Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Guardian Of Night Guardian Of Night
by Tony Daniel
Baen Books

Supplied for review by
Science Fiction Outreach Project at LoneStarCon 3

Reviewed By: Jacqui Smith

The Science Fiction Outreach Project is a mainly US initiative to get the science fiction media fans who attend conventions like ComicCon into reading science fiction (and hopefully getting involved in SF fandom proper). They do this by collecting donations from publishers etc. and handing them out for free. I collected a nice heap of free books at WorldCon, so many that I was concerned that my suitcase was getting too heavy… the least I can do by way of thanks is to review some of them.

Guardian of Night is something of a cross between military science fiction and a spy thriller in the vein of Hunt for Red October. It involves some of the coolest aliens I’ve ever come across in the sceeve – Daniel has put a lot of thought not just into their biology, but also their society, even their poetry! This, considering they communicate by scents, is quite an achievement. He’s also done a better than usual job of extrapolating advances in human technology.

The plot focuses on the efforts of a sceeve named Arid Ricimer to defect to Earth along with the most powerful ship in the fleet; a defection motivated by the rot within the Administration that ran sceeve civilisation, and now threatens to become a cancer that would destroy all other intelligent species in a fit of genocidal xenophobia.

Daniel’s prose is a bit clunky in places, and his characters sometimes lack personality, but that’s not unusual in hard SF. I can only add that although it’s a complete story, Guardian of Night is crying out for a sequel, and I hope Daniel is writing it… because I’d rather like to read it.

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