Shaara says that he writes about damaged people. Most often, as in "Soldier Boy," "Grenville's Planet," and "Wainer," society has wounded his protagonists, striking at the innate differences which mark them as superior but misunderstood or even hated. Their talents generally estrange Shaara's lonely ones from the rest of society, as with "Wainer," a man born — and despised — as man's first evolutionary step to the stars. Shaara says that "Wainer was hope," leading him to his novel The Herald (1981), where he develops a disturbing variation on the end-of-the-world theme, a device...
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