Jim's Reviews > Janissaries

Janissaries by Jerry Pournelle
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's review
Oct 23, 14

liked it
bookshelves: action, science-fiction, series, 1paper, war, 2fiction
Read from November 06 to 09, 2010

A quick, but interesting group of ideas. Plenty of action with a neat balance between high & low technology. There were a lot of neat themes that played out quickly. My edition is a paperback with a lot of good drawings in it. I think I would have liked the book better if the ideas had been more fully developed, but that might have taken volumes.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Waldo (new)

Waldo Varjak There are FOUR books to this series; the last one to be posthumously published by Pournelle’s estate after a 28+ year (and counting) gestation period. And people complain about George Martin; they know nothing. The ideas get better development and the story (if I recall correctly after a quarter century since I had last read the novels) turns to political machinations.

“In any bureaucracy, the people devoted to the benefit of the bureaucracy itself always get in control and those dedicated to the goals the bureaucracy is supposed to accomplish have less and less influence, and sometimes are eliminated entirely.” – J. E. P.

I am guessing that Roland Green helped in the structure of books #2 & #3 and is unavailable for collaboration on book #4 – thus Pournelle is struggling an eternity with this book, Mamelukes.

This is very much the case of a story, incomplete, which should have been completed before the first book was published.

message 2: by Jim (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jim Unfortunately, the first never spurred me on to read the rest. I generally liked Pournelle's writing best when he teamed up Niven. They complimented each other very well.

I hadn't heard he died & just looked it up. Still hasn't from what I can see.

I rarely care for the new books in series that are orphaned for a decade or more & then restarted. Philip José Farmer did that with his "World of Tiers" series & the last 2 sucked. I think the author changes too much, so fails to write the way I expect. It's not always bad, but it is different. For instance, one of the things I really like about the Parker series is how tight the writing was in the early books. The later ones are much more wordy.

message 3: by Waldo (new)

Waldo Varjak Pournelle is dead to me... and, I suspect, whatever more he has on Janissaries will be released upon his death - might even be teamed up like Jordan & Sanderson.

You make a very good point about writing style being a flow. I have found that to be true in my case and I have suspected the same is occuring with George Martin.

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