AUTHOR: Mike Resnick
GENRE: Science Fiction
POINT OF SALE: Amazon, Pyr
Pyr, a new science fiction book publisher, recently contacted us at POD People and offered “pick of the litter” for review. It was like a kid being given keys to the candy store. After some wandering about on my part, I decided to try Mike Resnick’s “Starship” series, and the nice people at Pyr sent me out a copy.
I’ve met Resnick socially, and he’s an engaging fellow. He also writes an entertaining rogue, and the lead character in Mutiny, Commander Wilson Cole, is just such a person. The Republic, a galaxy-spanning organization dominated by humans, is at war with a coalition of species not particularly interested in being dominated by Man. Commander Cole is a genuine war hero, who’s also prone to ignoring orders to win an engagement. This does not sit well with the brass (it never does) but since they can’t cashier him, they do the next best thing – ship him to the Theodore Roosevelt, an obsolete ship stationed as far from the front as possible.
Well, it wouldn’t be much of a story if the Teddy R.’s sector remains quiet, so it’s not a surprise that we’re quickly involved in a crisis. Mutiny is straight-up Space Opera, with ships zipping across thirty light years in a few hours and English-speaking wisecracking aliens. Unlike a certain space opera that boldly goes where no one goes before, we have intelligent watch sections and the Federation, er, the Republic isn’t always 100% right. By the end of the book, this leads to the titular mutiny.
How we get there is both fun and an interesting commentary on politics, the media and government. Commander Cole is not of the “blast-them-first, ask questions later” school, so his solutions to the problems presented are inventive and indirect. The secondary characters are well-realized, and the problems presented are grounded in human nature.
I really enjoyed “Mutiny” and can recommend it to fans of science fiction and good stories. Since Pyr is a traditional if small publisher, the mechanics of layout and editing are perfect.
Chris Gerrib is a resident of Villa Park, IL and Director of Technology for a Chicago-area bank. Chris is the author of the science fiction novel The Mars Run. He holds degrees from the University of Illinois and Southern Illinois University and is president-elect of the Rotary Club of Darien, IL.