June 8th, 2012

20111112, Marilee

Coyote Horizon by Allen Steele


This was our bookgroup's April selection and I got there too late. My left ear is pretty bad and my right ear may be going. I was sleeping on my right ear. The ENTs always say it's surprising that my ears have lasted this long because I've taken meds that damage ears.

I knew what the problems with Coyote Horizon were, but since I was an hour late, they had all decided it was an awful book and had finished talking about it. The book is in the two-book Coyote Chronicles, which is actually one book in two parts. Argh. I hadn't read it yet, although I own it (and two others I hadn't read and am now up to date), so I couldn't say anything when our leader suggested it a few months earlier.

The other two problems are related, but go in different directions. We have a good batch of Catholics in our group and the aliens who come to meet the humans give a man, our protagonist, a sort of spirituality box. He learns that the only God is yourself and how to change and our Catholics kept being upset about that. There's a second group on Coyote that moves to complete wilderness and, using a mushroom-equivalent, become able to do tele-things. Another batch of the group was very upset at that. The people on Coyote almost all change to the aliens' views, and some to the paranormal. The views are almost all from existing SF books: Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics, for example.

I thought it was okay, but I really like space-stuff instead of religion-stuff. I read the second/half book, Coyote Destiny and that had more space and science. I also read the newest book, Hex, and I thought that was really great. The aliens make a spaceship of humans go to do something very dangerous and said they would kill all the humans if the humans wouldn't do it. There's a lot between that and this: A giant hexagonal living place made of the planets of a sun. We learn a lot about that, too.

Allen clearly wanted the Coyote Chronicles to look at how religion and other group things can change on a planet that hadn't had much of those to start with. I wonder how well they sold.