Today, the Thin Man reviews a book stylistically similar to his own Calamity's Child and one of the Thin Man's favorite books of all time.
Ivory by Mike Resnick
For those unfamiliar with Resnick’s significant body of work, you owe it to yourself to become so. He is one of (if not the) most decorated science fiction author of our time, especially in the short form, and these are honors rightly deserved. Resnick, in his own words, tells fables. The tenor of his style harkens back to the larger-than-life folklore of the American west while his familiarity with Africa injects a stern masculine mysticism into his themes. Though technically in a different genre, Resnick writes westerns—strong men, tough tasks, unforgiving settings, and the conquest of a new frontier. The frontier may be that of deep space instead of southwestern desert but Resnick’s name on the cover promises skilled writing, solid plots, intriguing characters, and a healthy dose of action and he consistently delivers.
From such a literary giant, much is to be expected and, in Ivory, much is given. The novel is the story of the history of the tusks of the Kilimanjaro Elephant and the historian seeking them. From the nineteenth century into the far future, the elusive ivory travels the universe in a saga that ends where it began. The section on the Kilimanjaro Elephant, from the elephants point of view, is nothing short of classic.
Ivory stands head and shoulders above Resnick’s already impressive works and is a deeply stirring and rewarding read.
Mike Resnick, any and all
The Jungle Book (I and II) by Rudyard Kipling
Call of the Wild by Jack London
The Lensman Series by E. E. “Doc” Smith
Calamity's Child by M. Keaton
Six-gun Planet by John Jakes
Their Master’s War by Mick Faren
In Legend Born by Laura Resnick
(This review original written for and published in Kilimanjaro magazine, reprinted with permission.)