Saturday, February 6, 2010
Starship: Flagship by Mike Resnick
This is the fifth book in the Starship series by Mike Resnick. The book is set in the Birthright Universe which Mike Resnick writes most of his stories in. He even includes a summary of the setting at the end of the book. It is at the end of the period of the Republic as it is moving towards a Democracy in the setting.
Captain Cole is one of those prominent figures who makes history in Mike Resnick's setting. You can tell this because his small actions have big impacts. You can also read it in the ship which he is flying, The Teddy Roosevelt.
I think this is the final book in the series. The characters make this book enjoyable to read: the Platinum Duke, a cyborg who owns a casino, Val short for Valkyrie who is a buff and beautiful pirate captain, David Copperfield, the alien who believes he is a Dickens character, and others make this quite memorable. Mike Resnick successfully takes many genre characters and makes fun of them.
The character of Captain Cole is written to turn the idea of the six guns blazing hero on its head. He does not consider himself a hero; instead he uses strategy, tactics, trickery, and political acumen to reach his goals. He bombs abandoned planetary cities to show his destroying the Republic, he breaks people out of jail, boards and takes enemy ships, and spreads wild rumors about his whereabouts and what he is doing.
Ultimately, Captain Cole reaches his goal with his wits and reforms the Republic into a democracy. He does it by being able to make quick thinking leadership decisions.
Mike Resnick successfully shows how thinking on your feet wins the day in a very entertaining manner. He also makes fun of a lot of the silly ideas in military science fiction and space opera that don't work very well.