Rolf Nelson’s Back From the Dead – A Short SF Book Review

I just finished this first volume in a series named “The Stars Came Back” and I’m sure I’ll be reading the sequel when it appears.  The back cover says that the series “combines military science fiction with the classic space western” and I will agree.  The universe that this book inhabits has humans spread out on over a thousand planets.  These worlds were terraformed during an expansion era that ended with a supernova occurring nearby that disrupted faster than light (FTL) travel for an extended period of time and threw these new worlds on their own devices to survive (or perish).

The various inhabited planets we see or hear about contain bits and pieces of one or more Earth cultures.  One of the problems that seems to exist in most of the locales we see is a bureaucracy that preys on the citizens using stifling regulation to punish citizens monetarily and otherwise.  The tone of the book shows a preference for more personal freedom and less government interference.

The main characters become involved in a project to rehabilitate an unusual transport ship that brings together military and civilian personnel in an interesting cooperation that slowly unfolds some puzzling characteristics of this odd “Flying Dutchman.”  The cast is a mixture of men, women, a child and even an AI who runs the ship.  The military component of the story I found most engaging.  The interaction of the NCO with the recruits and his officers is familiar and adds the familial attachment and common cause aspects of the story that makes mil sf so enjoyable for many.  There are several battles both on planet and off that I thought were well done.  I found most of the characters engaging.  It will be interesting to see how the various interpersonal dynamics work themselves out over the course of the series.  And, of course, the secrets of the ship will be interlaced with them.

So, I’ll give an enthusiastic endorsement to “Back from the Dead” and recommend it to anyone who enjoys classic sf and especially mil sf.

3 thoughts on “Rolf Nelson’s Back From the Dead – A Short SF Book Review

  • February 11, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    Read the book and, while Lord Valentine’s Castle and Lucifer’s Hammer are quite safe at the pinnacle of my personal Sci-Fi list, it was readable and enjoyable. I’ll be looking for the sequel.

    Side note: Since getting the original Nook however many years ago I’ve gone almost exclusively e-book reader but my latest Nook device, a 5-year old HD+, started getting quirky a few month back. I replaced it with an Android tablet, a Pixel C, and installed Nook and Kindle apps and have since found myself buying most of my books for the Kindle. Both apps will show you a list of books predicted by your past purchases to be in your strike zone but the Kindle algorithm is MUCH better both quantitatively and qualitatively. Kindle has a better list for me after around 15 purchases in 3 months than Nook after 7 (?) years and hundreds.

    • February 12, 2017 at 7:04 pm

      I have to confess. I’m a reactionary luddite. Almost everything I own is paper. But there were a couple of things in 2016 that were only available as e-books so I bought them and sadly I had to read them on my laptop. I am sadly, a primitive man.


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