Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Strains of 'Moon Is A Harsh Mistress'

(Which is, of course, a classic everyone should read).

Why am I reminded of it? I just got done reading Allen Steele's 'Coyote'. The plot is similar and dissimilar. Instead of an existing colony fighting for independence, the book starts with a group of 'Dissident Intellectuals' (political prisoners) hijacking a colony ship. (Not a spoiler, as it's practically mentioned in the first sentence).

It's clear that Steele has quite a few things in common with Heinlein. Like, politics. Stylistically, though, the book is quite different...and in many ways inferior, but then, Heinlein *is* a master. (Except for his ability to write female characters that aren't his wife or his mother, but Steele hasn't demonstrated that capability either...there's only one girl in the book, so I can't be sure). The trying thing about this book is that it changes not just POV but tense...with some sections in present tense and the rest in past, some first person and others third. POV I can deal with. Sudden switches of tense tend to throw me out of a book. If you can read past that, however, it's good fun...although it's the first book of a series and the ending shows it.

Coyote is a fascinating world, at the very least, and if, like me, you've read everything Heinlein ever wrote and are looking for stuff in the same vein, it's well worth picking up.

Coyote - Allen Steele