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The Anguished Dawn cover The Anguished Dawn by James P. Hogan

Cover art by David Mattingly

Published by Baen Books

Reviewed by Leigh Kimmel

In this sequel to Cradle of Saturn, years have passed since humanity got rudely awakened to the inadequacy of their theories by the appearance of the rogue planet Athena. The refugees who escaped to Kronos, the idealistic community among Saturn's moons, have spent the time struggling to survive in a changed Solar System full of asteroid bombardments. Yet adversity has strengthened them, and they have not only survived, but even thrived and expanded their knowledge.

Back on Earth, only broken remnants are left of the once-teeming masses of humanity. Civilization has been not only destroyed, but forgotten in the struggle to survive. The mind seems to draw a veil across memories that would only bring unbearable grief when they interfere with the necessities of staying alive in this savage new world.

But the Kronians have not forgotten their lost brothers and sisters who were left behind in those terrible days when Athena brought death and destruction. Equipped with strange and wonderful technologies, they establish a base upon a transformed Africa with the hope of contacting and teaching the survivors.

But memories of Earth cut both ways. Among the refugees are a number of irreconcilables who have never been happy with the Kronian social system, in which there is no money and people are valued according to their abilities and contributions to society. Playing upon the inherent weaknesses of any open society, these self-styled "Pragmatists" set about to take over the Earth expedition and rebuild the worst of the old world with the help of a tribe of savages.

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Review posted March 28, 2004

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