Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Ship Who Sang (1969)

The Ship Who Sang (1969) by Anne McCaffrey is a fixup SF novel of a ship containing a malformed human, otherwise called a "brain." The novel read quite archaically, resembling an SF novel from the 50's far more than the late 60's, containing stiff sentences paired with stiff dialog.

If you're looking for the far smoother McCaffrey from the 1970's, this isn't it.

As I read, I often found myself getting bored with each story, the weak plots overwhelming the otherwise dull and underdeveloped characters. Helen, the ship, aside from singing, frequently has no other personality traits worth speaking about.

The book itself is a veiled feminist work, where the ship is paired with a brawn, but the ship works through various brawns as she goes, much like a woman, freed through the sexual revolution, was now able to trade partners. Likewise, the brawns frequently have the character and flaws of bad husbands, especially those bad attitudes more frequent before women's liberation.

While I praise Anne's aims, the results fail more often than they work.