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Readers’ Choice: Alan Dean Foster’s Icerigger

As noted yesterday, it is a time of changes for SF Gateway (hmm . . . catchy title for a book . . .). Author of the Week is now Author of the Month, as noted yesterday, and the other bog change is that the Editors’ Choice has now become Readers’ Choice. We’re really pleased with this change; after all, we’d exist in a vacuum if it wasn’t for you, so we think it’s only right and fair that we try to recognise your part in making SF Gateway a vibrant source of classic SF conversation.

Having responded very quickly to our request for submissions, SF Gateway member tanj666 has the honour of kicking off our new spotlight feature, and his choice is Icerigger by the acclaimed and Alan Dean Foster:

A story set in his ‘Commonwealth’ about life on an ice planet full of scary monsters and scary natives. Ethan Fortune, salesman of nick-naks to the galaxy, crash lands without even a sample case of his wares! Worse still, he’s on the wrong side of the planet from the only commonwealth settlement. With a rag-tag band of fellow commonwealth citizens he sets out to make it back to civilisation and his sample case, which includes a very efficient heater!

Okay, I made it seem a little more tongue in cheek than the book really is.  A story about an ice world and icy natives needs grounding into the characters reality and mentions of their ordinary lives amongst the stars adds real depth and thoughtfulness to the book.  Nothing is really simple at temperatures where steel will fracture and getting back to real warmth is not a simple matter for this disparate band of travellers.


Many thanks, tanj666! A place in the annals of SF Gateway history is assured you! We’ll have another reader’s choice to highlight next week but, for now, we hope you enjoy Icerigger. And if you’d like to know more about Alan Dean Foster, remember to check out his entry in The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.