A familiar scenario of a 22nd-century world dominated by megacorporations overpowers some promising elements--including Native American politics and spirituality--that Haldeman ( Vector Analysis ) and Dann ( The Man Who Melted ) envision in this SF thriller. Drafted from his reservation by the ruthless Trans-United company, John Stranger becomes one of the firm's best space construction workers. His unusual visualization skills--a reflection of his shamanistic training--attract the attention of director Gerard Leighton. Trans-United is locked in a race with other ``corps'' to decipher an alien transmission that contains instructions for a faster-than-light space drive, and Stranger may be the edge they need to crack the alien code. Meanwhile, people on Stranger's reservation are having visions that may come from the aliens themselves, and intercorporate politics threaten to destroy not only the reservation, but the entire planet. The wild mixture of elements initially seems promising, but the novel plows little new ground since the Native American experience pictured here seems to have changed little in two centuries. Perhaps this problem might have been corrected if the authors had given themselves more room; as it is, this slim novel, combining ethnic politics, corporate venality, alien contact and mysticism, seems hurried and underdeveloped. (July)
Drafted by the megacorps for dangerous work constructing orbiting space facilities, Native American John Stranger wages a one-man war against his employers, who see his unusual talents for survival as a resource to be exploited in their clandestine operations. Combining Native American lore with hard sf, co-authors Haldeman and Dann create a suspenseful and fast-paced drama that focuses on one man's struggle to beat the system by holding to the ways of his ancestors. This title belongs in most libraries.
In the near future, a Mohawk steel worker in orbit adheres to his traditional tribal wisdom and, by doing so, saves hundreds of lives when an accident occurs but learns too much about his employers and then becomes the possible key to communicating with some newly discovered aliens who may be ancient Mohawk gods. This umpteenth sf-fantasy vindication of the American Indian depends somewhat upon believing that preindustrial spirituality will save us from technology run rampant, but Haldeman and Dann ultimately overcome that and other barriers to reader acceptance, producing in their first collaboration a well-told tale that promises well for any future shared effort.