The Dark Wing
Copyright 2001 by
Walter M. Hunt
I first read this on the 30th January 2007.
The zor are avian aliens with whom humanity has had on-off wars for
These deadly, vicious aliens are just about to break the most recent armistice
and attack us once more. They just never learn, but then neither do we. They
attack and we respond with superior force and hit them hard. We force them back
to the negotiating table and relax.
Meantime, they use the truce to rearm and hit us later. They target civilian
areas with high population density.
Now we begin to learn why the zor attack us. It appears that for them the wars
are something of a jihad - they must must attack us: it is a religious duty to
eliminate humanity from the Universe.
Given that, some people in power are beginning to think that slaughtering the zor is the only
answer. However genocide is not something the human empire can easily stomach.
Some tough decisions have to be made.
Lord Marais-Tuuen may have a solution. Naval officers Ted McMasters and
Sergei Torrijos will follow him. But can they follow him into possible genocide,
let alone into rebellion against the empire?
This wasn't bad space opera but it wasn't great. I enjoyed the battle scenes -
they certainly were gripping. The mystery about Captain Stone introduced an enjoyable
change in the texture of the narrative.
I didn't think much of the aliens: it was too tiring trying to remember the
alien words, there was an odd contrast between names simple names like PALI and
the bizarre "es" words like esLiHiShuSha'a (which is, of course, a prayer disk).
A natural language has such contrasts but you don't emphasise
it in imagined languages.
I liked the idea of the wings providing some of the alien
body language, but humankind must have lost some intellectual prowess if it failed
to recognise that these creatures used body language, specifically their wing
I also wasn't quite sure how I felt about the aliens' semi-mystical
Finally, once the aliens had become allies, they appeared all too human, which
struck me as unlikely. I know humans less human than that.
Loaded on the 29th March 2007.