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Two great stories, one mediocre and one huge disappointment.
on 9 August 2004
In 'Ms. Midshipwoman Harrington' Weber offers a view of Harrington's early career after the fashion of Forester's 'Hornblower' series in the style we have all come to love. Although Harrington's apparent inability to do anything wrong does become unbelievable at times, this is nevertheless a hugely enjoyable story.
'Changer of Worlds' offers a fascinating and thought-provoking insight into the treecat society, and also allows the reader to examine the characters of Nimitz/Laughs Brightly and Samantha/Golden Voice in a way that would be impossible within the structure of one of the full-length novels with Harrington as the focaliser.
'From The Highlands' was an adequate story, but when combined in a collection with such strong stories this was a let-down. Although not bad, this novella failed to capture my imagination and dragged on for far longer than I felt was necessary.
'Nightfall' was a huge disappointment for me, as it was simply an extract from one of the full-length novels, when I had been anticipating a new piece of work. I don't recall which novel it was, but the short story re-tells the attempted 'disappearance' of Esther McQueen by the Havenite government and her resulting coup over Fontein and Saint-Just.