Homecoming – Review

Fantasy Review, No. 73, November 1984, p. 30.

Weak Start Mars Series

Dalmas, John. Homecoming. Tor, New York, September 1984. 247 p. $2.95, paper. ISBN 0-812-53471-9.

Seven centuries after it was mysteriously cut off from Earth, the colonists of New Home have built a starship and sent it back to see what happened. Nothing good, of course; plague wiped out the bulk of humanity centuries ago, and the remnants have banded into groups patterned, as in similar works, after Vikings, American Indians, and Roman Legions. New Home scientists find it all most interesting until–some are kidnapped, along with their highly advanced orbital shuttle.

After a weak start, Dalmas does manage to fashion a fair story. Why the peace-loving New Home scientists are carrying so much weaponry is never explained (probably so the barbarians can steal it), nor are the telepathic powers of several baddies and goodies. On the other hand, one genuinely interesting character, Nils Jarnhann, is introduced. Unfortunately, we will have to wait and read the next book in the series, The Yngling, to find out more about him. It may be worth the effort.

— Lawrence I. Charters

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