Monday, September 24, 2007

Hunter's Run

A three-way collaboration between George R.R. Martin, Gardner Dozois, and Daniel Abraham, Hunter’s Run tells the tale of Ramon Espejo. Ramon is a prospector on the colony world Sao Paulo who is always searching for the big strike. He happens to kill an important figure in a bar fight and flees to the outback to escape justice, however, out there he encounters a strange alien race who force him to be used for their own purposes. In the process, Ramon will discover truths about himself as well as prove what it means to be alive and what it means to be human.
Hunter’s Run was a long time in the making; Dozois originally wrote it as a novella in the late 1970s. In 1977, Martin invited Dozois to read his story at a workshop. The story received a chilly reception, however Martin liked it and suggested it could be made into novel form. He worked on it until 1981 before sending it back to Dozois who consequently buried it in his desk for 20 years. Martin then suggested the story needed a fresh writer and in enters Daniel Abraham, who carried the book to its conclusion, before returning it to Dozois for the finishing touches.
I liked this book quite a bit, which is hardly surprising considering Martin is my favorite author. The aliens in the book are distinctive and fleshed out as is the colony world of Sao Paulo. Though of course the story is really about Ramon Espejo. Ramon is a very gray character that struggles to control his drinking and his rage while among others. Yet anyone who knows the impulses of solitude and wanderlust will understand what drives him to explore. Martin and Dozois are close friends and both influenced Abraham so it’s no surprise that the writing style is consistent throughout the novel. In fact, I found it difficult to tell where one author left off and another began. I’ve never read Dozois, but the nicely ambiguous ending of Hunter’s Run, plus the grittiness of the setting, is quite typical of both Martin and Abraham. I felt that the story’s only real drawback was that it could have been expanded a bit more. The book also includes an afterword covering the history of the story as well as an interview with the three authors.
Final Rating: 9/10.


Chris, The Book Swede said...

I liked this one when I reviewed it , but I also felt that the story could have been expanded a bit more (and as a result, gave it half a mark less than you! =D)

Nice review

The Book Swede

Benjamin said...

Chris, I had originally given it a half mark less, but I decided it deserved a full nine. Hey it means we almost agree.