Thursday, August 10, 2006

Book-A-Day #24 (8/10): The Sky People by S.M. Stirling

An upcoming novel I read for the SFBC, so I shouldn't talk much about it.

It does have a neat setup: the first probes of Mars and Venus in the early '60s revealed planets remarkably like pulp SF -- planets not only inhabitable, but inhabited by humans (and, in the case of Venus, also dinosaurs and warlike Neanderthals). This has led to some interesting (if fairly predictable) alternate-historical changes, and a Cold War ranging over three planets.

This is my first Stirling novel, and I think I personally like my retro-futures a bit less straightforward and more rococo in style (like Colin Greenland's Harm's Way), but mine is a minority taste. This book is a lot of fun, and I expect it will be widely enjoyed. In fact, I wouldn't be at all surprised if this series became his most popular work (over the Draka novels and the Island in the Sea of Time trilogy) in the fullness of time; it's that appealing and adventurous and wide-open for storytelling.

1 comment:

Christopher said...

This is an area that I have worked with a few times in my life. I use to manage a small bookstore as I worked my way through college and we use to make a big deal about banned book week.

Now as a school teacher i try to read as many of the YA books as I can. Even still, by my count I have only read 42 out of the 100. There are a few books on the list that I have on my shelf but just haven't got to them yet.

I did a web site in college on banned books for one of my projects and the range of libraries was from young kids to college. Maddona is still a bit of a stretch.

You should read why some of these books have been banned. Cujo was banned in one high school library for simply being a book in bad taste. Many of the banned books reasons make me laugh and horrified at the same time.


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