cat63 (cat63) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Book 51 for 2013

Deathworld 2 by Harry Harrison. 115 pages.

Jason Din Alt is settling in to his new life on the fierce planet Pyrrus when he is kidnapped by a man determined to bring him to trial for robbing a casino, not because he cares about the casino, but because he wants to show up the corruption of his own government.

The book is an odd mix of action adventure and philosophical arguments between Jason and his captor as to whether ethics are a product of individual societies or have a freestanding existence of their own. The author's position is crystal clear - Jason's opponent, though sincere in his beliefs, is an utterly disagreeable strawman, existing only to be objectionably wrong - which I feel weakens the book rather. Sublety is not something I'd expect from pulp science fiction of that era of course, but this was so blatant it was painful.

And the ending struck both me and Rob as if the author has struck a predetermined word limit and had to wrap the whole thing up in another five pages. Not the author's best work by a long chalk.
Tags: sci-fi

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