Thread: Best books
View Single Post
Old Apr 16 2005, 02:00 PM   #5
Journeywoman Healer
Anareth's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Here and There
Gender: F
Fan of: Pern, Ship Series
Now Reading: Girl Genius (read it!)
Default Re: Best books

Originally Posted by Brenda
I think The Ship Who Searched is better than the Ship Who Sang. It was written as a novel, not as separate stories put together in a book. You care about the characters, the plot is intriguing, and the science was pretty believable to me.
But it's a flop as serious sci-fi. It's just another romance-dressed-up book, while TSWS has the issue of fixation, but without a neat wrap-up with a body, now yippee, all our problems are solved and we can have sex! resolution. Honestly, I think Helva's "If you didn't do it now, Niall, you never will" is vastly more poignant than anything in TSWSearched, even if some of it reads a trace dated (if you read a lot that was published at the same time, it's not outside the mainstream for SF of the day.) Searched doesn't raise any real moral or scientific questions (the archaeology is shallowly written at best, and while I understand because real archaeology is mind-bogglingly tedious, that still does mean it's just window-dressing) and relies pretty much entirely on a romance-novel fobidden love issue. Because Sang is combined novellas (as Dragonflight is), it's not as strictly adherent to the English-class rule of rising action-climax-denoument, but in its sections it's very effective.

Basically, "...Searched" is fluff SF, "...Sang" is probably the closest to hard SF Anne's ever gone in a book-length story, and it has the advantage over most hard SF that the characters get as much attention as the plot. (Possibly a topic for an issue of how is Anne as a woman a different kind of author than, say, Asimov.)
Anareth is offline   Reply With Quote