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Good off world colonization story , reminiscent of North America's age of robber barons exploitation of natural resources and a desperate immigrant population .
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I've been reading science fiction for 50 years- seeking out and enjoying the best this genre has to offer. By now though, I want everything to be "exactly right". There is a Goldilocks Zone for great science fiction, and I found it here in Outpost.
This story is a rare blend of many familiar elements, re-imagined with an unusually deft hand. A colonization story then, but far more interesting than the usual fare.The writing is both sturdy (very good structural elements) and subtle (finer touches everywhere and in everything). Equally vital is the happy fact that the splendid narration is exactly right for the story. Other secret ingredients of Outpost's enormously satisfying journey include:
1. all the characters are drawn economically, yet distinctly, with mysterious clarity and depth
2. an astonishing new kind of planet is presented, with an extremely peculiar- yet oddly believable- ecosystem
3. we are treated to a unique and very deep strangeness concerning ship life and space travel.
The meticulous tapestry of the groundwork laid for a new trilogy comes to a hard point. The difficult accommodations humanity is forced to make, in order to fit an entirely alien world, prove unexpectedly extreme. Outpost isn't a simple-minded story in the least. It is a great one, embodying the spirit of the grandest traditions of space opera. This first book of the Donovan trilogy left me with a very strong anticipation for the next.
Recommended for those who enjoy profoundly human and profoundly alien science fiction. .