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Wolfling (1969)

af Gordon R. Dickson

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383250,920 (3.58)10
A classic of science fiction from SF legend Gordon R. Dickson, winner of three Hugo awards, a Nebula award, and an inductee into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. When the first expedition from Earth reaches Alpha Centuari III, it makes a startling discovery: all life, including humankind, is governed by the Throne World. The Earth is a mere outpost in a vast star empire.  Jim Keil was a superman on Earth, but on the Throne World he is nothing more than a "wolfling," a trained pet whose sole purpose is to entertain the High-Born. But Jim Keil will show the High-Born that the people of Earth aren't so easily tamed. About Gordon R. Dickson:  "Dickson is one of SF's standard-bearers."--Publishers Weekly "Dickson has a true mastery of pacing and fine understanding of human beings."--Seattle Post Intelligencer "A masterful science fiction writer."--Milwaukee Journal… (mere)
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Inside flyleaf: One of Gordy's Best! SEL ( )
  sterlingelanier | Sep 27, 2012 |
As humans embark on interstellar travel, they head, of course, to the Alpha Centauri system but find an ancient civilization there already. In fact, based on the remarkable resemblance of flora and fauna, it seems highly likely that Earth was a lost colony of this empire. In order to begin to understand the Empire and how Earth will relate to it, Earth has plotted to inject a very special man into the Empire to observe it and to report back. But things progress far quicker than anyone imagines, and before long simple observation is no longer possible.

This was an amazingly quick read - I started it at about 6pm and finished by 11pm - and that included dinner, a trip to the grocery store and bath night. It wasn't terribly deep but did ask a couple of interesting questions. The unfortunate impression I came away with was that our hero, Jim Kiell, was James Bond - strong, suave, stoic, knowledgeable, able to learn anything (physical or mental) quickly - in short, a demigod. I think it takes away from characters when they are given so many advantages. The insights that Our Man Jim gets, the amazing leaps of perception and reason are just not quite believable. Perhaps they would be if Dickson had spent more than 162 pages on the story.

Then again, if it had gone much longer, we probably would have gotten into High-born sex... or Starkian military maneuvers... And who would want THAT? Ummm.. Me! ( )
1 stem helver | Sep 17, 2010 |
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A classic of science fiction from SF legend Gordon R. Dickson, winner of three Hugo awards, a Nebula award, and an inductee into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. When the first expedition from Earth reaches Alpha Centuari III, it makes a startling discovery: all life, including humankind, is governed by the Throne World. The Earth is a mere outpost in a vast star empire.  Jim Keil was a superman on Earth, but on the Throne World he is nothing more than a "wolfling," a trained pet whose sole purpose is to entertain the High-Born. But Jim Keil will show the High-Born that the people of Earth aren't so easily tamed. About Gordon R. Dickson:  "Dickson is one of SF's standard-bearers."--Publishers Weekly "Dickson has a true mastery of pacing and fine understanding of human beings."--Seattle Post Intelligencer "A masterful science fiction writer."--Milwaukee Journal

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