Wednesday 19 December 2012

The Ship Who Sang - Anne McCaffrey

Helva was born with a body so deformed that she normally wouldn't have survived. However, her brain was perfect and used to eventually become part of a ship. Helva is intelligent, witty and still feels human without a human body. All she needs is the brawn (human counterpart) to team up with and she can visit worlds, save lives and live the next 200/300 years as one big adventure. However, Helva soon discovers that being human also includes loss and loneliness.

I didn't realise it at the time but this is actually a collection of short stories or rather five novella's. Not that it makes any difference since they are all connected. I don't think you could really read one of those stories without reading the ones before it.

I chose this as my last book for this challenge because I wanted a lighter sci fi book. I wanted something that I could read as a distraction and that I could put down and pick up again without any problem. Anne McCaffrey immediately popped in to my head as the perfect choice. Plus I had been meaning to go back and read some more of her work since she passed away last year.

These stories, whilst a little un-PC, were a great read. They were light, full of adventure and just a touch of technology. Well a big touch since the main character was wired in to a ship but it wasn't as hard core as some. You didn't have to necessarily understand the technology to get it. In each story it's Helva who saves the day. She's a little different from the other ships because she can sing. At first this is something she is ridiculed for but eventually becomes part of her legend. A ship who will do what she can to keep those under her care safe no matter what.

The un-PC aspect is a little tough to take in today's world. The fact that Helva's parents had to make a choice. Have their disabled daughter euthanised or wired in to technology. You can see where the un-PC aspect comes in. I have to say I didn't particularly like that part of it. McCaffrey did confront it from the beginning by having characters who believe it to be inhumane to visit the facility and see that all the brain children are happy. Still, it leaves with a bit of bad taste in the mouth.

If you can get over it like I did though you have some fun stories to read.

As I mentioned earlier on I read this as part of the sci fi challenge and this was in fact my last book for it. If you want to see what others read this month you can do so over at Ellie's blog Curiosity Killed the Bookworm. The suggestion was to read a festive-ish sci fi book but once again I went with my own choice. Have enjoyed the challenge overall and I will review it later on in the week.


  1. This sounds weird enough for me to want to give it a go. *puts it in tbr mountain*

    1. It is a bit strange. An easy read though so perfect if you are looking for something light.