I’ll come out and say it: Endgame is weird.
Never mind the sloppy inconsistencies1 or anything of that sort: Hugh gets downright philosophical, introducing another new alien species (and mistaking Bismarckian evolution for Darwinian evolution) and centering the plot around the metaphysics of alien species, the question of faith and the soul, humanity. Plus the perils of traveling at relativistic/proxiluminous speeds in space.
Remember, this is Doom.
I took more from Endgame this time than I have at any other time in the past. Perhaps knowing of Hugh’s right-wing nature illuminates some of the characterization that eluded me before. Perhaps I was simply more capable of processing metaphysical questions than I was the last time I read it (gosh, years ago, I think). So, there’s a lot of subtext here, in a sense, and it’s hella interesting to read, but a bit of a surprise for those expecting more imp-blasting.
My only irritation is that Hugh seemed so glib with some things. There are certain things that just happened, and little time is spent dwelling on them. The meaning remains unclear. Other than that, I still think it’s a great book, if a somewhat unfulfilling end to a self-labelled “space opera.”
- i.e. the characters going through a “Gate,” thus being robbed of all clothing and weapons and hijacking an alien ship hundreds of lightyears away from earth, but later in the story somehow having access to American guns circa the time they left the planet.[↩]