cover image O Pioneer!

O Pioneer!

Frederik Pohl. Tor Books, $21.95 (256pp) ISBN 978-0-312-86164-3

Evesham Giyt makes a living by poaching funds from the corporations he freelances for. One day, an ad for starting a new life on the colony world of Tupelo tempts him and his girlfriend, Rina, a former hooker, to leave Earth behind. Life on the planet, settled by five different alien species, with Giyt's colony located on an archipelago set amidst gigantic oceans, seems too good to be true, and Giyt can't believe it when he's elected mayor of the humans. But the tropical bliss is just a facade, and some judicious hacking reveals that the colony's books have been cooked. Giyt risks his life to uncover the truth--the colony is the front for an American expansionist movement--and he and Rina live happily ever after. Pohl makes some sharp satirical points here, but overall this is uninspired, if cleanly told, fare from an author who for more than 40 years has generally been producing better--sometimes much better--work. (June)