I do not see myself a hard core science fiction buff and when choosing this particular literature genre I bet by and large on established authors and renowned novels. I made up my mind to get out of the usual reading patterns and try the first appearance of a science fiction novel penned by an author I knew nothing about, a native born young man who settled in the Western Europe, a novel that appeared at a small publishing house. But I found there a hard issues riddled and daring story within a narrative frame fuelling up the suspense and the mysterious traits of the plot.
The story of Sorin Banu covers an interval of 500 years, and sets forth a universe not easy to asses, as the historic events reveal themselves to the reader: do we deal here with a utopia or dystopia?
[...] the raising of a population in its own right, some kind of cyborgs: the Tentorians-a race that practically blended with technology, succeeding in overcoming its initial status as people devised implements meant to establish world peace, developing an autonomous society where technology was clearly disjointed from ethics.
Isolated by the human community seeing them as a threat, the Tentorians succeed in laying the foundation of their own state, defeated after a global conflagration. But the peace loving Tentorian leaders lose their authority and the leadership is taken by a team seeking revenge and do away with the human community having given up using advanced technologies inside some kind of space and time isolated bubble, a reality preserving unaltered the human abilities and potential. The Tentorians are exceedingly powerful even if not too many: they employ integrated implements; their physical forces are boosted by circuits connected right to the nervous system. But they overcame the best technologies protecting the island (which the population, save a few leading elites, has no knowledge of), while some of the Tentorians look like not sharing that cold, cynical and destructive view.
The novel of Sorin Banu is in fact the story of a confrontation between Tentorians and humans, facing each other in an unequal battle where Cole and Claire (a Tentorian woman having rejected fighting for her own race) play an important role in their attempt to stand against the invasion. Around this narrative there is woven the last 50 years history of Earth - the story of the Tentorians and the shields protected Island - and the reader is often invited to mull over consequential questions. Bringing together lots of science fiction themes (the apparent reality, biological-electronic fusion, mind control, nanotechnology, time travel etc.), Sorin Banu achieves much for a debutant: a puzzle type solid science fiction novel riddled with intellectual challenges orbiting around the question: what a better world means? A world where the people are controlled and prevented to improve their potential for being unable to use it purposefully, and only in a self destructing manner, or a world where freedom and truth are brought to light but to project mankind into an unavoidable leap to a level of evolution in which all the experiments as we know them would end up deeply distorted and generating existences alien to our human intimate background?
Among many philosophical and technology ethics issues spread around questions over the innate contradictory nature of the humans, the narrative of Sorin Banu proposes a large potential universe that could be narratively exploited in later imaginary constructs.