Title: The Jesus Incident
Author: Frank Herbert and Bill Ransom
Page Count/Review Word Count: 406
This book is a rare example of a book that was absolutely nuts and yet which I didn’t have too much to say about it, in part because I’d have to go into the story line for a lot of it to make sense. And I don’t really want to do that because it’s pretty intricate and full of little details that I didn’t necessarily understand the significance of because I’m not religious.
But as you can probably tell from the title, this book reflects a lot of the Christianity myth except it’s set in space on a spaceship. There are a lot of related puns there, such as the fact that people WorShip it.
Unfortunately, I don’t give a damn about religion, and so I didn’t particularly appreciate all of that stuff as much as I might have done. On the plus side, I also didn’t hate it, which was always a risk with a book like this.
The bigger problem was that it was pretty typical old-school sci-fi, and I’ve just read so much of that lately that all of the books are starting to blend together. That made it tricky for me to focus on some of the details and to keep everything straight in my head, especially when it came to the interplay between the different tribes on board ship.
There was also a lot of fictitious history to go into, which was an added challenge on top of all of the biblical illusions. That meant that even though I enjoyed reading this, I also felt like I was missing a lot, and that I’d have to read it a half dozen times before everything settled into place.
Luckily, the plot and the characterisation were pretty good, so even though I missed bits here and there, I still enjoyed what I did absorb. It’s a feeling that I’ve come to associate with Herbert, because the same thing tends to happen in the Dune books. I also don’t feel as though it’s my fault as a reader, because I’m pretty sure that Herbert went out of his way to write like that.
Still, even with all that said, this isn’t Herbert’s best, and I’d recommend the Dune books and even stuff like the Saratoga Barrier ahead of this.