Man versus machine or man and machine?

LifemakerLifemaker by Dean F. Wilson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Darkness is everywhere- and the human species is on the verge of extinction.
The human civilization has long stopped the wheels of progress- the entire world is foggy now- a natural civilization has been replaced by an artificial one, literally.
A new rule of darkness, a new rule of tyranny has prevailed over the human society. Where women are no more giving birth to natural human children- but instead giving birth to custodians of this tyrannical rule- sadly enough who are not from the species Homo sapiens!
Only a few members of the species- still the leftovers- are resisting the rule of Iron. But their voice is too feeble to be heard amid the clattering of wheels in the factories of the Iron world- producing drugs for the demon rulers. Ironical enough, the drug hope is essential to the survival of the new species- crushing the hope of rebirth of a new human order.
It is the story of the future- the future where human values are valueless, human lives are uncertain and human dignity holds no meaning. It is the story of the future when man redefines the meaning of struggle for existence.
Under this backdrop of grief and despair- starts the story of the ‘Lifemaker’- book two of the trilogy series ‘The great Iron War’ by Dean F. Wilson.
Let us recollect some memories of the past events. The remaining human population-known as ‘pure’ was on a desperate bid to throw off the Iron regime of the land of Altadas- locked horns with the cruel regime in a bloody battle-or more precisely in a series of battles. When the plan of the coupe failed-the members of the resistance under the able guidance of General Rommond were forced to flee the land in a specially designed advanced submarine called the ‘ Lifemaker’. The submarine is life maker in the literary sense-it contains women from the land who are still capable of giving birth to human species.Also on board is Jacob- a man who have long forgotten to dream, who was a man whom the world may call outlaw- but somehow who is in a thread in this fight of survival of the humanity. Taberah is there –the lady leader in this crusade against the tyranny.
I do not know why-but while reading the narration- a picture of Noah’s ark was floating before my eyes. The same mission within the mind of the old man-as our fighters of the resistance- only the society has been more complex with flowing time!
“If there had been anyone left in Dustdelving to witness the Lifemaker’s descent, they would have seen the water swiftly displacing, until the massive silver hull, a thousand feet in length, was nowhere to be seen. There was no one there to watch, however, though in time Rommand was certain that there would be, and his old headquarters would be reduced to flames.”
It was destruction all around and vibrations of life amid destruction- can be heard!
“We have thirty four pure on board’ he said, ‘and they are as precious a cargo to us as anything else we have. I apologise, of course, for speaking of them as a commodity, but the reality is that they are more valuable than anything else we have-even our own lives.”
The journey of the submarine under the sea has made me remember the adventure of captain Nemo. Leaving aside the distinct features of two books- the description of the world under the water is enough to make you imagine sharks are circling round your sheep- unknown monoesters are popping out of the dark, ready to tear you apart…. it is the call of the unknown that stormed the blood of those who are on board-on a quest to uncertain future or in a stricter sense to a more definite future, perhaps.
“On the sixth day of their journey, the Lifemaker entered an area of the sea where a large sunken city sprawled before and around them.
‘Attention all crew and guests of this vessel’. Rommond announced over the intercom’ we are passing through the old world now, the old time. Take a moment please, to remember it, to acknowledge it, to honour it, and to see it in your minds an example of the very thing we are striving for.’
Lovely narration-poetic language makes the reader forget the boundary line between imagination and reality- speculation and real science. At a point past, present and future overlaps- where the commander remembers the days of his fight back- the moment when he left behind his comrade who was instrumental in the resistance against the cruel regime. Jacob remembers the days of his not so glorious past and the tough days of his struggle before the Iron king took over. Spidery web of thought compels him to think-were the human rule was good at all?
The journey of the submarine indeed turned out to be a stormy one- where something just goes wrong and suddenly the future of the human kind seems bleak. is it a mechanical fault or a sabotage? Dean makes us float in doldrums- standing in a dilemma where all the king’s men are not loyal and not all the king’s enemies are foes. Like the characters of the story who are in the periphery of light and darkens- readers are kept at guessing throughout the whole story. All Invaders are not demons and all humans are not angels- our protagonist has the realization!
But still a mission is a mission and it is to be accomplished at nay cost. Will they be able to reach the goal? Or the cruel rule will make them obliviate from the minds of the generation to come?
The first two books of The Great Iron War stress the importance of the machine. Tanks or submarines- whichever it may be! But at some points of the story these lifeless machines get synonymous with the emotions, joy, hope, despair of the human soul. At these points the machines no longer remain lifeless metals-but an integral part of human endeavour against all odds.
Human endeavour that has the potential to walk towards a new dawn – amid all odds!

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