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Raymond's Reviews #128

End of the June catchup (part 4)

%T Hellflower
%A Eluki bes Shahar
%D June 1991
%O paperback, US$3.99
%P 252
%G 0-88677-475-6

This is a better-than-average space adventure with a flavor reminiscent of Jo Clayton's work (see RR#48, RR#89). Butterfly St. Cyr is an honest smuggler with a dangerous secret; her ship carries a forbidden AI that happens to be her best friend. When she rescues a mercenary who turns out to be a prince, the complications draw her into a lethal intrigue. The author's vivid imagery and language are what lift this book out of the ordinary; also her protagonist is very likeable. Recommended.

%T Go Tell the Spartans
%A Jerry Pournelle
%A S.M. Stirling
%I Baen
%D June 1991
%O paperback, US$4.95
%P 345
%G 0-671-72061-9

This is Stirling being a good influence again (see RR#110, The General). Take a random Pournelle opus, rip out most of Pournelle's heavy-handed "ve vill have order" conservative chuntering, replace with Stirling's superior world-building and writing, and that's what you have here. This book covers a gap in the future of The Mote In God's Eye, chronicling the events that forced Sparta out of its isolationism into the role of imperial power (and, eventually, nucleus of the First Empire).


Jack Vance's excellent fantasy Madouc (RR#56) comes out in mass-market paperback this month (August 1991). So does Tad Williams's The Stone of Farewell (RR#41).

[ This short takes is a bit shorter than usual owing to some technical problems having to do with conversion to the new header format. RR129 will be of the normal length --- ESR]

Up to Eric's Home Page To Index Sat Jul 27 17:39:12 EDT 1991

Eric S. Raymond <esr@snark.thyrsus.com>