Aphelion Issue 295, Volume 28
June 2024 --
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Reader's Corner

Fear Nothing
by Dean Koontz

by TaoPhoenix

Are you afraid of the dark? Christopher Snow Fears Nothing ... except the light of the sun. He has xenoderma pigmentosum, which is "A deficiency in the genes participating in the NER mechanism leads to the known human syndrome xenoderma pigmentosum (XP), marked by a 2000-fold increased incidence of skin cancer..." according to Tania Wyss, Barbara Orelli, and Orlando Schaerer at the Department of Pharmacological Sciences, SUNY Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY. Put simply, all skin receives micro damage during every day activities, but it repairs itself over the normal life span. If Christopher Snow went outside without special protection, he would have skin cancer within a week.

Thus, his life is spent in shadows cast by flickering candles, and moonlight. By his side is his faithful dog, a black retriever named Orson in honor of the shadowy actor Orson Welles. He lives in the small town of Moonlight Bay, California. All told, he is at peace with his genetically inherited condition. However, as the story opens with his father on his deadbed, clues emerge which begin to drag him out of the comforting shadows into encounters with the light.

The plot is less linear than many of Koontz' works, and this may be received well or poorly depending upon the reader's tastes. This reviewer will add the clue that Dean Koontz has written another book about a faithful retriever, and this is no accident. In a book which explores Death in its many stylistic incarnations, Dean Koontz asks all the dog lovers out there to ... Fear Nothing.

© 2007 TaoPhoenix

TaoPhoenix is the Archives Editor of Aphelion, and a regular contributer to the forums.

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