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Second Sight   By: (1928-1992)

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Second Sight by Alan Edward Nourse is a thought-provoking piece of science fiction. Set in a futuristic world where mental abilities are enhanced through genetic engineering, the story takes readers on a captivating journey into the psyche of its protagonist, Tom Ashe.

Nourse's writing style is gripping and immersive, drawing readers into the inner workings of Tom's mind. The author expertly explores the ethical dilemmas surrounding genetic manipulation and the consequences it may have on the human race. Nourse seamlessly weaves these philosophical questions into the narrative, leaving readers contemplating the boundaries of science and its impact on society.

One of the book's strengths lies in its well-developed characters. Tom Ashe is a complex and relatable protagonist, with his struggles and internal conflicts making him both flawed and authentic. As the story progresses, readers witness his growth and evolution, making his journey all the more compelling. The supporting characters also add depth to the narrative, each serving a purpose and contributing to the overall themes explored in the book.

The pacing of Second Sight is well-balanced, keeping readers engaged from start to finish. Nourse combines intense action sequences with moments of introspection, creating a narrative that is both thrilling and thought-provoking. The suspense and tension build gradually, culminating in a satisfying climax that ties up loose ends while leaving room for contemplation.

While the world-building in the novel is limited compared to other works in the genre, Nourse successfully creates a believable and plausible future society. His focus on the human experience and the moral implications of scientific advancements adds depth to the setting and encourages readers to evaluate their own perspectives on these issues.

One aspect that could have been further developed is the exploration of secondary characters. Although they serve important roles in the plot, their motivations and backgrounds are not fully explored, leaving some untapped potential for greater depth and emotional investment.

Overall, Second Sight is an intelligent and thoughtfully crafted novel that combines science fiction elements with profound philosophical questions. Alan Edward Nourse's writing style and nuanced characters make this book a compelling read for both fans of the genre and those interested in exploring the ethical implications of scientific progress.

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Transcriber's Note:

This etext was produced from "The Counterfeit Man; More Science Fiction Stories by Alan E. Nourse" published in 1963. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.


(Note: The following excerpts from Amy Ballantine's journal have never actually been written down at any time before. Her account of impressions and events has been kept in organized fashion in her mind for at least nine years (even she is not certain when she started), but it must be understood that certain inaccuracies in transcription could not possibly have been avoided in the excerpting attempted here. The Editor .)

Tuesday, 16 May. Lambertson got back from Boston about two this afternoon. He was tired; I don't think I've ever seen Lambertson so tired. It was more than just exhaustion, too. Maybe anger? Frustration? I couldn't be sure. It seemed more like defeat than anything else, and he went straight from the 'copter to his office without even stopping off at the lab at all.

It's good to have him back, though! Not that I haven't had a nice enough rest. With Lambertson gone, Dakin took over the reins for the week, but Dakin doesn't really count, poor man. It's such a temptation to twist him up and get him all confused that I didn't do any real work all week... Continue reading book >>

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