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Trigger and Friends cover Trigger and Friends by James M. Schmitz

Edited by Eric Flint

Published by Baen Books

Reviewed by Leigh Kimmel

With the third volume of the reissued stories of James M. Schmitz, we come to the adventures of Trigger Argee before she met Telzey Amberdon. In these stories we finally get to meet Holati Tate, the "on-again off-again husband" to whom Trigger refers in her stories with Telzey.

We also meet several recurring characters associated with Trigger, including Quillan and Mantelish. Some of these stories give these subordinate characters a moment in the spotlight, such as "Lion Loose," in which Quillan must work his way through a maze of deception to find out who is the real threat, all the while being chased by vicious carnivorous aliens. In "Aura of Immortality," Professor Mantelish reveals the hidden sting in a treatment for immortality.

The centerpiece of the collection is "Legacy," a lengthy novella in which Trigger confronts the strange secrets of an ancient alien race -- and of the humans who would seek to steal it. It is a followon to "Harvest Time," returning to the Harvest Moon and its ancient plasmoids.

The volume concludes with three brief essays by the editors. Guy Gordon's study of the Psychology Service illuminates some of the philosophy of the society of the Hub -- and suggests why Baen is interested in republishing it. Finally, Eric Flint discusses and defends his methods in editing the stories for their reissue, and particularly his extensive editing of "Legacy," which he argues quite convincingly was not properly edited for publication the first time around.

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Review posted April 4, 2002

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