Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Worlds Meet

Earth as a Space Station

When corporate head Fabio Bianco directs his science teams on the space station Trikon to investigate a worldwide biological threat, he ignores the individual desires of his European associates. Instead he breaks down the barriers between the Japanese, American and Europeans by impressing some of the leaders with a renewed view of Earth. Dare we ask whether Ben Bova’s novel The Trikon Deception could meet the real world as the global discussions about nuclear proliferation continue?

Bova’s conflict enters around a murder mystery, hardly a comparison with nuclear disaster. Yet the crime arises from group and personal fears and greed that duplicates the way nations view the select nuclear club. Bova paints a scene where the interests of an Indian engineer and British politician vie for power over the European Community. The Indian owes a debt to the British fellow from a drug habit. The drives are basic human ones, but we could also view them as examples of how the poppy farmers in one nation are linked to interests in the Iranian faction that craves power with the bomb.

Bova’s Asian research team struggles for recognition with the global effort of the station, yet the single-mindedness could be similar to how a nation like North Korea tries to assert itself. The country is flexing its muscles, wanting recognition and ignoring desires of others. The Asian team emerges within a global community where most awards ignore the Asian skills. North Korea’s fear of being encircled by the West and Japan has recently been heightened by an abandonment of China and Russia. The actions by North Korea could resemble the attempt to horde the scientific breakthrough on Trikon.

Bova contrasts the realistic images of discord with an idealistic hope. Bova’s use of real personal drives makes us look into the goals held by nations and how various groups display a fear of lack of control. However, his vision seen through the eyes of Bianco take us to view the globe below the station as the corporate head encourages the teams to work together. Bianco’s declining health doesn’t stop his enthusiastic morale boost. If the station is saved because the teams start to think about themselves as station dwellers rather than ethnic group members, then maybe the leaders who vie for nuclear power could think about the global impact of the struggle on all the world’s members.

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