lunabee34: (star trek: to boldy go by xtitania)
[personal profile] lunabee34
HellsparkHellspark by Janet Kagan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was fantastic. I just plowed through it. When it ended, I was sad I didn't have more time to spend with these characters.

In Hellspark, a member of a survey team is killed under somewhat mysterious circumstances. The team is surveying a world that contains a possibly sapient life form, and the plot of the novel is largely concerned with figuring out how the surveyor died and whether or not the indigenous life of the planet is sapient.

The main character is a language expert (and so much wonderful, wonderful stuff about language and how it's different across cultures), and her AI Maggy shows growing signs of sapience herself as the novel progresses.

I love the world building, both the truly unique world they're surveying and the differing customs and mores of the characters.

This is a book all sci-fi lovers should read.

View all my reviews

(no subject)

1/9/17 01:49 (UTC)
the_rck: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] the_rck
I adore this book! When I see used copies, I grab them so that I can give them to people.

Kagan's other books, both Mirabile and the Star Trek novel, are good, too. Just not as good. I haven't seen many of her short stories (I should see if any are available as ebooks...).

(no subject)

1/9/17 02:06 (UTC)
kaleecat: (media:  Practical Magic margaritas)
Posted by [personal profile] kaleecat
There's a reason I read this once a year. And used a selection for teaching nonverbal comm.
so glad you loved it.

(no subject)

1/9/17 02:06 (UTC)
china_shop: Neal going "Oooh!" (WC Neal - Ooh!)
Posted by [personal profile] china_shop
Ooh, thanks for the rec. I love linguistics in fiction. :-)

(no subject)

1/9/17 09:55 (UTC)
sallymn: (sf 1)
Posted by [personal profile] sallymn
Oooh, sounds brilliant!!

(no subject)

1/9/17 14:15 (UTC)
havocthecat: the lady of shalott (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] havocthecat
Hellspark is Janet Kagan's best novel; Uhura's Song is a close second, though.

(no subject)

1/9/17 17:25 (UTC)
musyc: Silver flute resting diagonally across sheet music (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] musyc
So I'm going to have to get this from the library, apparently. I see it lauded all over the place, and Uhura's Song is one of the books I've actually read to destruction. My copy is barely hanging on to the first couple of chapters because I read it until the spine disintegrated.

(no subject)

7/9/17 02:37 (UTC)
musyc: Silver flute resting diagonally across sheet music (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] musyc
Oh, it's so fantastic, isn't it? Sounds like the kind of planet I would love to visit, and simultaneously, probably a planet I should be kept away from, as I might accidentally treat those sentient beings as pets. o.O


lunabee34: (Default)

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