I received this book with my regular subscription and thought it would take a month or so to read on the bus. Well, I recently switched from contract to employee and the company decided to delete all my computer access.
Fortunately, for James, Death's Heretic was in my laptop bag and while waiting for HR to decide that I should be paid for working rather than reading, I finished the book.
The book is a multi-planal whodunit. For a newer writer, James did an exemplary job at getting me to care about Salim. Neila never really did compel me, but she never really annoyed me. Other than an odd scene in a very dark cell, I voraciously read through the entire story and enjoyed it all.
Good Job James. I look forward to your further offerings. I would happily read future or past adventures of Salim.
The Planet Killers has three of Robert Silverburg's early offerings. The first story is The Plot Against the Earth. It was an enjoyable space opera jaunt.
The Planet Killers is definitely the best of the three in the book. Space Opera with ethical dilemmas. I enjoyed it right until it went about 2-3 pages further than was needed.
I recently finished the last story One of our Asteroids is Missing. It started out awkwardly and a little slow. Once our hero got back to the "missing" asteroid the story became fun again and helped finish off the book well.
I read through this book and it took a long time. It's definitely a slow read. I enjoyed the previous offering of Radovan and Jeggare, but this one never pushed over the top. As others have mentioned the constant shifting of first person narrative is distracting and annoying. Especially with the introduction of a third, almost silly narrative.
The oddest thing though was it took me a really long time to read this book. I read most of my books to and from work on Tempe buses. When I get close to my stop, I look and was always several pages short of where I would have expected to be.
This is the type of writing I subscribed to Planet Stories for. We have seven stories published in pulp mags in the late 1950s. Several of these are available (although possibly abridged) in the 1972 Dell Paperback Valley Beyond Time. All seven are typical space opera/odyssey with different general plots. I definitely enjoyed the ending of Spacerogue. Several stories were hampered (hence the 4 instead of 5 stars) by the typical problem of short stories that you build up, get development and then quickly finish the story.
Thank you Paizo for returning to the roots of Planet Stories. The first story introduces us to Hok the Mighty is an enjoyable Wellman product. Although the introductory story was not as good as the rest of the stories, the latter stories make up for it. I actually think the first story has aged poorly due to different morals and ethics now. There are footnotes throughout the stories. They generally reflect the anthropology of the time including one commenting on Piltdown man before it was discovered to be a forgery.
The stories follow the Flint People in general (and Hok the Mighty) in particular. Reading through the stories have anachronistic aspects. He often uses metaphors and analogies that would be familiar to his audience, but look odd when compared to modern views.