Cover image for The reformer
The reformer
Stirling, S. M.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Riverdale, NY : Baen Books, 1999.
Physical Description:
294 pages ; 25 cm
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After the collapse of galactic civilization, the computer named Center remained functioning. It launched electronic copies of itself and its human agent, Raj, to the thousands of worlds still waiting for the light of civilization to dawn.

Author Notes

David Drake was born on September 24, 1945, in Dubuque, Iowa. He attended University of Iowa, where he graduated with a degree in History (with honors) and Latin. He then attended Duke Law School. He was drafted out of law school, served in the army for two years and then returned to school. He worked as an Assistant Town Attorney of Chapel Hill and then part-time as a city bus driver before he became a full-time writer.

Drake is considered a master of Science Fiction and Fantasy. The Hammer's Slammers, military science fiction, was his first published series. His other titles include Northworld series, The Dragon Lord, Starliner, Ranks of Bronze, and Redliners.

In recognition of his work, he won a World Fantasy award in 1976.

He currently resides in North Carolina.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Military SF experts Stirling and Drake move into hardcover for the seventh entry in their General series (The Chosen, etc.), about soldier-statesman Raj Whitehall and the sentient computer, Center, influencing the course of civilization in a far-future galaxy. This time, the discarnate minds of man and machine do their good work on a planet that has regressed to a level of technology resembling that of the Roman Empire; there's even an equivalent to Rome (Vanbert), which has conquered the local version of Greece (Emerald, with its capital of Solinga standing in for Athens). Aided by Whitehall and Center, Adrian Gellert, a Solingian law clerk working in Vanbert, becomes involved in a rebellion, along with his warrior brother, Esmond. Before they have to flee, they introduce gunpowder grenades to Vanbert. They also equip King Casull of the Isles with arquebuses, cannon and steam-driven ironclad rams. The climax, occupying a third of the novel, involves the Islanders' assault on Vanbert's coastal city of Preble, and is told with the knowledge of military tactics and hardware, and the vividly described action, that readers expect from Stirling and Drake. There's not much originality on display here, and the ending is indecisive, but devotees of military SF should enjoy themselves nonetheless. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved