Monday, June 28, 2010

Narabedla Ltd

by Frederik Pohl

This one never really came together for me. The initial set up and main character were interesting enough, but it seemed too much of a stroll through a standard Heinleinesque plot, and there weren't ultimately enough details to make the aliens believable or terribly distinctive. The comedic elements of the book worked better, but overall this felt like a major author kind of puttering about his subject matter. It also reminded me of Vance's Space Opera at several points, without being anywhere near as effective or entertaining. It works best in its representation of aliens as truly different physically, and with a system of power distribution that replicates aspects of big nation hegemony in our own world, and that puts humanity in the position of a powerless small nation. These elements remain aspects in a rather drifting whole, however.

Worse than: The Pawns of Null-A by A. E. Van Vogt
Better than: Job: A Comedy of Justice by Robert A. Heinlein

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