- Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Ace (December 1, 1981)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 044114246X
- ISBN-13: 978-0441142460
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,223,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Demon Breed Mass Market Paperback – May 5, 1955
A network of beacons allows ships to travel across the Milky Way at beyond the speed of light. The beacons are built to be robust. They never fail. At least, they aren't supposed to. Learn more
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Top Customer Reviews
Unfortunately, with the current competing tides of sensational occult fantasy and sensational fundamentalism, this title probably puts off potential readers of quality science fiction. (I believe the story was originally titled The Tuvela when a version of it was serialized in one of the older SF mags--Astounding? or SF&F?.)
One of the many things that Schmitz does well is to leave one's mind full of interesting ideas and challenging debates. What about those entertaining mutant otters that we get to see so little of, will they be given citizenship? Is humankind really innately dangerous? What sort of government would humanity need among the stars?
For those who enjoyed the complex and naturally hazardous ecosystem, you might also enjoy two of Alan Dean Foster's works: Midworld, and Sentenced to Prism. (Foster is a print chameleon, with several styles and subgenres to his credit, so I can't blanket-recommend his work. But these two are fascinatingly creative ecosystem-based stories.)
But let us be honest. Given a choice, which would you rather read-- a literate, world-weary, black comedy or a well-crafted Campbellian space opera? How many times do you really _want_ to watch humanity go down the drain? How many novels do you _want_ to read that tell the stark truth about the Human Condition? We _say_ that we religiously watch _Masterpiece Theatre_... but in our heart of hearts, we know that we watch _Desperate Housewives_. In short, there is still a place for the old-fashioned _ASF_ story.
James H. Schmitz's _The Demon Breed_ is an _ASF_-type story, and a good one. It was serialized in _Analog_ in 1968 under the title, "The Tuvela." It was accompanied by a marvelous John Schoenherr cover depicting Nile Etland and her mutated otter companion, Sweeting.
Now in novels of this sort, a few conventions are usually followed. First, the hostile aliens must appear to have all the advantages at the outset of the novel. Second, the aliens must have a psychological weakness. It might be an overly literal way of thinking, it might be a superstition, it might be an overly ritualistic behavior pattern. Whatever it is, the plot of the novel shows how the humans sieze upon that weakness and manipulate it until the enemy is defeated. These novels might be called "guerrilla warfare novels.Read more ›
On an obscure planet an alien force that had previously tried to take territory in the Hub has a breakaway political group that decides to do some smalltime invasion.
A smart scientist, a local agent and their highly intelligent new species mutant otter friends are up to the challenge, though, at least until the Federation warships can get there to offer a hand.
A fast-paced action adventure with some superhuman subterfuge and an interesting epilogue type overview of some of what is really going on.
3.5 out of 5
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I first read this book when I was 14, and have reread it, oh, maybe 50 times since, maybe twice a year. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jamie C. Lutton
I have owned a paperback copy since about 1970 or 1971, in high school, and I still read this book and my other James H. Schmitz title, 'Witches of Karres,' about once a year. Read morePublished on January 22, 2014 by Scott A. Conroe
James H. Schmitz was one of the most popular writers in the John W. Campbell Jr. stable, and The Demon Breed (published as The Tuvela in Campbell's magazine, Analog) offers the... Read morePublished on December 26, 2013 by Steve
It is a classic of science fiction by one of the top science fiction writers. Having said that, I got it because I am doing a survey of books that have otters, and these in this... Read morePublished on April 12, 2013 by John Cleary III
Product is exactly as described, but it sure took a long time to get to me from New Jersey. wordPublished on January 18, 2013 by carol marler