Monday, August 11th, 2008
9:44 pm - Rereads  
The Shadow of Saganami — David Weber

I read this in 2005, but I had a hankering for some space battles after reading so many mysteries lately, and this was handy. One annoying thing Weber often does is the thing where he describes how well prepared an adversary is to fend off any normal attack (The ship had all the latest Solarian defensive technology...), only to detail how this was no normal attack (but that wouldn't matter against the 1700 missiles now heading for it...). This usually turns up a couple of times a book, and it gets tiresome after awhile. He's not the only one who does this, of course. It's sort of a standard trope in technothrillers, but even people like Sayers have done similar (But this was no ordinary cricketer. This was Peter Wimsey, who once scored a hundred runs for the Cambridge side...).

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The Long Arm of Gil Hamilton — Larry Niven
The Patchwork Girl — Larry Niven


Back to the noir. Hamilton is Niven's science fictional detective, a cop with an imaginary arm. It's a small canon, one novel (TPG), the three novellas in The Long Arm, and a fourth novella, The Woman in Del Rey Crater. I read them all. The early stages of Niven's Known Space future are pretty ugly. The standard punishment for even minor crimes is death, so as to maintain the supply of transplantable organs in the world's organ banks. Hamilton's primary job is hunting organleggers, criminals providing black market transplant organs. The climatic scenes are particularly memorable. It had been years since I last read these, but those scenes stuck with me. Sort of kills the surprise, but I don't mind.
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