Imagine the Cold War transposed over Edgar Rice Burroughs, Larry Niven and a little bit H.G. Wells, and you have the milieu of the SKY PEOPLE. I'll beImagine the Cold War transposed over Edgar Rice Burroughs, Larry Niven and a little bit H.G. Wells, and you have the milieu of the SKY PEOPLE. I'll be honest, I have never been very impressed with Stirling's work in the past-- they start off well, for the most part, but he has (historically, in my experience) dove into some fairly cheesy directions, possibly because he thought that was what his (mostly male) audience wanted (start a Draka novel some time, you'll see.. you'lllll seeeeeeeee). Still, SKY PEOPLE was on my book club list for the Secret Library, so I found it and read it. And was pleasantly surprised. Stirling delivered a pretty good setting and a pretty good story here-- NOT laden with tons of surprises. The Sky People reads like a good fantasy/SF crossover written in the 80s, and that's not such a bad thing.
In the 1980s The Soviets and the American "bloc" have discovered life on Venus AND on Mars, and it's (suspiciously) human looking. Venus, where this novel takes place, is a riot of mixed biology that would give an anthropologist and biologist fits-- mammals coexisting with dinosaurs, suspiciously Human looking Homo Sapiens existing with Neanderthals, and a lot more. The setting is grand, the plot, decent. In my humble opinion, it's Stirling's best novel yet (although my sample data is somewhat limited). ...more