be eyewitness to the living past and pleasured by sensual women who vie for his favours...a man named Shadrach who finds little rest in his miracle-infested world. A supershocker about what happens when telemetric sensors no longer suffice, when the great Khan, ruler of the Earth, needs more...when he needs to survive through the body of a virile, healthy very special man - through Shadrach Mordecai

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