You get old stuff while I’m working on new stuff.
Raw Feed (1991): Lunar Justice, Charles L. Harness, 1991.
Like most of his novels, the novel’s elements are simple. There is a romance between Quentin Thomas and Nadys, a scientific principle or wonder that will save the day — here a double whammy of psychically turning Jupiter into a sun and bringing the Lunarplex Dome down via seismic resonances, psi powers, and a corrupt legal system. Harness weaves them together in a mixture that is uniquely Harness.
His romances between men and women are well done. The three Harness novels I’ve read — Lunar Justice, Lurid Dreams, and The Paradox Men — all have plots that involve lovers against a despotic regime. (In The Paradox Men, it was a tyrannical America, in Lurid Dreams a sleazy bunch of university professors and administrators; here the struggle is against a blatantly, amusingly, appallingly corrupt lunar justice system.
Harness doesn’t give us one of those contrived mid-book romances. He starts his characters out in love. His characters interestingly digress to talk about history, art, music and his characters. This leads to sparkling examples of characterization and is a good example of naturalistic stream-of-consciousness toned down to comprehensibility.
Hero Quentin Thomas’ has psi-powers and superhuman powers, is the forerunner of a new human sub-species. Like many of Harness’ plots, the suspense derives not in what is going to be done as much as getting it done in time. Here the question is if Thomas can get Michael Dore acquitted before Martin Rile and his Peace Eternal Corporation can execute him. Thomas’ plan is laid out about half way through the book. The rest is timing. Dore’s cryptic statements — inspired by his prescient psi-power — introduces Harness’ usual element of prophecy.
I liked this novel, found it’s lunar justice setting blackly humorous, Quentin Thomas a compelling (and somehow gloomy character despite his passion for Nadys) character, and the plot exciting.