Review #9 – Telempath

Telempath by Spider Robinson

After reading Night of Power by Spider Robinson as my 8th book of the Cannonball Read #4 challenge, I decided to foray into another of his Apocalyptic adventures written 2 years earlier in 1983.  Telempath is a story of vengeance, empathy and the search for humanity that so often appears in Spider’s stories.  We humans have an odd habit of judging our books and other people by their covers instead of their contents.

Imagine what might happen to the human race if a biological weapon suddenly enhanced our human sense of smell to approximately a hundred times more efficient that that of a wolf… the stench of pollution and city life would drive most of the world mad in a matter of days and the survivors would flee as far away from urban centers as possible.  Now imagine that this newfound sense of smell also  identified a new enemy inhabitant on the planet Earth that had, until then, always been dismissed as a ghosts, aliens or other paranormal phenomenon.  Intrigued yet?

This story was well-written and captivating, but the fragmented narrative between the main character and journal entries or transcripts, made the story far less engaging than Night of Power.  The way Spider Robinson wrestles with the basic issues of defining humanity and searching for enlightenment are thought-provoking, but having read these two books back to back, I can’t help but find Night of Power the stronger of these two apocalyptic glimpses into our future.

Paperback format, 313 pages, published  in 1983 by TOR Books

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