Book: The Princes of the Air by John M. Ford 

Very fine science fiction novel of impressive scope 

John M. Ford
The Princes of the Air
Tor, 1982
ISBN: 0-812-50958-7
Out of print; inexpensive used copies seem readily available as of this writing
248 pages

I've written about John M. Ford's books before (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7). In short, I think that he's a fabulous writer and that his novels are enormously inventive. There's almost always a lot in his books: interesting characters, interesting places, interesting events and plot twists. Indeed, some of his books are dense enough that they can feel like a chore to read for entertainment. Happily, that's not the case for The Princes of the Air. There's a pretty long novel in this short book and it's a pleasure to read.

The book is about three friends, Orden Obeck, Theo Norne, and David Koleman. They're young men, avid players of spaceflight simulation games, and small-time con-artists. They live on a planet they'd dearly love to leave for someplace more interesting. Orden Obeck has been indentured to study diplomacy in the hopes that that will get him off the planet. It does, and his friends manage to come with him.

Orden Obeck gets an interesting diplomatic job and manages to include his friends in it. And things get more interesting from there. There are more than a few moments of excellent space-opera that follow. Indeed, the scope that the novel covers is impressive.

The Princes of the Air is as good as any of Mr Ford's books and that's very good indeed. It deserves to be a small classic of science fiction rather than languishing out of print. 

Posted: Fri - August 12, 2005 at 05:52   Main   Category: