Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

Currently Reading: Darkship Thieves part I

I just finished reading part one of Sarah Hoyt‘s Darkship Thieves and wanted to jot down my initial reactions before I picked it back up again. These comments cover the first hundred pages or so and have mild spoilers for about the first fifty.

  • The chapters are short, generally violent, and almost always end on a cliffhanger. That makes this a good choice for reading when you’re short on time. It’s also good material for game masters.
  • The first dozen chapters or so, the female protagonist is basically running around naked. It isn’t particularly titillating the way it might be if, say, Piers Anthony were writing it. It’s more like, “naked woman here to kick your booty!”
  • The main character is pretty secure in her ability to manipulate men– especially “Daddy Dearest.” She is just a touch too brazen about this for me to like her much: this is a person that objectifies men with absolutely no empathy or remorse.
  • The main antagonist is (at this point) almost  a caricature of a Romance novel love interest. He’s dashing, mysterious, a little bit taller than her, a little bit stronger than her, a little bit faster than her… and he even has the space opera equivalent of “wheels.” The first thing he does is tie up the heroine. I’m not sure I like where the author is going with this.
  • Hoyt is a self-professed snob. The only place this has reared its ugly head is in a single paragraph where she name drops a half dozen classical composers. I can live with that.
  • Politics is inevitable for anyone dealing with the next hundred years or so of future history. The page or two that so far digs into this is more tantalizing than it is pedantic. (The dedication to Robert A. Heinlein should give you a clue on where she stands and whether you can handle it, though.) It took me a while to figure out who the Usains were, but I get it now.
  • The premise of the setting hinges on some Bio-Tech and a moderately developed solar system. There is some unexplained weirdness that would fit right into Gamma World– they harvest power cells from some kind of tree! I don’t understand what this “Circum” thing is, though. I don’t think the author really explains it as all the characters seem to take it for granted. Maybe she gets into that later….

4 responses to “Currently Reading: Darkship Thieves part I

  1. RogerBW April 10, 2012 at 6:52 am

    It won last year’s Prometheus, which usually (but not always!) implies a fairly in-your-face libertarian or anarchist book. Can’t see whether Bill Stoddard commented on it in his LiveJournal, but he’s often interesting as a mostly thoughtful libertarian. (I have a lot of sympathy with the viewpoint; I just find it hopelessly optimistic without first fixing human nature.)

  2. Karl Gallagher April 10, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    I enjoyed the heck out of that one and I’m looking forward to the sequels.

  3. Pingback: The Wrongthink Sci-Fi Giveaway is Here! –

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