Hardfought Summary
by Greg Bear

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Hardfought Summary

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Hardfought tells of a small portion in an eons-long war between humanity and the very ancient species of the Senexi. The narrative focuses on Prufax, a girl barely entering her adolescence, and Aryz, a Senexi whose job is to first understand humans and then, if successful, commit suicide. The violent coming together of these very different beings illustrates how understanding between humans and Senexi might be achieved and how such understanding could lead to peace.

Hardfought is very densely written, intense in action and theme, and it demands that readers think closely about how events and characters develop in a culture vastly different than our own. The vicarious adventure in a wonderous cosmos that the story provides, along with the very density of the writing, are two of the most attractive aspects of the novella. It also presents themes of immediate interest to young people, offering sometimes simplistic answers to complex questions, but doing so with a clarity that is bound to appeal to readers who wish to have their minds taken seriously by those who write for that audience.