Of course, in many episodes, Kirk and cohorts blatantly ignore this rule for dealing with more primitive cultures. The troops on the ground include the advance team of Kellie Collier and Digger Dunn, who move among the alien Goompahs gathering information about them, and a follow-up team, led by David Collingdale, whose job it is to attempt to divert the omega cloud. The relationship between Digger and Kellie, for instance, while between two likable characters, never really seems real enough for the reader to accept. Similarly, Hutch, now married, does not seem to have a relationship with Tor, her husband, he is just there. Furthermore, no matter how much the reader is rooting for the characters to defeat the natural galactic menace and save the civilization, success is never assured.
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Shelves: science-fiction I read this book a few months back. One of the problems with alot of science fiction is that it can revel to0 much in didacticism. Some authors that I like are particularly prone to this. For example, half of the dialogue in a Heinlein novel is a thinly disguised lecture.
Neil Stephenson is prone to do this in entirely different ways, launching into chapter I read this book a few months back. Neil Stephenson is prone to do this in entirely different ways, launching into chapter length descriptions of Touring machines, cryptography, the birth of finance, and so forth.
Mostly, I tolerate this pretty well. Science fiction is after all, above all, about ideas. McDevitt is nothing like that. The prose is generally good, and the characters sufficiently interesting that I was able to get through it.
I might give it three stars without the preachiness. But even ignoring that, it has problems that make the preachiness hard to ignore. The other problem is that the story tends to drag compared to the number of ideas it presents.