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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

       
Great Sky River

Copyright 1987 by Gregory Benford

SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Very good (3/5)

I first read this in 1989 and most recently on the 31st July 2004.

In the far future, mankind is in battle with machine intelligences. The conflict has continued on the planet Snowglade for centuries, but now the mechs have all but won. They've destroyed the human citadels and their inhabitants. The few remaining humans survive in nomadic tribes, fleeing from the mechs that prowl their planet.

Kileen is a member of the Family Bishop, and the two hundred or so people in this tribe are, they believe, the only humans left from their citadel, and perhaps the last humans on the planet. Cap'n Fanny is the leader of their family and sees more in Kileen than he does himself. At present he seeks his solace a little too much in drink and drugs, as he continues to mourn the death of his wife and father six years before. He hasn't given up entirely, he still has his son to care for, though he knows he's also failing at that.

Now though, their plight has worsened. No longer are they just avoiding the attention of the mechs. Now they are being actively chased by Mantis, a new and superior design of mech, Mantis is a far more deadly mech than any they have encountered before.

Wow! This is a very good book. Yes, it is a very familiar theme, but Benford makes interesting. I recently read the sequel "Furious Gulf" which is good, but not as good as this novel. Sometimes, Mr Gregory (because I feel I know him so well) simply hits the mark (not in the fairground sense of the word, nor the currency of course).

Loaded on the 14th August 2005.
    
Cover of Great Sky River
Cover by Roger Bergendorff

Reviews of other work by Gregory Benford
Shiva Descending
The Martian Race
Eater
Beyond Infinity