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For over a hundred years, Chisholm, a Rim World colony, has produced beef for most of Human Space, raising vast herds of a breed of Giant Longhorns. Things are changing, and land reform is demanded by small ranchers and farmers, placing restrictions on the existing open range policy. The wealthy large ranchers will stop this, any way they can, to preserve their profits. Passions are high and the opposing sides have turned violent.
Ethan, a gene-modified Kobani, travels to Chisholm with his sister, Kit, seeking a high-risk employment opportunity in the growing Range War, where raids and murders have wiped out entire families. Gunmen and killers are in demand by both sides, with premiums paid for greater lethality, so using their contact telepathic ability, Ethan and his deadly sister Kit, chose a side. They'll face a hundred hired guns, the outcome deciding who will control the future of Chisholm. Powerful men are determined to block reforms by driving off or killing those opposed to them, and adamant reformers will meet violence with violence.
Hired by one side in the conflict, an unexpected betrayal strikes down Ethan, and he vanishes. Kit goes on a rampage, terrorizing anyone with knowledge, to discover what happened to him, and dismembered bodies accumulate as she searches for her brother. Knowing telepathically exactly what evil an individual has committed isn't admissible in courts there, or heeded by corrupt sheriffs. However, possessing the truth is ample motivation for ignoring the law to Kit, and she summons help from home. In a final bloody confrontation, with deaths on both sides, a solution that only those from Koban could produce is achieved.
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By bluestategirl on 11-18-16
Kobani in the Wild Wild West . . . with Rippers!
Chisholm is a Rim planet where filthy rich cattle barons and poor struggling sheep herds are having a range war. It's a familiar western movie trope: The cattle barons have large herds and don't want to share the grazing land. They've employed some pretty viscious gunmen to take out the competition, and since they control the sheriff and the judges, they are able to get away with murder.
The smaller cattle outfits and the sheep farmers have had enough when they start shooting people in the back and burning down their homes, and decided to hire some help. They get together and answer an ad for a Kobani business called Have Genes, Will Travel.
Nathan and Kit decide to answer the call for help, and head for Chisholm, where they are met at the landing pad by a group of killers. Of course, they manage to impress the killers with their unusual skills. The wealthy cattle barons then attempt to hire Nathan and Kit for their side, but when they fail, decide to have them ambushed and killed instead.
Clearly, they don't know who they're dealing with!
This is a great story with the kind of storyline you would expect in an old western movie -- complete with a beautiful madam -- but with all the modern sci fi elements you expect from Steve Bennett. I found it hugely entertaining.
Highly Recommended for: People who love sci fi and/or sci fi/western mashups! Or anyone who enjoys a slick caper job with lots of plot twists, and a very large, very pissed off blue 'tiger.'
3 of 3 people found this review helpful