I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
The first story revolves around Iadog, from a sort of insect-like race. He spent time on Earth and learned about the culture, but he goes back home to his own planet where they’re extremely strict. Not following their traditions can quickly get one killed. Then his old classmate, Finnley, suddenly shows up. The race that is terrified of change doesn’t welcome him, and they demand Iadog find out why he came.
At first, I don’t know if I misread something, but I was very confused about the android and thought that Finnley had been captured WITH an android. It made a lot more sense when I realized an android had gone in place of him.
The story was very enjoyable. I liked Iadog, and even got to liking Finnley. The world is set up well and it’s easy to see why Iadog would be afraid for his well-being when Finnley pops up. It’s oppressive to the extent that he’s even spied on, and then the one in charge of him will ask about things he did when he thought he was in private.
The story is supposed to be a question whether it’s okay to change another culture. While I enjoyed the story itself a lot, ‘culture’ itself is rather low on my list of what’s important. Finnley is upset at the end that they deceived them in order to force them to change, but at the same time the previous culture was full of deceit, too. And culture is is ever-changing. What’s to say the new culture is somehow less important than the old culture? Is the culture in America in 2015 the same as America was in 1950? Would we want it to be? I sure wouldn’t.
Culture is constantly growing and changing and trying to force it to stay the same isn’t any less intrusive than forcing it to change. Anyway, those are a few of my thoughts on the topic, but it does go to show that the story brings up some interesting questions. It’s enjoyable to watch how Iadog changes and his people change. But, even with my feelings on culture, I do feel bad for Iadog. It’s likely he’s not meant to be a leader, and clear that after he makes a wonderful start he’s not necessarily happy in the role. He does a lot of great things to help his people, but it’s clear it will take a toll on him, and I can understand why his friend, Finnley, would be upset by that. (On the other hand, Iadog probably would have just died otherwise).
The second story was essentially about a little ball from another dimension coming to destroy the people of our world. By chance, a farmer accidentally captures him. She then talks to the Sphere that is hellbent on her destruction for awhile and, as it turns out, the life cycle for it is only about a day. As time passes it quickly goes from a young warrior to a senile, old creature. This tale was pretty funny, with the old Sphere still insisting on how dangerous it was as it became weaker and weaker. It was also a bit sad, and understandable why she felt bad for the creature even though it spent the entire time essentially threatening her.
The third might have been the weakest. A farmer has hired a prostitute, or ‘helper’, who has lived with him for two years. Then he goes bankrupt and she gets repossessed. When he sees her again he decides that he’s in love with her, and goes as far as to murder the man who currently has a contract with her. It’s all right, and I like the way it ends. The ending makes sense after his insane actions, and I actually really liked her. She was in a tough spot and trying to survive, but she wasn’t falling in love with the people who paid for her. She probably didn’t even like them, and it makes sense for her not to.
There were some errors in this book, and in the copy I had the formatting was messed up.
Iadog looked both ways down the corridor to ensure that no one had heard the use an English word…
Carless behavior could result in…
…and Iadog had mad a sincere effort.
The stories are very enjoyable but they do need editing. I’m rating more on how much I liked it despite the errors. So I give it a 9/10. It’s a fun book, check it out if you like science fiction.