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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Good writing, but not for every classic Sci Fi fan24 Feb. 2011
Jack Of Alltrades
- Published on Amazon.com
Merril was a good writer, but though I am a big fan of classic SF and of James Triptree, Jr.---another incredible female writer---her writing is not for this reader. Why?
Merril's exposition is needlessly verbose and burdened with an overly intellectual style, a style that detracts from her stories' impact on the reader. She uses big words when small ones would do as well or better.
Her stories are focused on what happens inside the protagonist's mind, rather than what goes on without.
Examples: A woman has a deformed child. A mother misplaces her child who is killed. Men and women form unconventional mating pairs. Psi adepts meet at last.
Most describe strong women, their thoughts and emotions. Some are moving, some are entertaining, but all are in microcosm.
They're about gender, about relationships, feelings and about women who are as intelligent as Merril considers herself to be. She said she'd never known another woman as intelligent as she---a revealing statement, and one perceptible in her writing.
If you enjoy SF well crafted and fraught with danger, if you enjoy action deciding life and death, if you like alien contact, exploration and stories that span generations, galaxies and eons, if you like stories about men and how men must live, then you may want to try the work of James Schmitz The Witches of Karres, Jack Vance Tales of the Dying Earth or Chad Oliver Far from This Earth and Other Stories (Nesfa's Choice).