August 15, 2015

Glory's People by Alfred Coppel

Title:  Glory's People
Author:  Alfred Coppel
Pages:  320
Genre:  Science Fiction
Publisher:  Tor, 1996

Synopsis:  In Glory's People, Glory and her crew face a challenge from outside time and space, a devouring entity that could wipe human life from the galaxy. The great Goldenwing ship, Gloria Coelis, and her crew of Wired starfarers and cats with enhanced powers, has arrived at a planet settled by Japanese, one of the most technologically advanced civilizations among the colonized planets. The purpose of the voyage is to warn these people of the impending threat of the intergalactic entity and to enlist their scientific and military aid to combat the menace. But the threat is so unbelievable and the civilization so rigid and slow to act as a society that disaster has to strike and the death toll has to mount before the real battle can begin.

Review:  Well, this one was better than the second one and possibly a little better than the first one.  I am still not sure what exactly the entity was, or is, since I'm also not sure if the entity was beaten or not.  I don't think it was, though, from the epilogue.  There was plenty of excitement to go around while they tried, though.

The cats played a major role in this story, which was fun if pretty unbelievable.  I certainly liked this planet better than the rest.  It is peopled by settlers from Japan.  They are fairly busy pretending that they are all samurai and a group of people hire a ninja to try to kill Duncan, but by and large these people are much more likable than the last two planets.

The human characters are all good ones.  I never did warm up to Broni or Anya, the two female members of the crew.  I think actually the character I liked best was either Damon, the rigger who is afraid of heights, or Dietr, the crew doctor who is really afraid of loving anyone including himself.  Both of them were more human than the rest, with insecurities I could understand.  Mira, the queen cat, was charming but I thought the whole cats with telepathic/empathic powers was taken just a tad too far.  Glory was a lovely, semi-sentient machine but still a machine.  The Japanese were all old-fashioned and honorable and oddly sweet, with just a few exceptions.

I stand by what I said in the review for Glory.  This was pure science fiction and it was a well-told tale.

Rating:  7.5 / 10

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