Monday, October 29, 2012

The Hebras and The Demons and the Damned by Brenda Cooper

Even though this is a story about colonists trying to survive on a new planet it really lacked the SFness I like.

To me, there has to be some technology involved otherwise it's just literary fiction hiding on another world.

These colonists are trying to cope with the indigenous wildlife by domesticating a herd of "space-horses" while being aware that they could be attacked by a pack of "space-wolves" at any moment.

This is rally just a western, a ranching story; I'm well aware of the Space Western sub-genre but at least that type of fiction has fun blending the tech with the tumbleweeds.

I was constantly taken out of the story by my thoughts that this could just as easily been set in Africa or Wyoming in the 19th century.

Sure, it all works as SF, but just not for me. I guess I found it too western and not enough space.

Cooper's writing, however, is superb, she kept me engaged enough that I kept reading to the end. I'm not afraid to quit a story if I'm not enjoying it. Cooper had a confident way of telling the story that kept me reading.

To me, the best example of space-western is Firefly.

Would I read more from Cooper? Absolutely, she's that good.
Brenda Cooper

The author's website is HERE.

Brenda Cooper's Bibliography is HERE
First published in Analog December 2010

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