To Sleep or Not

There’s a side project that I’m trying to get done, but the world keeps on finding more ways to distract and delay me.  So my idea of rereading shorter books is not helping too much in that respect.  Oh well.  This weekend’s not going to be a great one for reading anyway, considering that there’s this national holiday coming up.  Still, I did manage to finish a book today, and not just because the power went out for an hour or so at work.

This is The Death of Sleep by Anne McCaffrey and Jody Lynn Nye, from the Planet Pirates series.  It’s set in McCaffrey’s FSP universe, and directly ties in with Dinosaur Planet and Dinosaur Planet Survivors.  But I’m getting a bit ahead of myself.

Dr. Lunzie Mespil, a specialist in space-induced traumas, is our main character.  At the beginning of the book she sets out from the young colony Tau Ceti for the Descartes Mining Platform #5 to make enough money to support herself and her fourteen-year-old daughter Fiona for several years.  Unfortunately, tragedy strikes on her way to the platform and the ship is hit by asteroids.  The crew evacuates and resorts to cold sleep as it’ll be some weeks at least before they might be rescued.


Lunzie isn’t rescued for more than sixty years, and her bizarre timelapse is just the beginning of her adventures.  At the end of them (and this book) she ends up on the dinosaur planet.  That part of the book is the scantiest, and says without actually writing the words “you should really just read Dinosaur Planet instead, this is just a summary of it without any depth.”  On the other hand, I haven’t reread either dinosaur planet book since I first read them.  You see, those two were written in the 70s and the 80s, respectively, and the Planet Pirates books in the early 90s.  The older books are, well, not as good.  I do love McCaffrey, but it’s hard to force myself to read something I just don’t find as interesting.

Lunzie though, is fascinating.  Her adventures run the gamut and she’s a strong, likable protagonist.  One of the best parts of the book is the fact that she has a prejudice, realizes it, and over time tries to overcome it.  In fact, that’s the sort of character growth I had hoped to find in Memoirs of an Anti-Semite, but that book failed dramatically.  Maybe it was harder because it was real life, or maybe the author didn’t feel the need to overcome his prejudice.  I honestly don’t know.

You can easily guess that I’m still not going to reread Dinosaur Planet or Dinosaur Planet Survivors.  I could, easily.  But I would much rather dive in to Sassinak.


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