HEART OF RED IRON by Phyllis Gotlieb


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Sequel to O Master Caliban! (1976): a bubbling stew of ecological experiments, sentient machines, aliens and clone/family rivalries. For complex reasons, another colonizing expedition blasts off for Dahlgren's World: a violent, unpleasant, gloom-shrouded planet last seen occupied by ergs--sentient machines whose mission was to slaughter all animal life. Joining the expedition, naturally, are Sven Dahlgren, the four-armed son of biological-whiz Edvard, his doctor wife Ardagh, and his robot doppelganger Mod--along with three different sets of aliens hoping to found colonies. The picture becomes even more complicated when Prima, a cold-loving sentient meteorid, and her daughters, crash-land in a volcanic crater whence they howl telepathically for rescue. Some ergs show up, too, less murderous than hitherto, apparently intent on kidnapping Sven--or it is Mod they're really after? Also roaming the planet are various Sven-clones, also hostile. Can Sven rescue poor Prima? And what do the ergs want? Yes, with alien help--and a chat, respectively; the ergs, you see, have progressed rapidly and now desire to join the Galactic Federation, and in Mod they discover a kindred spirit. Churning, brisk, imaginative, often stimulating, fairly appealing work, from which the flaws here--an overabundance of ingredients, insufficient cooking--don't detract much.

Pub Date: March 20th, 1989
ISBN: 312-02583-1
Publisher: St. Martin's
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