Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tales of the U'tanse -- Henry Melton

Henry Melton's Project Saga is "a multi-volume, multi-thousand year tale of human destiny that began in Star Time and was continued in Kingdom of the Hill Country, which tells about what happened to one branch of humanity after a supernova flare sets civilization back a few hundred years.  Now there's another book, Tales of the U'tanse, which is about another branch of humanity, beginning with a small group (27 if I'm remembering correctly) that's been snatched from Earth to a distant plant to be the slaves of an alien race of hunters called the Cerik.  The Cerik are a vicious race that has no technology.  They're dependent on others to provide it.  First the Delense did it, and now the humans have been pressed into service.  The atmosphere of the Cerik planet is poisonous to humans, so that makes things even tougher than they might be.  The Cerik are likely to go on a killing spree at any time, and that doesn't help, either.

This collection is a generational saga, and it contains stories that I like to think John W. Campbell would have published in Astounding.  The humans live in terrible conditions, and in each story they're confronted by numerous problems that they have to solve (human problems and technological problems).  Melton has everything worked out in meticulous detail, and it's all believable and suspenseful.  Every enjoyable.

All the stories have appeared online for free at Henry's Stories.  I'm not much of an online reader, so I was glad to have this collection and be able to read them in an old-fashioned book.    

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