Monday, November 09, 2009

_The Hidden Family_ and _The Clan Corporate_ by Charles Stross

I'm still very much enjoying Mr. Stross's Merchant Princes books, which cover a family of traders from another dimension.

Things get tense and interesting in volumes 2 and 3, when a third dimension is introduced (so you've got Earth, Earth2, and Earth3, let's say), and when the most paranoid parts of our government find out about the worldwalkers.

One of the most interesting ideas here is that the Merchant Prince family, called the Clan, is from a feudal world, and visits our Earth. So although they have this ability to travel between two places, their social and economic thinking is pretty backward. And they really just grab portable high-tech goodies from Earth, mostly, and carry them home. However, there are important exceptions to this that are being hinted at.

These books are tense and fun and interesting and the strong main character Miriam is great. My library has all of the books, looks like, so I'm no longer kicking myself for getting started on the series...except for the fact that it looks like the series isn't all written yet. I keep trying NOT to start serieses that the AUTHOR hasn't finished writing yet. But I'm not perfect at it yet.


In book 3 we learn that someone is trying to find or genetically engineer additional worldwalkers, using Earth tech to track down the genes responsible for the worldwalking ability. This is interesting and puts the series definitely in the realm of scifi...I'd thought we might find out that the ability was magically based, but nope.

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