Wednesday, March 26, 2014


I know there’s little new in writing.

Actually, there’s a lot new. New ways of combining the old, new ways of twisting things, new ways of telling things.

I just don’t see anything new in Tom Holt’s “Blonde Bombshell.”

I know of all the genres, science fiction is troped to death. Holt seems to know that too, and so has hit them all: Technologically superior alien race disgusted by the shabby technology of humans, check. Technologically superior alien race befuddled by an otherwise unobtrusive element of human society, check. Sentient superior technology dispatched to destroy the irritating planet (originally here called Dirt) become enamored in some ways with the race they’re sent to destroy, check. Subversive faction of aliens send their own spies to Dirt to counteract the destruction, quickly discover that their human disguises have become permanent, check. Winking nods at human pop culture completely misunderstood by the aliens, check.

Yeah, it’s all there.

Tom Holt, I am disappoint. To use another trope.

I so liked “Flying Dutch,” so when I saw this book at Barnes and Noble, I had high hopes. Should have taken the hint that it was on the “severely discounted” table.

I know it’s easier to criticize than it is to write originally. I’m right now working on the third draft of a rather tropey fantasy novel of my own creation. But I’m hoping there’s enough originality there to make up for the tropes I use. Maybe there isn’t.

Thing is, there’s so much potential in what Holt has written here. But that potential is left so much to the undercurrents of the story – perhaps to avoid breaking into other sci-fi tropes – that what’s missing becomes the most notable in the story.

I've got about sixty pages to go. More later.

No comments: