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Space Mavericks by Michael Kring
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Space Mavericks (1980)

by Michael Kring

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Series: The Space Mavericks (1)

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First in an early 1980s space opera series which was never completed. Trading ships are divided into those belonging to the big conglomerates, and independents known as mavericks, with no love lost between the two groups. Enough mavericks have been beaten or even killed that maverick pilot Fripp Enos has had himself modified -- an alien medical procedure that enhances the body's natural defences in some startling ways. Few people had the procedure done even before it was outlawed, so Fripp can usually win a fight against even an armed opponent. Which is useful, because even though Fripp doesn't look for trouble, trouble inevitably finds him.

Fripp rescues a teenage girl from a gang, and takes her to the police, only to find himself caught up in a government-sponsored kidnap plot. He and his partner rescue the girl again, and in the course of escaping and getting her back to her father, Fripp encounters a set of ancient ruins with active alien technology -- including a ring with strange powers. The novel wraps up the action-adventure plot involving the girl, but sets Fripp and Kohn on a course of trying to find out more about the source of the ring.

It's written in very purple prose, and it supplied more than its fair share of dubious gems for Thog's Masterclass in Ansible. It's also enormous fun, and not just in a "fun to poke holes in" way. The modification technology is well thought through with a believable downside to balance the advantages it gives Fripp, the book has an interesting take on the "ancient alien technology" theme, and it has my all time favourite description of hyperspace travel, with the concept of touching Spheres (actually of different shapes, not just spheres) which can only safely be crossed from one to another at the contact points, but where the foolhardy or desperate can slip along the interface to enter a new Sphere where they choose. And rather than being just the FTL needed to make interstellar travel feasible, the properties of Warp have a direct bearing on the plot. A happy teenage memory that's still fun to read, even if I recognise its flaws. ( )
1 vote JulesJones | Jan 3, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Michael Kringprimary authorall editionscalculated
Pujolar, AlbertoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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There was a brief instant of gut-rattling vibration as the ship settled down upon the landing pad.
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