Hellflower

Eluki Bes Shahar, Author Daw Books $3.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-88677-475-2
The author's first SF novel and the first part of a proposed trilogy, this involves Butterfly St. Cyr, an interplanetary smuggler (her contraband ranges from philosophy texts to an undefined item called ``never-you-mind''p . 15 ). Butterfly's life goes askew when she finds herself entangled with Valijon Starbringer (or, as Butterfly calls him, ``Tiggy Stardust''), a young member of the alMayne (colloquially called ``hellflowers'') royalty. Butterfly is in possession of a sentient and illegal computer called a Library, named Paladin, whose existence she must go to great lengths to keep secret. Further, she has been coerced into doing a job involving a second Library, one not nearly so genteel as Paladin. There are some interesting uses of language (foreign word derivations like ``purdu'' and ``che-bai''),p.176, 13 and some funny bits (a chapter titled ``How to File for Moral Bankruptcy''p.180 ). But the alMayne are yet another race of large, temperamental, animalistic humanoids with a bizarre code of honor. And does the SF genrepk really need another sentient computer? Still, this is a breezy read with a good mix of humor, adventure and politics. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1991
Release date: 06/01/1991
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