Hunt, Walter H.
Title Dark Wing, The
Binding Hard Cover
Book Condition New
Jacket Condition New
Edition 1st Edition. 1st Impression.
Publisher New York, NY, U.S.A. TOR 2001
0-765-30113-X / 9780765301130
Signature/Autograph or Inscription Signed by Author
A.B.Normal Book Number 190249
Signed by author on full title page.Very tight, clean unread copy. No bumps, no marks or blems. Dust jacket covered with Brodart 'just-a-fold' 1.5 mil jacket. From The Critics Publisher's Weekly This entertaining first novel plays some welcome variations on formulaic military SF. Tired of a decades-long war with the zor, a race of birdlike aliens, the Solar Empire puts a new admiral, a former scholar who claims to understand the zor point of view, in charge of the space fleet. Admiral Marais believes that the aliens can't imagine coexisting with humans, and declares that the only way to overcome them is to shatter their worldview while pressing them to the brink of extinction. But the Solar Empire doesn't anticipate Marais's personal stake in the war: he believes himself to be a threatening, implacable power called the Dark Wing, part of the pantheon of zor religion. The zor, convinced of Marais's alleged secret identity, see him as their likely destroyer. Up to this point, the novel seems to prepare for a standard, detailed presentation of space battle tactics, but instead the story veers off into a discussion of the morality of exterminating another race, however hostile. As the story progresses, Hunt adds depth to the characters, who start behaving oddly. Although they're comfortably flat, as in most military SF, some of them obviously harbor hidden schemes. By the end, one war is over, but larger and much stranger conflicts are just coming into focus. Hunt delivers a bravura performance, especially for a new writer. It's unclear whether he can keep up this level of razzle-dazzle whether he's juggling chainsaws or just Nerf balls but he's a showman to watch. (Dec. 19) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information. VOYA - Ann Welton Sergei Torrijos, a lifer in the His Majesty's Navy and captain of the battleship Lancaster, is present when the Imperial Fleet is set upon by the alien zor, with whom the Imperial Solar Empire considers itself to be at peace. Following the harrowing destruction inflicted during the attack, a nonmilitary man, Ivan Hector Charles Marais, is made admiral of the fleet. Torrijos, elevated to fleet commodore, has a front-row seat as Marais enters into a war of attrition with the zor, fighting them to the point of extinction. Objections from the government on Earth go unheeded as the war rages light years from the seat of the Empire. The campaign takes an unexpected turn when the zor come to regard Marais as The Dark Wing, a mythic force. Hunt's writing style is a little clunky and formulaic, but the plot line is gripping, charged with ethical and moral questions and the struggle of one race to comprehend another whose cosmic view is radically different. Characterization is uneven. The human characters lack depth and individuality, whereas the zor are quite well developed and believable. There are certainly more accomplished contact stories, such as Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle's The Mote in God's Eye (Simon & Schuster, 1974) and Mary Doria Russell's wrenching The Sparrow (Villard, 1996). For a first foray, however, Hunt's work shows promise. With an open ending, it is likely that a sequel is forthcoming and will be welcomed by fans of hard science fiction. VOYA CODES: 3Q 3P J S A/YA (Readable without serious defects; Will appeal with pushing; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult and Young Adult). 2001, Tor, 544p, Library Journal To bring an end to the continual state of war between humanity and the alien, birdlike zor, the Solar Empire places its military command in the hands of Lord Marais, a scholar versed in the culture of the zor. Marais's knowledge, together with his belief that he is the legendary "Dark Wing" of zor mythology, puts him and the human race in the difficult position of having to choose whether or not to annihilate the enemy in order to achieve victory. Hunt's first novel, set in the far future, deals with the problematic issues of xenophobia and genocide while presenting a fast-paced story that should appeal to fans of space opera and military sf. Reminiscent of Orson Scott Card's military classic Ender's Game, this work belongs in most sf collections. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information. Kirkus Reviews Military science fiction from newcomer Hunt, something like Honor Harrington flavored with Babylon 5. For more than 60 years, humanity has been at war with the xenophobic bird-mammal zor. Defeated in every engagement, the zor sign peace treaties that they then ignore; they even attack civilian settlements. Exasperated, Emperor Alexander engages retired Admiral Lord Marais, an expert on the zor, to take command of the highly politicized Space Navy (rich aristocrats can buy their commissions) and defeat the enemy by whatever means necessary. At first dubious of their new desk-warming commander-in-chief, Commodore Sergei Torrijos and his captains are soon won over by Marais and his ideas: the zor, guided by the prescient dreams of their High Lord, believe that they cannot coexist with humans and will continue to fight regardless of circumstances. Marais proposes to either force the zor to surrender or exterminate them; he doesn't care which. When his tactics prove successful, back home ambitious political opponents cry genocide and demand Marais's recall. He ignores all such orders and so lays himself open to charges of mutiny and the threat of a court-martial. The zor, meantime, show that they're not completely impervious to the situation, while aboard Sergei's flagship lurks a mysterious being with godlike powers and an agenda that bodes ill for both races. A thoughtful debut, reassuringly familiar in shape with glints of originality and intriguing if one-dimensional aliens: Satisfyingly complete in itself, though expertly set up for sequels.
FICTION SCIENCE SPACE OPERA WAR