Book Reviews: Sentenced to Prism, by Alan Dean Foster

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Sentenced to Prism is a science fiction novel written by Alan Dean Foster, one of the most renowned fantasy writers of modern times. The novel is set on the Humanx Commonwealth, a futuristic society where both humans and aliens live together in harmony.

Sentenced to Prism gives an overview of what the future holds, possible interplanetary cooperation and political collaborations. Foster has done a good job in stemming each and every detail of the fictitious Humanx Commonwealth, from the physical environment to the socio-political and economical stature of the Commonwealth.

The plot of the novel revolves around Evan Orgell, an employee of a seemingly devious company that explores and exploits the resources of a particular planet called prism – an idea quite similar to the successful 2009 movie Avatar.

In the planet prism, they were to explore. Orgell and company discovered new life forms and native aliens. The details and specifications were absolutely a gem. It was just Foster’s masterful imagination coming into the picture. The carbon-based and silicon-based life forms and beautiful and insightful descriptions of the alien life and landscape.

Orgell was trapped in a hopeless state. His suit – a hi-tech gadget that has so many futuristic functions succumbed to the local elements present in the new found world. Orgell finds himself in a mad scramble to save his life.

Honestly, the story isn’t the type that would get literary critics overly excited. However, plot-wise it dished out a decent storyline. What’s amazing with this novel is the description Foster had given to each life form, to their way of living and to the alien environment. Foster paints a clear picture of the world he created.

From the exoskeletons and space flights to solar-powered life and life forms of great and genuine intelligence. Foster played with his creativity and thus, crafted this great science fiction novel.

It was not as great as the other science fiction we’ve known to love and it completely fails in comparison with the likes of Star Trek or Star Wars but it still worth the read.

It’s simply easy to be addicted to the book. Somehow, it serves as a picture-coloring book which gives specific details on the planet prism and its inhabitants. It’s like going back to kindergarten and learning each and every kind of domesticated animals (well, all we really need to know, we learned in kindergarten says Fulghum.)

It’s a refreshing read more than anything else. It’s addicting and indulging. It is such a fascinating work from a fascinating writer.


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