Read Demu Trilogy by F.M. Busby Free Online
Book Title: Demu Trilogy|
The author of the book: F.M. Busby
Edition: Pocket Books
Date of issue: June 3rd 1984
ISBN 13: 9780671532291
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 316 KB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 2892 times
Reader ratings: 4.5
Read full description of the books:
F.M. Busby was a fan’s fan. He spent his life supporting sci fi: going to conferences, talking to writers, etc. Then, one day he quit his day job and started writing sci fi. More power to him. Unfortunately, it turns out he wasn’t very good at plotting out a novel, much less a trilogy.
The first book, “To Cage a Man,” has an odd structure, that kept me confused about what Busby was trying to do through most of it, although I admit that it resolved well, if unexpectedly. The part where Barton, the main character. is “caged” lasted for much less of the book than I’d have expected – by far most of the book involves his trying to cope with the after-effects of caging. This, as well as other aspects of the book, inclines me to read it as a commentary on Vietnam and Prisoners of War with PTSD, which were contemporary issues at the time of publication. Barton is brutalized by his experience and becomes brutal himself in order to survive. This, he fears after the fact, makes him “not safe to walk around free,” but his worst fear is that the authorities will realize this and resign him to another cage for society’s protection. This brutality was part of what confused me – I was afraid that this was another macho celebration of violence, a la “Plague of Demons,” but there are various hints that this is not the case, such as his ability to see the helpless and adoring child within one of the enemy aliens.
Between book one and book two of the trilogy is a short story with that child as its protagonist. I suspect that Busby wrote it to help him settle aspects of Demu psychology, but it does appear to have been published as well. I don’t see that it adds much to the plot, but it’s a brief diversion and sets the stage to build tension in the next book.
The second book seems a bit more confident – the structure is more deliberate, even though again there was quite a time when I couldn’t see where it was going. A lot of the book is dedicated to setting up situations that apparently will be resolved in the third book. The problem I have with it, though, is that apart from this, its own essential “quest” is resolved too simply. In fact, a problem these books share is how easily Barton is able to conquer any problem he is tasked with. There’s also a problem, I think, with the very optimistic view Busby has of the US government and governments in general and their ability to coordinate and listen to reason in a crisis. The character of Tarleton, essentially the only government representative to the project of waging war against the Demu, is unbelievably competent, and insanely willing to defer to Barton. When he does make mistakes, it seems almost as if Busby makes this happen as a kind of afterthought, because he belatedly realizes that there needs to be conflict to heighten the drama. Again, though, the tension is always relieved too quickly.
The third book resolves for me that Busby never did figure out how to pace a novel. It is actually two separate stories, the second one much more interesting than the first. The first half of the book involves Barton resolving issues that have come about because the second fleet to arrive on his allies’ planet is led by a megalomaniac with an axe to grind, which at least shows that Busby learned something about not trusting the military & government after Watergate and Vietnam. Of course Barton solves it all much too easily, and in the meanwhile there’s a lot of irrelevant filler. The final story follows that same structure, but is based on more interesting premises that were set up in the second book, in terms of the origins of the Demu and the humanoid races of the galaxy. The nice thing about this one is that at least it got a bit of set-up and the premise takes a bit of time, so it isn’t all filler waiting for Barton to solve the problem, but Busby insists on sprinkling smug little reminders that Barton has it all figured out, but isn’t telling the reader what he knows until the last few pages.
In short, all three books are interesting, but full of action and dialog irrelevant to the plot. Busby’s fairly good at writing a good resolution (I suspect that’s where he started from, each time), but generally unsure how to get there, and uneven in setting up the premise. I probably won’t seek out more of his writing.
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