Saturday, January 4, 2014

Nice review of COLLABORATORS

Starship Reckless offers a thoughtful pairing of novels from 2011/2012 and now. Collaborators was one of the current novels discussed.

Collaborators shows how a non-terrestrial culture interacts  with a stranded human starship whose crew, bolstered by its formidable  technology, forgets that they are not gods and interfere heavily in the  politics of two adversarial nations.  The major conflict is nuanced by  ambiguities and dilemmas on all sides and at many levels.

Wheeler’s Quaker beliefs are visible (including the refusal to  indulge in charismatic saviors) and the parallels to the havoc wrought  by imperial-nation interventions on earth are clear.  The alien biology  and first-contact dynamics are handled unusually deftly; the narrative  polyphony weaves complex melodies and harmonies.  Wheeler’s world is effortlessly immersive and teems with fully realized characters.

(For those of you new to this blog, Deborah Wheeler was my former name and I still use it for novel-length science fiction. Although I am married to a Quaker and attend Meeting, I am myself not a member.)

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