Monday, May 05, 2008

Galaxy Blues by Allen Steele

This book was originally serialized in Azimov's Science Fiction Magazine, which is where I read it. Instead of reading it in the four monthly installments, I waited until all four issues had been published and then read the entire book.

I was completely unfamiliar with Allen Steele's writing and found this book to be, for the most part, an enjoyable sci fi diversion. I tend to lean towards more thought provoking science fiction but occasionally, a good old fashioned adventure story is a welcome change.

One of the best elements of Steele's writing is his emphasis on character development. Often, so called, "hard" science fiction spends too much energy on the technology and world building aspects of the genre and nowhere enough time on the characters who are living through the story. Obviously, strong characters are almost always an essential part of good fiction but, sadly, this is sometimes overlooked by modern science fiction writers.

The only flaw to this book is that the actual adventure itself gets a little boring and predictable at times. For the most part, Allen Steele's story telling instincts and the likability of his characters manage to hold the book together and make it worth reading.

"Galaxy Blues" seems to be part of or related to a series of books that Steele has written about a fictional planet called Coyote.

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