RogerBW's Blog

Archangel Blues, Eluki bes Shahar 06 January 2022

1993 SF, last of its trilogy. Saint Butterflies-are-free Peace Sincere has a new job: stop the war by killing the man who's starting it. But of course things are going to get much more complicated.

We're a very long way from the uncomplicated adventure of Hellflower here. And the resolutions aren't going to be simple either: sure, you can line up with faction A to get the tools you need to take on faction B, but what's A going to do when it doesn't have the conflict with B to distract its attention?

And even when you have access to a power that can simply make things better for everyone… that may not be the right answer.

There's a straightforwardly evil AI, but that's not the main threat. There's a body-possessing alien, but that's not the main threat either. The main threat may well end up being human nature, which it's quite hard to outfly or outfight.

This series has expanded from caper to cosmic stakes and it's done it without showing the seams. St.Cyr's voice is a big part of that, keeping things rooted in reality even when they affect matters on a huge scale. The writing, Runyonesque but with an SF twist, can be a little work at times, but context gives plenty of clues for the obscure slang terms, and St.Cyr's choices of phrase can be important in themselves.

The story didn't go at all where I expected, but it went to interesting places, and I'm glad finally to have read the whole thing.

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Previous in series: Darktraders | Series: Bufferfly & Hellflower

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