Tor, Jun 2002, 25.95, 430 pp.
“Dorsai”. Among the fourteen worlds, Dorsai provides one export that is in great demand. The planet consists of the best military mercenaries known in the cosmos. Donal Graeme is about to go off planet with abilities never seen before as humanity has taken a quantum leap up on the evolutionary path. This reviewer read “Dorsai” in the sixties and found it to be a fascinating tale. Though a powerful introduction to the Dorsai culture, the military tactics seem weak in a post Star Wars world. Still Donal is a great character struggling between his differences and his human frailty.
“Spirit of Dorsai”: “Amanda Morgan”. While the men go off planet to fight, women remain behind to defend Dorsai. Amanda Morgan faces an enemy with one goal in mind, the destruction of the Dorsai culture. “Brothers”. Ian Graeme feels guilt for living, grief for his dead sibling, and anger for not being able to keep his brother alive. Preferring to avenge his brother's murder, Ian must first prevent a major catastrophe from occurring. This novella (“Amanda Morgan”) and short story (“Brothers”) provide more of a historical perspective to the Dorsai, especially Amanda's story furnishing insight into the role of women in the culture.
DORSAI SPIRIT is a compilation of two previous Gordon R. Dickson's books from his Childe Cycle. The stories remain interesting and old fans will rejoice to read them while newcomers will find the tales entertaining. Yet this reviewer wonders why the memories of Mr. Dickson as one of the standard bearers of military science fiction seem weakened at least from re-reading this part of the saga.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner