The Geomancer


A Different Brand of Military SF

With Starship: Mercenaryjust released, Paul Raven has a very thoughtful review of Mike Resnick's previous book in the series, Starship: Pirate,up on SF Site, which he recommends as "a story that moves very fast and covers a lot of ground within a very small page count."

Paul discusses the way that Resnick's work is "a deliberate subvert a genre that, while viscerally thrilling, rarely addresses the deeper implications and ethics of conflict in a universe that isn't painted black and white. There is much to be lauded in this approach -- a more mature and thoughtful way of presenting the classic hero figure."

He notes that while Resnick's hero, Wilson Cole, manages to avoid going in "guns blazing" by applying intelligence beforehand, that "
That's not to say nothing happens, though. Far from it; almost all the narrative is subsumed by dialogue –- dry, witty dialogue at that –- and the prose has the feel of being almost cinematic, or perhaps televisual, in that there is almost zero reliance on a third-person narrative point of view, and the characters banter and back-chat with the easy familiarity of sit-com scenes."

He concludes by proclaiming that Starship: Pirate is "a surprisingly thoughtful novel dressed in the clothing of classic SF adventure," and wondering if it's uniqueness will be a handicap in finding an audience. Fortunately, we already know beyond a shadow of a doubt that that isn't the case!

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