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Telzey Amberdon by James M. Schmitz
Edited by Eric Flint
Published by Baen Books
Reviewed by Leigh Kimmel
Welcome to the worlds of James M. Schmitz's Hub of the Federation, collected and reissued at long last by Baen Books as part of its classic science fiction project. The first installment collects six stories of Telzey Amberdon, along with two other stories from an earlier period of the history of the Hub.
Telzey is a telepath, gifted with extraordinarily strong mental abilities. When we first meet her, she is just learning her own abilities with the help of the crest cats, a native species of the world on which she is visiting her aunt. (One may wonder whether David Weber was thinking of crest cats when he created the treecats of Honor Harrington's universe).
But with her newly expanded talents she also adjusted her aunt's mind, altering personality traits that made their relationship frustrating but in the process greviously violating the woman's rights. So the Psychology Service soon used one of its ubiquitous machines to install a "policeman" in Telzey's mind, the least intrusive method of dealing with a newly awakened telepath who shows signs of going rogue.
Telzey spends the next several stories in this collection sorting through the implications of this artificial conscience, all the time having interesting adventures of her own. When a friend is in danger from ambitious business partners, Telzey risks her own life to help. She battles a rogue telepath who has gone beyond the point of no return, and who must be defeated before he destroys more victims. And she deals with an ancient menace from the old days of the Federation, long believed extinct. Except are they really a menace, or merely desperate to find a place where they can follow their own path?
Completing the package are two other stories of the Hub. "Blood of Nalakia" gives some background for "The Lion Game," while "The Star Hyacinths" deals with Wellan Dassinger, who also plays a role in Telzey's adventures. Finally there are essays by the two editors, discussing various notable aspects of the Hub universe as it relates to the Telzey stories.
Table of Contents
Click here to order Telzey Amberdon in hardcover.
Review posted April 4, 2002
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