...but this did it:
Fran and I have been exchanging e-mails of late on a few topics which I won’t bother going into now. What I’m mainly after here is this: along the way, he was kind enough to send me e-pub copies of his Spooner Federation trilogy, my having been negligent enough not to have ordered them on my own initiative yet.
WELL. The error was mine. Let me tell you, folks, this is some GOOOOD squishy right here. The first book is Which Art In Hope, followed by Freedom’s Scion, and concluding with Freedom’s Fury. He tells me there might be a fourth coming, and I hope to God he ain’t just pulling my leg on that.
I’m not going to get into plot summaries or anything like that. Suffice to say that they all remind me of Heinlein at his best: plenty of action; good, dense plotting; interesting, very human and believable characters interleaved with philosophical dissertations that are both fascinating and enlightening. Like Heinlein, Francis has a near-uncanny knack for both succeeding as pure entertainment and provoking thought on some pretty deep topics. In fact, there’s even one bit in the Spooner saga wherein the protagonist lobs rocks from space at her antagonists as kinetic-energy weapons, a la The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress. You can be assured that that is neither accident nor coincidence. It’s a tip of the cap to a direct and worthy antecedent, and is both perfectly apt and nicely executed.
At any rate, after twenty danged years of online friendship and mutual blog-admiration, I finally have read some of Francis’s fiction, and I truly cannot recommend it highly enough. I’ve blazed through three books in about four days, and all I can think is: MORE. If you haven’t already, bookmark Liberty’s Torch, and if you like sci-fi at all, order these fine books.
All right, so he misspelled my last name. Everybody misspells my last name. Italian surnames with an overabundance of doubled letters are tough like that. After 65 years I’ve learned to shrug it off. (Besides, I think I once misspelled his name, so I’m not going to throw stones. A pebble or two, but no more than that. Promise!)
That’s enough for the present. I might be back later, but for the moment I’m just going to bask in the glow. A review that positive is something to fondle for a bit, don’t you think?