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Nimisha's Ship
Anne McCaffrey
Del Rey Books, 388 pages

Michael Herring
Nimisha's Ship
Anne McCaffrey
Anne McCaffrey was born in Cambridge, MA. She graduated cum laude from Radcliffe College, majoring in Slavonic Languages and Literatures. Her first novel, Restoree, was published by Ballantine Books in l967. However, she is best know for her Dragonriders of Pern novels. Del Rey has developed an extensive site dedicated to her Pern novels.

Although she used to make appearances throughout the world, arthritis has now restricted such travel. She lives in a house of her own design, Dragonhold-Underhill, in Wicklow County, Ireland.

Anne McCaffrey Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Black Horses for the King and If Wishes Were Horses
SF Site Review: The Masterharper of Pern
Excerpt: The Dolphins of Pern
Excerpt: Dragon's Eye - aka Red Star Rising

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Jeri Wright

Anne McCaffrey's latest novel introduces a new world and new characters. Fans of McCaffrey will not be surprised to find a strong female protagonist, lots of adventure, and a bit of romance.

Lady Nimisha is a member of one of the first families of Vega III. Body-heir to Lady Rezalla Boynton-Chonderlee, she has an unsuitable (in her mother's opinion) aptitude for mechanics while a child, and for engineering design as she grows older. Unlike many of her indolent peers, Nimisha wishes to do something with her life, and that something is designing better spaceships. Her father, Lord Tionel, takes a surprising interest in a daughter who is not his body-heir, and involves her in his Ship Yards, eventually leaving her in control of the business.

By this time Nimisha is an innovative designer in her own right, and working on her plans for an experimental long distance cruiser. Despite malicious interference from her father's body-heir and his dam, Nimisha keeps her father's legacy and continues improving on her designs. Testing her latest ship, the Mark 5, an unexpected encounter with a wormhole during a test flight leaves her stranded so far from home that the ship's AI can't even plot a course back.

Exploring nearby planets suitable for human occupation, Nimisha finds the wrecks of other ships similarly caught up by the wormhole. She also finds survivors -- both human and non-human.

Many science fiction readers won't need to know much more about the book than the fact that Anne McCaffrey has a new novel out. I've been a fan of McCaffrey's for a long time, and I like her style, though I think that Nimisha's Ship, like several recent offerings, is somewhat shallow and superficial.

Don't get me wrong; it was an enjoyable read, with likable characters and enough action to keep my interest, but it was not totally satisfying. Parts of the book, particularly the beginning chapters, read more like an outline than a novel. A lot of "telling" and not much "showing". This improves once we get to the meat of the story, but there is still not a great deal of emotional intensity. I missed the more personal focus of earlier books; I never felt strongly involved in this one.

The book does have its moments. The meeting with survivors of another "shipwreck" is poignant, and the AI's Nimisha has incorporated into her Mark 5 add a nice touch. (They have more personality than some of the human characters.) The aliens could have been interesting had we gotten to know them better.

Overall, this is a smooth and pleasant way to while away a few hours, but it is not a book that I will ponder over or remember long.

Copyright © 1999 Jeri Wright

Jeri is a voracious reader who believes that paradise could well be a quiet afternoon, unlimited chocolate, and a novel to lose herself in. She reads and reviews all types of fiction, and enjoys sharing her life long passion for books with like-minded readers.

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