RogerBW's Blog

Torchship Captain, Karl K Gallagher 16 November 2018

2017 science fiction, final volume of the trilogy. As Disconnected Worlds and Fusion combine, reluctantly, to fight the rebel AIs, politics continues.

And politics means "bad stuff", because that's the sort of book this is; there are some politicians who are vaguely useful, but all the good people are military and all the military people are good, even the ones on the "wrong" side.

In the last book, Michigan Long caused the Fusion to be blackmailed into joining the campaign against the AIs, but the big secret gets out anyway (because Bureaucrats Are Incompetent), and the society instantly falls apart into civil war. One fragment splits off to make a Chinese version of a Stalinist USSR, and starts asserting territorial claims over all the rest. Another fragment (the relatively good guys) ends up being led by a history professor who's apparently desperate to recreate the French Revolution, right down to having guillotinings to keep the mob happy and a Committee of Public Safety running things; it's never clear why he's doing this or what his longer-term plans might be, and the only hint is that he's called Corday.

And there's predatory sex (but it's OK, because it's the good guys, and anyway the ends justify the means) and lots of bad judgement calls (but it's OK, because it's the good guys, so not only will it all come out in the end but there's no need even to admit that there was an error made), and the whole thing wraps up suddenly when Mitchie decides she's had enough of being awesome and wants to go home to the ranch and make babies.

The time-skips seen in previous volumes are still here, as is the odd lack of pacing, which means one never really gets a sense of events building to a climax; rather, this happens, then that happens, then there's a big gap during which it's implied that something really interesting happened and some of the previous stuff might have got resolved, then something else completely unrelated happens.

It's, well, OK I suppose. The action sequences are very good (particularly a fight in the engineering spaces of a battleship). But I can't recommend the series as a whole.

(Karl supplied me with a free copy of the trilogy with the understanding that I'd write reviews. Sorry, Karl, but at least you know you can trust me.)

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