marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

Earthman's Burden

Earthman's Burden by Poul Anderson and Gordon R. Dickson

Ah, Hoka!  A race of teddy-bear-like aliens, charming, friendly -- a serious danger to your sanity.

Hokas, you see, love fiction so much that they will adopt the roles and start playing it out.  The series opens with Alexander Jones, crash landed on Toka, their planet, realizing that the first explorers had introduced new concepts to them by use of the Wild West.  The Hokas have cheerfully adopted them whole cloth.  Well, not entirely.  Ten gallon hats, longhorns albeit reptilian, and even men's names, no matter how annoying it is to have so many Texs or Lone Rangers, but the women kept to the old names rather than all be Jane.

And this is a fix-up of such stories.  Sherlock Holmes!  The Space Patrol!  Pirates!  Don Giovanni!  The French Foreign Legion!  The Hokas have a lot of fun as Alexander Jones tries to keep on top of things.
Tags: fiction reviews: sf, fiction reviews: short story collections, poul anderson

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