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DMS

Saturdays in Books

Reviews of speculative fiction, YA, middle grade, and graphic novels, along with stray thoughts, links, and pictures.

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The SFWA European Hall of Fame: Sixteen Contemporary Masterpieces of Science Fiction from the Continent
Kathryn Morrow, James K. Morrow

Review: Expendable

Expendable (League of Peoples Book 1) - James Alan Gardner

I'm . . . undecided on this one. There's a lot that is clever with regard to the evil bureaucratic machinations. And it continues to be refreshing to read a speculative fiction book that both 1) uses rape to mean rape rather than using the word for other things or being coy about what happened, and 2) doesn't treat that rape as any part of the tragic backstory that a heroine's power comes from. 

 

On the other hand.

 

The actual prose and the plot structure feel weirdly dated. This was originally published in the late 90's? After they land on the planet, it feels more like mid-60's planetary adventure even though a lot of the specifics have to be more recent inventions. I don't even know if that's a complaint. I usually like retro-style plots in modern movies. Hello Snowpiercer and Fury Road. It just never quite worked for me in this book.

 

If you're looking for a modern and feminism original Star Trek episode where Terry Gilliam designed Star Fleet, maybe give this a go?