ORBzine - 2000.02 Book Reviews

ORBzine - Book Reviews February 2000

Frontier Earth

Frontier Earth

[By Bruce Boxleitner]

The hero is Macklin, the standard cliched Scotch-Irish sounding type of name that always pops up in this genre.

The SF plot is simple; Macklin is a starship pilot, descendant of the colonists from Roanoake, Virginia, who disappeared at the end of the 16th Century. The theory that the Roanoake colonists were kidnapped by aliens was also used in the Doctor Who novel The Empire of Glass.

Macklin and his copilot were shot down by alien beasties that owe more than a little to Predator. The creatures then don holographic disguises and pursue their human prey across 1881 Tombstone, Arizona, where they bump into certain historical personages ...

The western plot centres around - what else - the gunfight at the OK Corral! It appears that Boxleitner and his co-writers tried to avoid revisionist history. The Earps are not shown as the white-hatted heroes of movie folklore that they have become. However, they are not portrayed as the greedy black-hearted villains the Clanton gang are.

The voice of civilisation is a prim lady, gullible and uptight, who disaproves of gunfighters like the Earps and the Clantons. She represents the end of the wild west and the beginning of modern America. Unfortunately for her, she is rather out of touch with reality.

Frontier Earth is available from the ORB bookstore [www.orb-store.com] via our USA, French, UK and German suppliers. We will publish a review of it in next month's edition!

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