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Marilee J. Layman

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06:11 pm: Hunter's Run - Survival Is the Only Law by George R.R. Martin, Gardner Dozois, Daniel Abraham
This was an ARC that came to the library system. The SFF ARCs always end up with our bookgroup and I took this one to read. The top of the back cover blurb sets what they want it to say:

...a riveting, emotionally compelling morality tale set in an unforgiving alien world that ponders the perennial question: What makes us human?

Humans are manning a colony planet for a superior alien species and our protagonist, Ramon Espejo, lives in Diegotown when he isn't out mining. The book opens with an "overture" showing us a scene from later in the book, then starts the story. Ramon finds a likely mountain (he's out of communcation range), and when he sets a coring charge, the front of the mountain falls down. His (flying) van is destroyed and he barely survives. Now there's a metal front to the mountain and a door irises. He's trapped by a different kind of alien in a flying box. The new aliens force him to hunt another human.

The plot elements in this book are well-used: emotional human vs. computer-like alien, cloning, and human forced to hunt other humans. They're fairly well mixed up in this, but nothing really new. I have to wonder if they took a part-Mexican colonist as their protagonist in order to make him more likely to drink, fight, and kill. It seems pretty stereotypical and it gives them someone who can change. But will he? What does make us human? I don't think the book comes close to answering that.

My rating for the ARC: Ehn.

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