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Starship: Mutiny
Mike Resnick
Pyr, 286 pages

Starship: Mutiny
Mike Resnick
Mike Resnick sold his first book in 1962 and went on to sell more than 200 novels, 300 short stories and 2,000 articles, almost all of them under pseudonyms. He turned to SF with the sale of The Soul Eater, his first under his own name. Since 1989, Mike has won Hugo Awards (for Kirinyaga; The Manamouki; Seven Views of Olduvai Gorge; The 43 Antarean Dynasties; Travels With My Cats) and a Nebula Award (for Seven Views of Olduvai Gorge).

Mike Resnick Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Dragon America
SF Site Review: Men Writing Science Fiction As Women, Women Writing Science Fiction As Men and New Voices in Science Fiction
SF Site Review: A Hunger in the Soul

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Steve Lazarowitz

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I often whine piteously about the dearth of "classic" science fiction novels -- the action/adventure, bug-eyed monster, alien invasion sort of books I'd voraciously consumed in my formative years. I've always been a huge fan of space opera, even if it is considered passé. When I learned Mike Resnick had ventured into the subgenre, I was thrilled, for I could hardly think of an author I enjoy more, returning to what I consider the science fiction basics. Yet, I was nervous as well. Here's a man who has won several Hugos and a Nebula Award, one of the most popular SF writers in recent years, turning his attention to an all but forgotten subgenre. Could a man who'd penned such deep and thoughtful volumes like the Kirinyaga books pull off a purely entertaining action adventure?

Starship: Mutiny was a blast, in more ways than one. The main character, Commander Wilson Cole, is witty, arrogant, sarcastic, entertaining as hell and almost always right. Starship: Mutiny is filled with potshots at the military, particularly dealing with internal politics and public relations. It's also the story of a war hero, hated by his superiors, loved by the public; a man demoted for his success at ignoring stupid orders in order to save the day. Wilson Cole carries his mantle brilliantly, a soldier fighting the "bad guys," while trying to avoid being hamstrung by his superiors.

Wilson is "exiled" to the Teddy Roosevelt, an outdated and obsolete starship far from the center of the war, a place where he would no longer be an embarrassment to the brass -- in fact, it's the reason the entire crew is there. A floating brig in the middle of nowhere, keeping the high profile troublemakers out of trouble -- until Wilson Cole arrives. Predictably, it doesn't take him long to find trouble.

The supporting characters are what I'd expect from space opera. They are there to fill the necessary roles to give the main character something to react to, whether they be villains, friends, supporters or even "allies" who give him nothing but trouble. Starship: Mutiny is the first book of a five book set, so there's plenty of time to develop the players in the series, around a character that's everything I love in a protagonist.

Starship: Mutiny isn't a deep or thoughtful book. It's an action-packed romp through a science fiction funhouse complete with bizarre aliens, breathtaking escapes, space battles and the biggest battle of all, trying to do the right thing when everyone around you is beyond caring. To say I enjoyed the book would be an understatement of vast proportions, and you can rest assured I'll be reading the sequels as they come out.

Can a science fiction maestro like Mike Resnick turn his hand to the pure entertainment of space opera? You can bet your last galactic credit on it. If you're a fan of the subgenre, or Mr. Resnick's work, Starship: Mutiny is one book you won't want to miss.

Copyright © 2006 Steve Lazarowitz

Steve Lazarowitz is a speculative fiction writer, an editor, a father, a husband, an animal lover and a heck of a nice guy (not necessarily in that order). Steve lives in Moonah, Tasmania with his family and four giant spiny leaf insects. You can check out his work at http://www.dream-sequence.net.


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