Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Gap into Conflict: The Real Story

The Gap into Conflict: The Real Story is the first book in the Gap Cycle by Stephen R. Donaldson. I bought this paperback when it first came out. I'd been looking forward to it because of how much I loved the Thomas Covenant books, but I hadn't been willing to pay hard cover prices. As the series continued I eventually began buying them when they first came to the bookstore in hard copy. I like this series. This is, however, my first re-read since my original time through them in the '90s.

We get introduced to the three main characters, who are basically a villain, a damsel-in-distress and a rogue/hero. Then we see their roles change. Many books show the good and bad in each of us; this one shows the bad and worse in each of us.

I have a love/hate relationship with Donaldson's work. I loved the first Thomas Covenant trilogy, really loved the series, re-reading them and encouraging others to read them. I hated Reave the Just and Other Tales -truly despised it- reading sections aloud to the kids and explaining in detail how horribly written it was. Like I'm any judge. But still. I also really hated the first book in the third series of Covenant books and refuse to read any more of them. The Gap series is one I love. At this point, I'm willing to re-read any of his books I already like but am unwilling to read anything else by him. Life's too short, and the risk is too great.

from the book:
Angus Thermopyle was an ore pirate and a murderer; even the most disreputable asteroid pilots of Delta Sector stayed out of his way. Those who didn't ended up in the lockup -or dead. But when Thermopyle arrived at Mallorys Bar & Sleep with a gorgeous woman by his side the regulars had to take notice. Her name was Morn Hyland, and she had been a police officer -until she met up with Thermopyle.

But one person in Mallorys Bar wasn't intimidated. Nick Succorso had his own reputation as a bold pirate and he had a sleep frigate fitted for deep space. Everyone knew that Thermopyle and Succorso were on a collision course. What nobody expected was how quickly it would all be over -or how devastating the victory would be. It was a common enough example of rivalry and revenge -or so everyone thought. The real story was something entirely different....

In The Real Story Stephen R. Donaldson takes us to a remarkably detailed world of faster-than-light travel, politics, betrayal, and a shadowy presence just outside our view to tell the fiercest, most profound story he has ever written.
Kirkus Reviews calls it "Repetitious and mediocre but readable".


  1. Repetitious and mediocre but readable? Guess I'll give it a pass. Not that I haven't read any number of books that would qualify for that statement.


    1. I didn't agree with that review, but I couldn't find many reviews online. I enjoyed the entire series.