Manifest Destiny

By Barry B. Longyear

Rating: 4 stars

Barry B. Longyear is a name in science fiction that I’d not heard before, but on the strength of this collection of linked stories, I’m certainly going to look out for him in future. In 2032, the United States of Earth passes a Resolve that Man shall be supreme in the Universe and no other considerations shall get in the way of that. What follows are a set of stories and novellas that follow humanity as they try and follow that Resolve, encounter other intelligent life and slowly start to see the error of the Resolve.

The highlight of the book for me was the novella Enemy Mine, which has two soldiers on opposite sides being stranded on an uninhabited planet, with only each other for company and they need to rely on each other for survival. This is a recurring theme in science fiction, but it was executed so well here, with the Human and the Drac both being drawn well and the walls between them slowly coming down.

Savage Planet was also an excellent story, with a group of history teachers being brought in by a mining corporation to cow the native inhabitants into submission by showing them the awesome history of Mankind. The rebellion of the teachers and how they come to turn the situation around with (almost) no bloodshed is carried of with great flair.

A great collection from an author that I look forward to reading more of.

Book details

ISBN: 9781504030113
Publisher: Open Road Distribution
Year of publication: 1980

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