James P. Hogan has always been a very peculiar writer, constantly dogging boffo premises with botched characters and limp execution. In a sense, he’s the incarnation of everything that’s good and bad about hard Science-Fiction with his unique extrapolation of original ideas mixed with an appalling inability to write. Cradle of Saturn is a frustrating novel that’s highly representative of his body of work.

In a few words, Cradle of Saturn is yet another novel of implacable celestial catastrophe. The late nineties -driven by pre-millennial fever, the intellectual impact of the Schumacher-Levy comet on Jupiter or simply synchronicity- were filled of such stories on a variety of media: ARMAGEDDON, DEEP IMPACT, the TV miniseries “Asteroid”, Yvonne Navaro’s ludicrous Final Impact , etc… It wouldn’t be fair to criticize Hogan, however, for being unoriginal given the mood of the times. (He himself even bemoans his unfortunate timing on his web site)

For one thing, he’s far more innovative in his choice of celestial body: Rather than hand-wave a collision between two rocks in the asteroid belt, Hogan postulates as-yet unknown planetary mechanism to extract a planetoid out of Jupiter. (the moniker “Athena” is inevitable) Before anyone can say “Uh-oh, not again”, Athena is lined up in a game of planetary snooker to send Earth in the corner pocket.

Amazon.com: Customer reviews: Cradle of Saturn

Cradle of Saturn: James P. Hogan: 9780671578664: Amazon.

Posted by 2018 article