We had an excellent turnout at last night's meeting. Everyone, except Yours Truly, liked the book we read, Diving into the Wreck by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. For our next meeting, we'll be reading two short novels packaged into one volume by one of the grandmasters of the field, Star Soldiers by Andre Norton.
The next meeting will be on Thursday, March 8, 2012.
Time: 9 PM Eastern, 8 PM Central, 7 PM Mountain, 6 PM Pacific, and 01:00 UTC.
Place, Book Nook at:
Star Soldiers is available from Bookshare in a publisher quality version at:
and as a digital download from BARD at:
Here is the NLS synopsis:
Two interstellar adventure stories. In "Star
Guard" swordsman Kana Karr and his comrades are abandoned in
a hostile future world. Four thousand years later in "Star
Rangers" the crew of a spaceship crashes on an uncharted
And here is Bookshare's long synopsis:
Andre Norton -- Grand Mistress of science fiction -- presents
a grand tapestry of the far-flung interstellar future, in which the first starships
from Earth have burst out into the universe, only to run straight into the restraining
grasp of the stagnant alien federation known as Central Control. Only as interstellar
mercenaries can humans go to the stars; the aliens who already dominate the galaxy
allow no other recourse. But when Swordsman Third Class Kana Karr and his comrades-in-arms
are betrayed and abandoned on a hostile world by their alien masters, the warriors
from Earth begin a desperate but glorious march across a planet whose every sword
is against them. Their actions may doom humanity's future or lead the way to an empire
of their own! Four thousand years later, galactic civilization is collapsing, and
the underfunded crew of an exploration starship is forced to set down on an uncharted
planet: a mysterious, abandoned world that is achingly beautiful -- and hauntingly
familiar. Ranger Sergeant Kartr, telepath and stellar Patrolman, searches with his
crewmates for the source of a beacon which may mean escape for them all. What he
finds is far stranger: the first clue to what may become the greatest revelation
in galactic history! The defining events of future history -- as only Andre Norton
could tell them!
Finally, here's a description from Publishers Weekly taken from Amazon's page for Star Soldiers:
Two of SFWA Grand Master Norton's earlier novels, Star Guard (1955) and Star Rangers
(1953), offered here with minimal textual changes, should be just as enjoyable to
the grandchildren if not great-grandchildren of the original readers. In Guard, around
A.D. 4000, humans are valued by Central Control as mercenaries, but otherwise are
at the bottom of the galactic hierarchy. Kana Karr, a young swordsman investigating
the mysterious deaths of some of his comrades, stumbles on a conspiracy that endangers
Central Control and the human race alike. Some 4,000 years later in Rangers, the
Patrol cruiser Starfire makes its last landing on an unknown but habitable planet.
Three of the crew, the Rangers Kartr (human), Fylh (a birdlike Trystian) and Zinga
(a reptilian Zacathan), become a sort of Three Musketeers to save the natives from
the ruthlessness of other humans. They succeed well enough to eventually receive
a shipload of assorted refugees and discover the secret of this "unknown" planet.
The language, plot and characterization are somewhat simpler than we are used to
today, but the settings come alive as well as anybody's. Moreover, Norton's handling
of ethical issues, particularly the uses of telepathy and relations with nonhumans,
is quite complex. This is no less remarkable when one considers that she was writing
in the days when telepaths were often supermen and aliens usually depicted as BEMs.
Come join us for some interstellar adventure from one of the greatest yarn spinners in all of SF!
J. R. Westmoreland, Group Facilitator