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The Iron Tactician (NewCon Press Novellas Set 1) Paperback – December 20, 2016
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Top Customer Reviews
In the classification of stories, these are quest novels. At the opening of this novel, Merlin encounters a ship that has been disabled by the Huskers. The only survivor is a woman named Teal.
Reynolds talent for world building has always been strong, but he has become more adept at building character. This talent is on display in The Iron Tactician. Reynolds work is sometimes described as "space opera". As in opera, the characters in The Iron Tactician are not who they initially appear to be. They have a more complex back story which makes the novella interesting.
These are interesting stories, but they are part of an unfulfilled question. I'm looking forward to being able to read all of the saga at one time. If you're a Reynolds fan, I think that you will like these stories. Although they are not on the level of Diamond Dogs or some of Reynolds' other work.
Basically, Merlin's laissez-faire approach to solving the particular problem he encounters here is laid back to the point of stupidity. For a supposed ages old man on a lone quest in a fragile space ship he's both remarkably sane and incredibly trusting. Reynolds waves the trust away with a trite conversation but Merlin still launches into a high risk situation and consequential course of action like a man who might unconsciously want to die. OK, it's a short, you can't world build in a short, but still, it seemed like a quickly spun off story with little depth of thought.
I wanted a more sensible story with a useful conclusion for the effort and perhaps I've read too much Reynolds and/or too much sci-fi in general, but this was not it.