Reviews: de Camp, L. Sprague

Love is Our Resistance

Rogue Queen — L. Sprague de Camp

L. Sprague de Camp’s 1951 standalone Rogue Queen takes place in de Camp’s Viagens Interplanetarias setting.

Our protagonist, Iroedh, is a member of the worker-caste in the Avtiny community. Her group faces an existential threat: invasion and enslavement by its more aggressive and larger Arsuuni neighbours. Iroedh, as a scholar and antiquarian, seems to be of no use in the struggle. She is looked down on by her fellow Avtiny.

Then comes word of the visitors from the stars.

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Swashbuckling Tour Guide

The Hostage of Zir — L. Sprague de Camp
Krishna, book 4

L. Sprague de Camp’s 1977 novel The Hostage of Zir is part of de Camp’s Viagens Interplanetarias series, his attempt to come up with a swords and blasters setting that made sense.

Relativistic flight gave humans access to the nearer stars, many of which had habitable worlds. Most of the worlds also had native inhabitants. While some of these alien worlds were as technologically sophisticated as Earth, the natives of worlds like Tau Ceti’s Krishna and Epsilon Eridani’s Kukulkan were comparatively primitive. The Interplanetary Council instituted strict limits on the importation of advanced technology to these backward worlds. Given that supposedly civilized peoples, Americans and Russians, had already devastated the Earth’s northern hemisphere, the IC did not want to find out just what primitives might do with such powerful weapons.

Contact and trade are still allowed, within the limits of the law. Many Terrans have ventured out of the port city of Novorecife, on Krishna, to explore that diverse and interesting world. Several of them lived long enough to return. Now Krishna is going to be opened to broader tourism … which may prove unfortunate for Krishnans and tourists alike


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