Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Iron Tactician, by Alastair Reynolds

★★★☆☆ Average

(Military SF) Merlin's starship is one of the best, but it needs repairs, and a derelict starship may have what he needs. Or he can try a binary system where an interplanetary war has raged for centuries. (29,063 words; Time: 1h:36m)

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"The Iron Tactician," by (edited by Ian Whates), published on by .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Review: 2016.897 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: The plot is very clear, albeit multithreaded: Merlin wants to get the syrinx and head on. It doesn't work, but he can't know that until the end, when he does move on.

Teal wants to avenge her crewmates, and, in a sense, she finds a way to do so, staying with the people in the binary and helping them prepare for the Huskers.

Baskin wants to help his people, and he accomplishes that in an unexpected way.

The world building is good; he definitely creates the feel of a humanity with as much as a million years of history behind it.

Con: If the Iron Tactician is just a person inside a machine, why is it so powerful? It nearly beat Merlin's ship, and yet up until then, the Tyrant had been vastly superior to everything it encountered.

The characters are all rather flat, and we don't feel anything for any of them.

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