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on March 25, 2013 :
I don't get to read a huge amount of fiction any more, which is why it is particularly enjoyable when I do. At the moment I'm drifting back towards science fiction, which I had abandoned for quite a while, and had an enjoyable weekend with Richard Sutton's Home.
I thought to start with this was going to be a typical 'stranded in space/revert to savages' type novel, but in fact Home is much more about what it is to be human, and what it would be like to be dependent on a largely superior race. As someone brought up on Star Trek, I thought Sutton's humanoid and interbreeding aliens were very reminiscent of the Star Trek humanoid universe, complete with its explanation of early shared origins - and I don't say this as a bad thing.
Overall, Home is a gentle, enjoyable read. If anything it could have done with a bit more menace, but because a lot of it is about inner exploration (I was slightly reminded of Heinlein's early inward looking phase, before he got too self-indulgent), this isn't a problem.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)
on Sep. 17, 2012 :
"Home" is a thoughtful metaphor about the phenomenon of immigration and the clash of different cultures. The author might have chosen to relate a story of Eastern Europeans immigrating to America during the 19th Century. Instead, his story takes place in the far future, with pilgrims from a depleted Earth traveling to a new planet. They are welcomed and helped by some of the natives, but despised by others. The discovery of a common DNA leads inevitably to inter-species romance with equally inevitable stresses and trials. Somehow people make do and survive. This is not a Star Wars tale, with ray guns and interplanetary blasters. Rather, it is a story of quiet struggles within, to come to grips with our own natures. A unique accomplishment.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)