Bewildering Stories

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Book Review:
C.J Cherryh, Forge Of Heaven

by Jerry Wright

Forge Of Heaven
Author: C.J Cherryh
Publisher: EOS
Mass Paper: 448 pages
Price: $7.99
Many moons ago, I sort of reviewed C.J. Cherryh's Hammerfall (said semi-review is available here.) However, we now have a sequel to the very cool story of Marak, his family, and Concord Station.

Any book that takes 15 or so pages right at the beginning to explain the milieu in which we find ourselves is going to be problematic for me, and so even though I bought it to help me through a flight to San Jose, it wasn't until last week that I actually read it. Or read at it.

I like Cherryh. I think her Chanur stories are probably the most fun for me, but I did remember enjoying Hammerfall. This one took me some time to get into. But with a bit of slogging through the first quarter or so of the book, I found myself entangled with the the people. Most of whom are bureaucrats. Yep. Bureaucrat SF. Actually, if you watch and enjoy the TV show "The Office", you will enjoy the twists and turns of the bureaucratic skullduggery between the Planetary Authority and the Concord, with the alien ondat Kekellen running around in the background being looming and mysterious.

I found the "Trends" society reminiscent of both Cory Doctorow's "woofie" society, and something that Samuel Delany might think up, and I enjoyed the interchange with "Procyon" the midlevel bureaucrat with the secret job of communicating with Marak, on the surface.

Unlike Hammerfall where the planet-side story was important and immediate, the surface story really doesn't go anywhere. Still and all, the story is enjoyable and leaves a series of strings for a much needed concluding book.

Copyright © 2006 Jerry Wright and Bewildering Stories

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