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paulgoatallen
Posts: 7,327
Registered: ‎08-16-2007

Is Allen Steele the 21st Century's Robert Heinlein?

[ Edited ]
Hey guys. Just finished reading Allen Steele's latest Coyote novel Coyote Horizon – the first installment of a duology – and I have to tell you, I'm more than impressed with this entire series. It's classic SF through and through. The original Coyote trilogy was Coyote , Coyote Rising and Coyote Frontier and it chronicled the struggles of a small colony of humans trying to survive on an inhabitable but rugged moon some 46 light years from Earth.  

  

 In a recent interview right here on B&N's Fantasy/SF forum, legendary author Orson Scott Card was asked if he considered science fiction a dying genre. “Science fiction simply isn't needed any more, not the way it was,” he wrote. “The tropes of sci-fi are now available to writers in every genre… There is no longer a need for a walled-off genre where we can do these social and scientific thought experiments.” And although Card believes that SF is no longer “a cutting-edge genre,” he believes that there are still authors out there that will continue to create the science-powered speculation and revelatory visions of the future à la genre giants like Heinlein, Asimov and Le Guin.

 

One of those authors, in my opinion, is multiple Hugo Award-winning author Allen Steele, whose meticulously described frontier colony world of Coyote is arguably one of the most fully realized, historied and painstakingly constructed SF settings ever imagined.

 

And as much as I loved Steele's original Coyote trilogy his newest – which takes some years after the events of the first three books – just blew me away.  In Coyote Horizon, Steele explores humankind's (some say primitive) need to worship gods and persecute those who don't have the same belief system. He offers up the idea of a universal set of ethics that will undoubtedly change how readers look at organized religion forever. This book was shockingly profound.

 

My questions to you guys are: Have any of you read these books? Who many of you have never even heard of Allen Steele? Was Mr. Card right about SF whole no longer being as vibrant or cutting edge as it once was?

 

I'll say it: I think Allen Steele is the 21st Century's Robert Heinlein – he's that good.

 

Paul 

Message Edited by paulgoatallen on 03-14-2009 09:38 PM
"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
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TiggerBear
Posts: 9,489
Registered: ‎02-12-2008
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Re: Is Allen Steele the 21st Century's Robert Heinlein?

Ok I've heard of this guy, much less seen the titles. Speak up guys! Paul says he's good, anyone else?
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Nelsmom
Posts: 2,628
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Is Allen Steele the 21st Century's Robert Heinlein?

Haven't heard of him before now but I will definitely have to check him out and see if the library has the books.  Sounds great and I love Heinlein.

 

Toni

Toni L. Chapman
Everyone needs some Tender Loving Care
Moderator
paulgoatallen
Posts: 7,327
Registered: ‎08-16-2007
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Re: Is Allen Steele the 21st Century's Robert Heinlein?

[ Edited ]

Okay....

 

By the lack of response here, I'm guessing not many people have read these novels. Too bad. Really. These novels are solid SF and Steele has thrown in some some amazingly thought-provoking thematic elements, especially in his newest Coyote Horizon.

 

Without giving anything away, one of the plotlines of Coyote Horizon revolves around an alien ambassador sharing his race's "religion" – more like a life philosophy – with a human in need of spiritual guidance. The "Sa'Tong" has only five Codicils. "The First Codicil...you are God, for God is the creation of the self. The Second Codicil states that, if you accept this principle, you must also accept the fact that everyone else is God, and therefore must be treated as such, with the same amount of reverence and respect. The Third Codicil states that, in order to obey the Second Codicil, you must never take any action that will harm others or yourself. Likewise, the Fourth Codicil forbids any inaction that will lead to others being harmed, or which in turn will do harm to yourself. And the Fifth Codicil states that wrongful acts must be attoned for with righteous acts of equal or greater proportion." (page 142)

 

Can you imagine what a human civilization would be like if this philosophy was embraced? It all seems so simple, doesn't it? 

Paul 

Message Edited by paulgoatallen on 03-16-2009 05:13 PM
"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
Inspired Bibliophile
Nelsmom
Posts: 2,628
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Is Allen Steele the 21st Century's Robert Heinlein?

Paul,

 

I got Coyote and Coyote Rising from the library today and started the first one and am enjoying it very much I will give you more feedback when I'm further along in the book.

 

Toni

Toni L. Chapman
Everyone needs some Tender Loving Care