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Posted July 1, 2004
Alongside Night review: L. Neil Schulman was known to me as the best interviewer of my hero, Robert A. Heinlein. I'd recently re-read his 'The Heinlein Interview (and other Heinleinalia)', and decided it was time to read some of Neil's fiction, and get a better sense of what he has to say in his own voice. But it was with some trepidation that I approached his work. I'm a fan of RAH, and, like many Heinlein fans, I've run out of new material to discover for the first time. So, my feelings were about equal parts of 'Gee, I hope his writing is a lot like Heinlein's,' and 'Gee, I hope his writing isn't _exactly_ like Heinlein's.' But, about sixty pages into Alongside Night, I realized two things; first, that I wasn't thinking about whether it was too much or too little like a Heinlein story, and second, that I was well and truly hooked into a ripping good tale, and enjoying it immensely. Though it is possible to recognize the mark Heinlein's writing has left upon him, Neil's voice and style are all his own. If you, like me, reached the end of Heinlein's work and are searching for more like it, you will not be disappointed in Alongside Night. If you want a sci-fi thriller which will keep you guessing to the end, this is for you. If you just want something to keep your mind occupied for a few hours, then by all means, read this book. Some of the ideas in it might just make an impression. Thanks Neil. See you at the TANSTAAFL Café. ~Rick Berry
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