TOP After the Coup by John Scalzi (Goodreads Author) amazon free ebook touch francaisTOP After the Coup by John Scalzi (Goodreads Author) amazon free ebook touch francais
In this Tor SF short story, a human diplomatic group is trying to negotiate a treaty with a small but belligerent alien species, the Korba. Its not going well. The Korba want to expand to new planets; humanity thinks thats fine as long as they expand in the direction of enemy planets, not ours. So the Korba want proof of humanitys military prowess, particularly their superhuman soldiers (<----This part will make a lot more sense if youve read at least the first book in this series, Old Mans War. If not... well, knowing that humanity has developed a way to genetically engineer superhuman soldiers will see you through). It just so happens that there is one superhuman soldier on the diplomatic spaceship, Lieutenant Harry Wilson. So what if Harry is a technician rather than a trained fighter?What develops is a mix between a sensitive diplomatic mission and hand-to-hand combat between Harry and one of the Korba, liberally spiced with humor.“The judge wants to know if you have a second. If you don’t have one he will be happy to provide you one.”“Do I have a second?” Harry said.“I didn’t know you needed one,” Schmidt said.“Hart, please make an effort to be useful to me,” Harry asked.“Well, I’m translating,” Schmidt said.“I only have your word for that,” Harry said. “Tell the judge that you’re my second.““What? Harry, I can’t,” Schmidt said. “I’m supposed to be sitting with the Ambassador.”“And I’m supposed to be in a bunk on the Clarke reading the first part of The Brothers Karamazov,” Harry said. “Clearly this is a disappointing day for both of us. Suck it up, Hart.”Its not profound, but its a fun and imaginative story. Its interesting to compare this to Arena, a well-known 1944 short story that also features one-on-one combat between a human and an unusual alien (which you can read online here). In both stories the fate of humanity may be riding on the outcome of the fight, but Arena takes a dead serious approach while After the Coup is much more light-hearted, though with some serious undertones.3.5 stars. After the Coup is free to read online at Tor.com here.
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