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In the Company of Others
ISBN 0886779995 / 9780886779993 / 0-88677-999-5
Publisher Daw Books
List price $7.99
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In the middle of a vast terraforming project, planetary engineers introduce the seemingly harmless species known as the Quill to the newly created environments, but the project goes awry and ships full of eager colonists are suddenly unable to land on planets that have become deadly dangerous to them. This situation is a generation old when Dr. Gail Smith arrives at Thromberg Station in search of the one human being rumoured to have survived contact with the Quill. When Gail finds Aaron Pardell, their meeting, and the subsequent search for a solution to the Quill problem, will determine the fate of every other character in Julie Czerneda's In the Company of Others.
At the beginning, with its space station crowded with uneasy refugees, the perceived hostility of the Earth government, and an alienated young man at the heart of the story, In the Company of Others reads a lot like a long-lost C.J. Cherryh novel. But where Cherryh creates tension mainly through interior and exterior dialogue, Czerneda's storytelling style is more action-oriented: the drama and tension arise as we learn enough about the characters to anticipate their reactions to the decisions and acts of others. And there's plenty of tension and action as the novel builds to a grand finale with Gail, Aaron, the Earth military, the Quill, and the stranded refugees all locked in a desperate confrontation. A fitting resolution guarantees that SF readers looking for a good space-adventure story, well told, will find In the Company of Others an enjoyable experience. --Greg L. Johnson [via]