cover image The Dorsai Companion

The Dorsai Companion

Gordon R. Dickson. Ace Books, $5.95 (231pp) ISBN 978-0-441-16026-6

For years, Dickson has been busy promoting his enormous Childe Cycle. Frustratingly though, he expounds his Zolaesque ideas and ambitions at length only to caution that the work cannot be appreciated without several as yet unwritten novels. It is hard to imagine how the epic of ""ethical evolution'' will include these simplistic tales of Dorsai mercenaries at home and abroad. Certainly there is a promising concept of avoiding or minimizing violence through the control and channeling of force, which renders the Dorsai a sort of Zen warrior. Unhappily though, these stories are burdened by Dickson's chronic matter-of-fact tone, low-key, talky drama and unrealistic idealization of human nature. Readers should also be warned that apart from Dickson's brief introduction and a dry afterword and some charts by critic Sandra Miesel, this Dorsai sampler contains much previously published material. (July)