Walter Mosley: A Critical Companion

By Charles E. Wilson Jr | Go to book overview

8
Blue Light
(1998)

With Blue Light Mosley enters the realm of science fiction writing while still employing strategies from his detective fiction. Largely an allegorical novel (an allegory is a work in which abstract entities are given concrete form, most often personified), Blue Light assesses human potential when positioned against forces, both abstract and real, that seek to destroy it. Set in the turbulent 1960s, when many Americans, especially young people, began to question the very social structures that previous generations took for granted and accepted as right and proper, the novel proposes a more enlightened way of viewing one’s world and oneself. The Oakland/ Berkeley, California, setting provides the perfect backdrop for exploring unusual phenomena. Blue Light showcases the sacrifices that must be made in the interest of defiance and progress.


PLOT DEVELOPMENT

The novel opens (after the prologue) with Orde, one of the Blues (those who have been visited by the blue light) delivering one of his regular sidewalk sermons. Standing in the crowd, captivated by Orde’s various pronouncements, is acolyte Chance (also the narrator of the novel) who, though not a blue himself, has been a follower of Orde in recent weeks. The Close Congregation believe that Orde holds special powers and possesses wisdom and insights beyond the grasp of normal beings. Chance

-145-

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