Thursday, November 17, 2005

The Deathstalker Saga

I have long been an afficionado of the "space opera" genre of science fiction.

Morality tales of the struggle against evil with some derring do and a love interest, a formula for success little changed from some of the seminal classics like "Doc" Smith's Lensman series.

In the same spirit of high adventure with some campy humor thrown in are Simon R. Green's Deathstalker series.

The premise; far in the future a human Empire exists governed by a terrible despot who uses terror maintained by armed forces to subjugate an empire of many worlds, worlds where there has been a return to aristocracy and their control over commoners.

Included in the backdrop of this series is a lack of inexpensive, easy to use weapons. The lack of which leave the commoners at the mercy of those who have had the leisure time to practice arms, notably edged weapons like swords.

When introduced into the series the inexpensive, simple to use firearms allows the masses following their heroic leaders to eliminate the evil tyrant and sycophants.

For an introduction into the concepts you can look at scholarly works on the practice of western martial arts and note the differences between the development of a competent wielder of edged weapons and the effective user of firearms that can be turned out within a weekend's practice.

The villains vile and heartless, their actions reminiscent of despots this world over.

The heroes perform the deeds and sacrifices that are to be expected and lamented.

All in all very enjoyable and well worth the time to read.

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