Book Review ~ "Tales of The Screaming Eagle"
The author of "Tales of The Screaming Eagle" takes the reader to far flung regions of known space where the recent Azanti war had left destruction on many of the inhabitable planets in the surrounding star system. With Jan stranded on one of the morbid planets left ravaged by the recent war, one that had been used as a one time military refueling base, he volunteers for one of the few jobs left for off planet persons. His adventure truly begins when the giant Ore-Crawler he has been assigned to as a crew member gets attacked by a bandit brigade from the tribes. Marines are called in to rescue them, but not after Jan gets caught up in the fight, being forced to kill one of the bandits.
The story is compelling, and leaves the reader wanting more. His choice of futuristic slang fits well with what would be expected of a futuristic generation having lost the connection to old world technologies and weaponry. The protagonist connects with the old timers of the Confederation Navy at rehabilitated troop quarters having been rebuilt into a useable bar after the war had wound down. It is with these old timers that he learns of the history of their part in the wars, their heroics in battle, and the continued plight to keep the old bar from the hands of mobsters who threaten to take it all away.
One of the better elements of Clayton's writing is his use of dialogue. His dialogue is clean and meaningful. There are no awkward pages of useless dialogue to fill space or try to expose a character through self congratulatory lines. His dialogue moves the storyline along without interrupting the flow of the story. The dialogue fits seamlessly within the flow of the story, without it being a secondary thread.
For science fiction aficionados this book will keep you engaged, with satisfying characters and dialogue, meter and style. A thumbs up for Clayton Callahan's creative storytelling.