Friday, March 18, 2011

Lost Continent - Greg Egan

Novelette

Number of words : 10800
Percent of complex words : 8.3
Average syllables per word : 1.4
Average words per sentence : 13.5


READABILITY INDICES

Fog : 8.7
Flesch : 72.0
Flesch-Kincaid : 6.6



PEOPLE

Ali

A young man in trouble in Khurosan. Ends up in another world as refugee inmate 3739.

Uncle

Ali's relative and guardian.s

Hassan

Ali's older brother, taken by the Scholars.

Father

Ali's parent had his throat cut by the Scholars.

Alex

A fellow inmate. Denisovich of the Desert.

Tran

A fellow inmate. The Rake.

Shahin

An Iranian fellow inmate.

Reza

A Persian translator.

Colonel Kurtz

Nickname for the previous Center Manager.

Rakesh

A Hindustani man.

Cheryl

A guard.

Mr James

A government official.

Ms Evans

A lawyer who assists refugees with the process.

Mr Cole

The replacement for Evans.

Parviz

Another interpreter.

Fernandez

A government interviewer.

Fahim

A fellow Khurosani inmate.

Daniel

An African inmate.

Ben

A local protester against the imprisonment of the refugees.


VEHICLES

Land Cruiser

A four wheel drive made by Toyota in this world.


ORGANISATIONS

Scholars

A Sunni group of armed raiders from another time.


PLACES

Khurosan

A war-torn nation where Ali comes from.

Hindustan

A nation in Ali's world.


CONCEPTS

Mosarfar-e-waqt

A local official in Ali's world, involved with brokering deals.

Stage One

First level of refugee processing.

Stage Two

Second level of refugee processing.

Pol-e-waqt

Bridge from the future to the past in Ali's world.

Form 866

Needed for stage one processing.


PLOT

Ali lives in a strife-ridden country: Khurosan. There is conflict between Sunni and Shi'a and also similar, but raiders from another time. A bridge between the past and future exists, and is guarded and access is brokered. The Scholars are a raider paramilitary group, who kill Ali's father and take his brother. As a result of a conflict he ends up going through another bridge, this one leading to our world. This bridge too is guarded, but Ali didn't realise that you could go to another world, as well as another time. The government in charge, which we assume is likely Australian, wants to rewrite the rules so that this gate is in no-man's land international territory, not local. Therefore the refugees will not be their responsibility.

Ali is in a detention camp along with many others. In Stage One processing no news or outside information at all is allowed, and they are only grudgingly informed of the process. He makes it to Stage Two, finally, but inconsistencies in his story leaves him denied freedom. Many people there have been imprisoned for years.

However, a group of protesters who do understand the law get to the camp, asking for ID numbers so they can help with their cases. Ali throws a stone with a piece of paper wrapped around it with his and a friend's info, before the protesters are forced to leave, and they are stopped.


3.5 out of 5

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