Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Renegat, by Orson Scott Card

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(SF Adventure) Andrew (“Ender”) Wiggin and his sister Valentine arrive on planet Catalunya to investigate the murder of a man who was trying to prove a local life form was intelligent. (16,776 words; Time: 55m)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ Not Recommended

"Renegat," by (edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt), appeared in (RSR review), published on by .

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

Pro: They do solve both mysteries, even though the result is a little sad. Yes, the Llob were intelligent, but only together with their symbiont. Now they’re all gone.

Con: The odds that Andrew and Valentine would arrive just weeks after a murder and meet someone they already knew are vanishingly rare.

The odds that an earthly organism could infect an alien one are even worse. And the idea that the llob could just instantly learn English is absurd.

Valentine and Andrew come across as Mary Sues. They figure everything out quickly and they have no problems with anything. The Llob just sniff Andrew; they don’t attack. The hacker locked the door to exclude Dabeet, but Ender’s code opens it at once. Etc. On top of that, they’re both very unpleasant characters.

Dabeet, on the other hand, accomplishes nothing. Arguably he’s not really the protagonist—like Watson in Sherlock Holmes stories—but then that makes Ender the protagonist, and that makes this a Mary Sue story.

There is a small amount of editorializing in the narration and even a bit of as-you-know-Bob dialogue.

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Orson Scott Card Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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