Monday, January 31, 2011

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Mike Resnick - Blue Tyson

Mike Resnick is an author in multiple genres, including porn, pooches and the ponies, but is best known for his science fiction and fantasy. He is also an anthologist of over 40 books output, and was an editor for Jim Baen's Universe. Both his novel and short fiction output is very prolific. His novel work is solid, but his short fiction is better, and here he displays a consistent upper range, whether seriously examining colonialism, or producing shaggy weredog stories.

Resnick has produced a wide-ranging future history called the Birthright Universe, and the scope of this can be seen in Birthright: The Book of Man, showing the rise and fall of humanity. His subgenre works ranges from Santiago, an examination of what it is to be a freedom fighter/space hero or terrorist/criminal depending on whose point of view, to the absolutely over the top tall tales of fighting off aliens at The Outpost, with its mostley crew of heroes, hopeless cases, whores and killer (and non-killer) robots. Other space adventures include the Oracle series, including some colourful characters, the Widowmaker, and the more recent Starship series. In the latter, a competent military leader gets the shaft when he really doesn't want to continue massacring people, and goes rogue.

Resnick is one of the few authors that can consistently manage humour as humour, and it would have been fun to see the Stainless Steel Rat fall into some Birthright Universe spacetime warp in a short story crossover. Resnick also produced an Edgar Rice Burroughs pastiche set on Ganymede, which I have never seen. However, unlike Michael Moorcock's recent Sojan volume the editor of Planet Stories says the author won't allow this to be reprinted, the spoilsport. Which is a bit odd given the number of definitely sillier (and indeed, completely silly) works he has already.

Catastrophe Baker and the Cold Equations is an example of one of his larger than life tall tale types, complete with pirate queen. In the next, he finds a giant woman in stasis, then a Pirate Queen. De Milo deals death to opponents, whatever limbs she was, or whatever they are made of. The Conspirators is a Birtright story, and an empire building part of that future history. The Medics is about dealing with a new environment. Nicobar Lane: the Soul Eater's story is about a hunter's prey. The last is another Output tall tale, or Saving Sinderella.

Catastrophe Baker and the Cold Equations

Catastrophe Baker In The Hall Of The Neptunian Kings

Catastrophe Baker and the Dragon Queen

The Cyborg De Milo

The Conspirators

The Medics

Nicobar Lane: The Soul Eater's Story

Nicodemus Mayflower and the Aliens

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