RogerBW's Blog

Hellflower, Eluki bes Shahar 24 September 2020

1991 SF, first of a trilogy. Saint Butterflies-are-free Peace Sincere was happy as a smuggler pilot, but she had to go and save an inexperienced mercenary from the local lowlife, and then things just got complicated.

"I understand you are a pilot-of-starships?"

We established that I was a pilot-of-starships, that I owned and could fly a ground-to-ground-rated freighter-licensed ship, and that my tickets were in order-Directorate clearances, Outfar clearances, inspection certs, et cetera, and tedious so forth. Forged, of course, but the information was correct-I'd have to be a fool to claim to be able to pilot something I couldn't.

We also established that Gibberfur here was the Chief Dispatcher for the Outlands Freight Company, a reputable and highly-respected organization that chose to do its business in sleazy arcades. I ordered another round of tea and waited.

All right, part of the complication is that she has some dodgy tech hidden on board, Paladin, or Library Main Bank Seven of the Federation University Library at Sikander Prime. There hasn't been a Federation, for thousands of years, and the Libraries may be part of the reason why, though nobody really knows; by now, any sort of artificial intelligence is vanishingly rare and utterly illegal.

And of course it has its own agenda.

I quickly abandoned the question of relative value when Butterfly introduced the concept of "fun" into the discussion.

I have learned that "fun" means exposing yourself to extreme risk without compensation, so I attempted to explain to Butterfly that if she were dead she would not know how much "fun" she was having.

This did not work.

Multiple plots from multiple players mesh by accident, sometimes reinforcing each other, sometimes interfering. Even when Butterfly is coerced into doing something, it's not at all clear whether the person coercing her really wants it done, or just wants her to be in a particular place and act the way she normally does, or indeed wants her to fail spectacularly. Nobody's going to look out for this spiky found-family except itself, and not even that sometimes.

The book is written in Butterfly's heavy dialect much of the time, and sometimes contextual clues are thin, but I didn't find it hard going; in fact I very much enjoyed it. The book does end quite suddenly, and I'm glad I have the sequel available.

[Buy this at Amazon] and help support the blog.

Comments on this post are now closed. If you have particular grounds for adding a late comment, comment on a more recent post quoting the URL of this one.

Search
Archive
Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio audio tech base commerce battletech beer boardgaming book of the week bookmonth chain of command children chris chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup covid-19 cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi economics espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 essen 2018 essen 2019 existential risk falklands war fandom fanfic fantasy feminism film firefly first world war flash point flight simulation food garmin drive gazebo genesys geodata gin gkp gurps gurps 101 harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo 2018 hugo 2019 hugo 2020 hugo-nebula reread in brief avoid instrumented life kickstarter learn to play leaving earth linux liquor lovecraftiana mecha men with beards museum mystery naval non-fiction one for the brow opera parody perl perl weekly challenge photography podcast politics powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha python quantum rail raku ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs ruby rust science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans smartphone south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel type 26 type 31 type 45 vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1