enhanced] DD-B

Book Note: David Gerrold, Hella

I read this book about 30-Oct-2020. This is the first time I've read this book. The book is copyright 2020. This note was last modified Sunday, 01-Nov-2020 12:07:43 PST.

This is book 4 of the "The Far Side of the Sky" series.

This note contains spoilers for the book.


Fourth of a series (just came out). Ending is a bit abrupt and not terribly deep, but doesn't feel like things are being left open. The packaging seems to completely hide the fact that there are earlier books related to this one.

Hella is an interesting planet. It's big, gravity a bit light (low density), far from its primary, fairly steeply inclined. Deep atmosphere and hellacious weather. Also everything is huge, including the Leviathans (dinosaurs, bigger than ours) and the carnosaurs that prey on them, and many other things.

The ship arrives with the next load of colonists, and doesn't plan to return since Earth is in such bad shape so the crew will stay too, which will strain resources. This happens at a time of political turmoil, when a malignant narcissist has manage to become coordinator by arranging the death of his predecessor.

This features the HARLIE monkey from the previous books (and a reference all the way back to When Harlie Was One).

The narrator is neuro-divergent and transsexual; the society treats sex changes so casually that his transexual state isn't very relevant. Started out female, changed to male to follow his brother, and is now probably going to change back to female and end up in a heterosexual relationship. Which...kind of degrades the point of it all for today? But is a likely pattern if the change is easy enough in the future.

They talk so much about being careful about biological contamination, and behave in such ways that that cat has been out of the bag forever. Dunno if this is intended to be seen as bad; nothing bad comes of it during the book.


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