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Burning Bright by Melissa Scott
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Burning Bright (1993)

by Melissa Scott

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276641,007 (3.81)1 / 67
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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Burning Bright was fun and a good enough way to pass the time.

When Lioe arrives on the world of Burning Bright, she’s not thinking about anything other than the Game: the continous video game RPG which is popular with humans across the known universe. However, when Lioe uses character templates of a Burning Bright native, she becomes inadvertently drawn into complex local politics.

As far as I know, everyone in Burning Bright was bisexual, which was fantastic. I also liked that this future world didn’t seem to have any problems with homophobia and sexism.

Lioe is involved with a woman, Rosche, for most of the book, but I’m not sure if it was really a romance. Lioe and Rosche don’t seem to feel much for each other, but that could just be a general flaw of the novel. Besides, Rosche is a pretty flat character. I still don’t know much about her besides that she’s presented as a sexy, fiery dockworker.

I think the most emotional relationship was probably between Ransome and Chauvelin, but again there’s issues with the characters appearing emotionally dampened, particularly at the end. I would venture to guess that none of these characters really feeling anything is why I never became attached to them.

Besides that, my other quibble is the three sections that took place inside the RPG game. I just didn’t get the point of them and felt that they slowed down the pacing.

The world building was amazing. Scott never uses infodumps, but you are still able to get a sense of the scope of the universe she’s created. This feels like a real, breathing world. The descriptions of the Storm and the carnival on Burning Bright were particularly lovely, and there were also some nice things going on with the idea of the alien’s kinship structures.

All in all, I found Burning Bright to be entertaining but not a book I’m likely to ever return to. I would recommend this to people looking for a science fiction book with a focus on video games or which brings same sex relationships to the forefront.

Originally posted on The Illustrated Page. ( )
  pwaites | Jun 12, 2015 |
The planet Burning Bright is an independent trading station caught between two superpowers: the human Republic and the hsai Empire; it is also the home of the Game, a networked roleplay game that provides infinite scenarios (if deliberately little closure) in an alternate universe of equal political intrigue and psi powers. For Quinn Lioe, Republican pilot, a forced stop-over on Burning Bright while her ship is repaired is an excuse to test out a new scenario she has written on the Game's home planet and cement her growing reputation in the Game; but winning the attention of Game notables unexpectedly draws her into the political wrangles of the real world.

This was somewhere between a 4 and a 4.5* read for me - a thoroughly enjoyable, captivating ride through political intrigue in a colourful scifi setting. Scott does an excellent job of sketching a complex set-up and making it feel real without giving you all the detail, allowing her to focus on her characters and plot and leaving you wishing she'd set another brace of books in the same universe so you can explore it further. Great stuff. ( )
1 vote imyril | Jun 18, 2014 |
Fictionwise multiformat ebook
  romsfuulynn | Apr 28, 2013 |
Not bad! A lot of interesting social stuff going on here -- the entertainment prestige of roleplaying games (a notable gamer in Burning Bright's society has the kind of respect that a talented athlete gets in ours, really) is neat to imagine, and I really like the way that people can just be queer and not have that be a major issue.

The pacing felt somewhat awkward, though; it took a long time for the plot to ramp up and then it came to a pretty sudden stop at the end, with a much darker ending than I felt like we'd been prepared for. ( )
  LaylahHunter | Oct 7, 2012 |
Burning Bright is a good read.

While it is something of an interstellar political romp, it manages to remain smallish in scope. The Game - one single video game played across the galaxy - doesn't seem entirely interesting enough to keep people's attention.

There are a couple of really charming artwork installations described, and I enjoyed the idea that in this particular universe, nearly everyone is bisexual (it's always rather seemed to me that people would eventually lean that way).

When the dying character finally dies, the characters who should mourn the most don't really seem to. Their cavalier attitudes were a bit jarring to me.

Overall, though, I do recommend this book! It's a great little light sci-fi novel with very rich and detailed world-building by Scott. ( )
  goblinbox | Jun 10, 2010 |
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Quinn Lioe walked the galliot down the sky, using the shaped force fields of the sails as legs, balancing their draw against the depth of gravity here in the planet's shadow.
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The ocean planet Burning Bright is an independent trading station caught between two superpowers: the human Republic and the Hsai Empire. It is also the home of the Game, a networked roleplay game that provides infinite scenarios (if little closure) in an alternate universe of political intrigue and psi powers.

For Quinn Lioe, Republican pilot, a forced stop-over on Burning Bright while her ship is repaired is an excuse to test out a new scenario she has written and cement her growing reputation in the Game - but winning the attention of Game notables unexpectedly draws her into the political wrangles of the real world.
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