Anthony R. Lewis (essay date 1979)
SOURCE: A review of Fireship, in Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, Vol. XCIX, No. 10, October, 1979, pp. 165-66.
[In the following excerpt, Lewis favorably reviews Fireship, describing it as a story of "love and loyalty and integrity and courage. "]
Here are two novellas: Fireship [and] Mother and Child. . . The cover blurbs say that these are short novels, but I say they're novellas. The first, which appeared here (December 1978), and from which the book takes its title is a competent adventure story. The protagonist, whom we do not meet until late in the story, has by his existence called into being an antagonist. This antagonist would normally be considered the hero. He is a human/computer symbiosis, not a cyborg. The computer personality is more appealing than the human in most aspects. The "hero" gets involved in interplanetary intrigue, fights assorted villians, wins in the end, and gets to bed a female. But the culmination is not that of the typical super-agent story. Victory is achieved by the (not-quite Hegelian) synthesis of the protagonist (villain) and the antagonist (our hero) which suggests a higher order of human/computer symbiosis is possible. . . .
The second novella, Mother and Child, more than justifies the existence of this book. It should have been the title story but marketing has shown that the average SF book buyer is more...
(The entire section is 586 words.)