Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Coyote Rising

by Allen Steele

      If, like this reviewer, you were left breathless after the ending of the excellent Coyote (also reviewed on this site) and eager for more then the wait is over. The intrepid colonists of the Alabama have made the planet Coyote their home, but while just a handful of years have passed to them on earth it is over two hundred years later. The repressive regime they fled from has long fallen, but in its place is a new one, and now a fleet of ships has come to Coyote bringing more colonists and a nightmare brand of communism. The original settlers have fled their homes, and now live as rebels but the revolution is coming, and things will never be the same again.

It is joyful to read a book of the type that made early SF into well-loved classics. Here is the genre’s much vaunted "sense of wonder" updated with plenty of political comment and modern grittiness for a new generation. There is less exploring in this book and more fighting, although some of this is against nature as well as against a despotic government. This is the sort of stirring tale of freedom fighters that appeals to something very basic in a person, but this is a lot more than a traditional tale of evil punished and the good rewarded. There could have been clichés by the barrow load in here, but as in the first book most of them fail to materialize. To its detriment, this book has previously been published in installments in Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine, and at times it does make the novel seem episodic, but then that will mainly happen if you are expecting a straight novel, and this author is too inventive for that. I continue to applaud the sections told by different characters; this is a wonderful way of getting under the skin of a story a la Wilkie Collins. There is a lot in here - rebels fighting for their freedom, people struggling to colonize a new world, strange science and a bizarre cult, courage, tyranny and humanity. Highly recommended and more like this please...

The Book

Orbit (Time Warner)
July 2005
Science Fiction [23rd Century, another planet]
More at US || UK

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2005
© 2005