The Sioux Spaceman MOBI Ø The Sioux Kindle -

I have spent so long trying to figure out how on earth to review this book that it has begun to haunt me so I shall simply stick my entire mess of thoughts on this book in and try to sort them thematicallyOne This book is pretty much what you'd expect if you've ever read a book by Andre Norton The characterization is what could be charitably called 'slight' the main engine of the book is plot which is tremendously linear and uncomplicated itselfTwo This book is called 'Sioux Spaceman' I bought this book because I was with my mother at the time it was 050 and every time I said 'Sioux Spaceman' she twitched You sort of have to croon the name The cover exhorts you to 'Beware the Horsemen of the Stars' and appears to be about Hawkman's radio controlled harem boys Everything about how it is marketed is ridiculous although obviously it was aimed at the reading audience of some fifty years agoThree However what really caused me to bog down in my attempt to review is this book as a cultural artifact Inside the book the protagonist Kade is never referred to as Sioux he's Lakota Also contrary to what the cover would have you believe there are no white people in this book although there are a half dozen humans There are also no women or even female aliens There are female horses however Kade's goal is to undermine Alien Species A's attempt to colonize Alien Species B Via horses So really you don't need to beware the horsemen of the stars I am aware of a certain species of book by white authors in which they send their white protagonist back in time to prevent some historical atrocity committed by white people or some variation on that theme but Kade doesn't seem designed to assuage liberal guiltThree and a half HOWEVER there are some um infelicities Kade is often doing things with the fill in the blank of his ancestors sometimes of his savage ancestors One of Kade's superiors is described as Afro arabian and his name is Abu I don't speak Arabic but I'm pretty sure that means 'Father which seems like a funny nameOkay now this book can stop haunting me I picked this up because of the outrageous title and cover I read a lot of Andre Norton's SF when I was 10 13 years old and while this was a lot like them this wasn't actually one that I had read before Young Kade Whitehawk is re assigned to a new trade service position among a crew of 4 on the world Klor where the evil intersteller Styor have enslaved the native Ikkinni Kade being Lakota Sioux decides to help the Ikkinni fight for freedom by bringing them plains horses from Earth Plot mundane and predictable But sometimes you just need that you know? Since “The Sioux Warrior” was primarily written for the young adult market in 1960 it would not have caught my eye back then since I was interested in comics at 12 years of age Today 57 years later it caught my eye on that 50 cent sale rack After all what’s 50 cents really worth now days? I found that it was well written with excellent main character development and well worth my investment of time for an enjoyable read of older works of science fiction The protagonist Kade Whitehawk a Trader for the Space Service finds himself being reassigned to a Team on the planet Klor in disgrace Once on Klor he is slowly being drawn into a battle to help the indigenous population free themselves from the alien Styors who have enslaved mercilessly enslaved them Again Whitehawk goes against Space Service policy and sets a plan in motion to help the Ikkinni get free from the hated Styor’s star empire The plot is well just a bit juvenile after all it was written with that reader in mind but is sufficient to keep the reader engaged Since Whitehawk is of Sioux warrior descent he succeeds in getting horses delivered to the planet and helps to get the natives to trust in using them to begin the their liberation After the battle begins he is abandoned on Klor in the not so gentle grasp of those he was trying to help The Space Service sent a rescue ship to his summons and what is revealed to him after the ship lands astounds him With the Space Service there is the Policy think Prime Directive of Star Trek and the Plan He is one of the few whom the Space Service consider a black sheep who serve in a rebellious state they call the warrior breed He is then given the opportunity to remain and continue assisting in the Ikkinni’s freedom struggles or go After all he is told “a push here a push there topples a star empire” This is my second book from the highly prolific Andre Norton the first being “Daybreak 2250 AD” From this book it is apparent why she was such a prolific author since the book feels very much like a thing churned out to reach a deadline The book is set in a future where a space traveling human race shares the galaxy with the evil humanoid Styor an empire with which they have an uneasy peace Our hero is the rebellious Kade Whitehawk a Native American space force guy who is in trouble for some upset involving a Styor ambassador For his trouble he gets assigned to a backward planet where a humanoid alien race are kept as slaves to the Styor and wear shock collars Kade's predecessor on the planet also a Native was mysteriously killed and Kade learns that this man had a plan about importing horses to the planet for use by the natives against the evil empire Our hero goes about putting the same plan into motion all the while contending with the marks against him by the space force with potential discovery by the enemy and with the resentment of the enslaved population While the story has the potential to entertain in many ways the result has little in the way of intrigue or action Kade sometimes has some nature adventure contending with wild beasts and the like but not much direct conflict with the humanoid aliens Like other Norton characters he's a beast master relating to horses and bears and such On the bright side he isn't given a stuffy girlfriend to slow him down either “The Sioux Spaceman” is sort of a Cold War analogue which I guess partly explains the inaction of the whole thing Norton did build a little world to set the book in but not much happens there This is an old ACE edition I read which includes a profile on Norton by Lin Carter but I didn't bother with it Kade Whitehawk had two strikes against him in the Space Service First he had bungled his assignment on the planet Lodi Second he believed all creatures had a right to freedom and dignity and having such opinions was strictly against the rules But when he was assigned to Klor he found the Ikkinni there tortured yet defiant slaves of a vicious tyrant race Right then Kade swung at the last pitch For rules or no rules THE SIOUX SPACEMAN knew that he had to help these strange creatures gain their freedom and that he alone because of his Indian blood had the key to win it for them It wasn't bad; I liked the animals and the allegory But there wasn't enough characterization like someone else said no romance and no explanation of what happened on Kade's previous assignment that got him into so much trouble But it was a really good premise Next Norton uses one of her favorite devices a Native American hero transplanted to space and involved in a fight with a nasty alien race and uses his wits and his people’s past history to if not succeed totally at least get a heads up in the struggle I'm pretty sure this is the edition I have Like at least one other book this has the bibliographic afterword by Lin Carter Norton often got off the hook as a racist because she was not an orthodox racist conventional categories are pretty much ignored or rewritten Nevertheless she was a racist because she held to the belief that people are what they are because of who they chose for their grandparents This is another such story The hero is a Lakota and he's not presented at all the way 'Sioux' are commonly presented in racist books But his opponents are faceless slavers with no identity and no personhood They're killed without compunction and it's forbidden to pity them or to show them any consideration at all In the end suppose the 'Plan' succeeds What becomes of the Styor? And who replaces them? The Ikkinni who practice gladiatorial spectacles with their captives and seem to have no home life? And note that there's some doubt about the future of any of these peoples since none seem to have any women around On the other hand this is a reasonably good exportation of the effect the reintroduction of genetically modified horses had on the peoples of the North American Great Plains The original Euus caballo nearly resembled the ones found in European cave paintings or present day Przwalski's horses They were virtually useless as draught animals beasts of burden and steeds because they were too small and not muscular enough They were native to North America and probably were there when the 1st humans arrived but they became extinct there probably largely due to human predation for food They survived where they had migrated to Eurasia largely because they were domesticated and bred for size and strength by peoples of the steppes and thence were introduced into various parts of the world including a reintroduction to their homeland So much for the 'natural' life of early pastoralists Because this story is rarely told even in such a form it needs to be retold and this is an adeuate if not inspired version Okay this cover is RIDICULOUS Who could resist?It's kinda hard to connect with in that the aliens are sort of jerks including the ones the reader is supposed to empathize with; but it is actual sci fi and the kernel of the story is good It's the kind of thing Cherryh does very very well the 'stranger' theme the lone human in a world and culture he doesn't understandbut seriously totally worth it for the cover If you like Andre Norton you'll like this story Norton's themes revolve around young people finding their way in the world although her worlds incorporate hefty doses of science and fantasy This story is typically well written and a fun read The Sioux Spaceman

About the Author: Andre Norton

Alice Mary Norton always had an affinity to the humanities She started writing in her teens inspired by a charismatic high school teacher First contacts with the publishing world led her as many other contemporary female writers targeting a male dominated market to choose a literary pseudonym In 1934 she legally changed her name to Andre Alice She also used the names Andrew North and Allen

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