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A Call to Arms


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Alan Dean Foster is the author of many SF adventures, the Spellsinger fantasy series and a number of film and TV tie-ins - including the hugely popular Alien novelizations.


Subtitled Book One of the Damned , Foster's ( Glory Lane ) latest novel never achieves credibility. The projectively telepathic race of Ampliturs has conceived of a Purpose, which will be revealed when all the sapient races of the galaxy are united. Using either logic, subversion or, reluctantly, force, they have recruited each new race they have encountered, then used mental persuasion and genetic engineering to turn those races into allies. The Weave, a coalition of peoples that do not want to be assimilated, has been fighting them for centuries when a Weave exploratory ship stumbles across the Earth. Humans are just beginning to learn to be peaceful; how will they react to a request by aliens to fight other aliens? In order to credit this scenario, readers must accept a very skewed future universe: of all the planets with intelligent life, only Earth is tectonically active, with violent weather and more than one land mass; only humans have more than one language, fight within their own species and are, for some reason, immune to the Amplitur telepathy. The writing is crisp, but cannot make up for the burden these contrivances place on the story. (Apr.)

YA-- This promising new series depicts galactic warfare on a grand scale, encompassing untold numbers of races and worlds on both sides, and lasting hundreds of years. The Amplitur, a telepathically manipulative race, attempts to convert to its nebulous purpose all sentient life through the use of persuasion, threats, and genetic manipulation. The Weave, a not-always harmonious coalition of races, has taken up arms in an attempt to pursue its own destinies. Because of the basic aggressive nature of Earthlings, the Weave recruit individuals to use as warriors in their battle against the Amplitur. Will Dulac, New Orleans composer and teacher, is the first. As in Nor Crystal Tears (1985) and Midworld (1987, both Ballantine), Foster has created a believable universe and peopled it with exotic races and memorable characters. A readable, well-crafted science-fiction adventure.-- John Lawson, Fairfax County Public Library, Fairfax, VA

A war between two groups of unified aliens--the Amplitur and the Weave--involves the human race in a secondhand war despite protestations of humanity's essentially ``peaceful'' nature. Veteran sf storyteller Foster (``The Icerigger Trilogy,'' ``The Adventures of Flinx of the Commonwealth'') delivers a cinematic blend of sf adventure and personal drama that should appeal to a wide readership. For most sf collections. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/90..

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