Review: CV by Damon Knight

CV by Damon KnightTitle: CV
Author: Damon Knight
Published: May 1985
Author’s Website: Wikipedia on Damon Knight
Genre: Horror, Science-Fiction

Review: Sea Venture, CV, for short, is a massive floating city that uses tug boats and ocean currents for movement. It can seal itself up so that it can submerge. It produces its own food and has a sizeable permanent staff, in addition to guests that use it for travel/vacation.

So, what happens when an alien presence is dredged up and released aboard?  One that’s only symptom is a short feeling of faintness when it enters a new host and a coma when it leaves?  How do you track it down and, more importantly, catch or eliminate it?  Will it take killing the host or destroying CV to prevent it from getting free into the world?.

Bottom Line: I think the concept of Sea Venture is cool – a huge self-sufficient city moving around the ocean by changing depth to catch different currents. Neat.  Add in an alien that’s more curious than malignant…it’s the side effects that cause the problems…and you’ve got an intetesting story. Unfortunately, Mr. Knight introduces too many characters and their stories into what could have been a much tighter (and shorter) story.   CV gets bogged down in multiple backstories and too many people, which often leads to disjointed transitions.  I don’t recommend this to any, but the most dedicated sci-fi lover, and then, only as a cool concept story.


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