Hunting Party

Elizabeth Moon
Hunting Party Cover

Hunting Party


Heris Serrano has come down in the world. Having left her beloved navy under a cloud, she has taken a job as captain of a private yacht for a rich aristocratic lady, and now has to cope with her new circumstances, the lady's spoilt nephew and his shallow friends, as they head off for a spot of fox-hunting.

The first thing to say about Hunting Party is that I enjoyed it a lot. It was very readable, the main characters were rounded and multi-layered, and I never stopped wanting to know what was going to happen.

The second thing to say about Hunting Party is that there's not a single science fictional idea in my description, above. The yacht is a starship, the navy is the Regular Space Service, and the foxes are genetically-engineered pseudo-foxes, but none of them particularly need to be, for story purposes. There's no great imagination going on here; no dazzling flights of fancy; just an adventure story wearing science fiction clothes.

It's fairly typical of the military SF that Baen are so well known for. The stories are backwards-looking, rather than forwards. Sometimes that's enough, but sometimes it feels like empty calories, lacking one of the things I read science fiction for: a sense of wonder.

I enjoyed Hunting Party, and I fully intend to read the other two novels in the omnibus edition I bought, but I'm going to have to be in the right mood. It's a snack, rather than a meal.