Sunday, July 29, 2007

Carnival - Elizabeth Bear

If you send well-dressed gentle superdiplomats, you are in with a chance.

A couple of guys, not the most popular on the extremely rigid home planet due to their sexual preference, are sent on a mission to investigate the acqusition of really rather good energy tech from another human world. They are really good at the body language thing, so diplomacy/spying is a natural.

After that, it goes from somewhat straightforward, to not, given the society they have gone to has a lot of different ideas, and its own political conflicts. There is a seriously big Dragon in the ointment, as well. Entertaining stuff, and, thankfully, no padding. Be interesting to see what rating I might have given this if I hadn't read Damien Broderick's The Dreaming Dragons finally, recently.

Anyway, you could call this one a 3.75, perhaps, but I'll call it a four for being a refreshing good old fashioned novel.

4 out of 5

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