Tuesday, July 06, 2010

REVIEW: The Martian Women

Title: The Martian Women
Author: Tyree Campbell
Genre: science fiction
Price: $8
Publisher: Sam's Dot Publishing
Point of Sale: genre mall
Reviewed by: Chris Gerrib

Tyree Campbell is chief cook and bottle-washer over at Sam’s Dot Publishing, a micro-press busily cranking out a lot of titles in science fiction and fantasy. I met him again at a local SF convention, and he talked me into buying his new novella, The Martian Women. I’m glad I did.

The Martian Women stars Teresa Minerva Timberlake, and opens as she begins to testify at her own show trial. The story, then, is mostly her testimony at that trial. We discover during her testimony that she is a fifth-generation Martian, very unhappy with the re-immergence of a subservient role for women, and somewhat cantankerous. (We also discover that the cantankerousness is hereditary.)

The story, then, is one of discovery – Teresa’s discovery of her past, our discovery of her world, and her discovery of a world-changing technology. That’s difficult for a reviewer to summarize. It’s also difficult for a reader to put down!

I do have a couple of nits to pick – first, Campbell’s inner Solar System is dominated by one giant corporation, which I think is unrealistic, and his idea that female sex roles will revert to the 1960s Mad Men concept is a bit problematic for me. But these are nits, and the mark of a good story is that you don’t care about nits.

This is a good story. I found Teresa an engaging, interesting and vital person, and her story both interesting and believable. I devoured the novella in one sitting, and found myself wishing for more.

Rating: 9/10

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