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Once a Greech   By: (1927-2000)

Once a Greech by Evelyn E. Smith

Once a Greech by Evelyn E. Smith is an engaging and thought-provoking science fiction novel that takes readers on a journey to a distant planet and explores themes of identity, empathy, and the complexities of human nature.

The story revolves around the protagonist and self-proclaimed Greech, Hershey, who embarks on a dangerous mission to the planet of Engalr, governed by the dome-dependent Humans. As Hershey delves deeper into the mysterious workings of Engalr's society, she must confront her own preconceptions and prejudices, leading her to question what it truly means to be a Greech.

Smith masterfully crafts a rich and immersive world, offering vivid descriptions of the alien landscapes and technological marvels of Engalr. The attention to detail and the imaginative concepts mesmerize readers and draw them into the narrative. From the intricate political machinations to the innovative scientific advancements, the novel's world-building is impeccable.

What sets Once a Greech apart is Smith's ability to communicate profound philosophical ideas through the actions and interactions of her characters. Through the lens of the Greech, a species with distinct physical and cultural traits, Smith explores themes of discrimination, acceptance, and the consequences of prejudice. The nuanced portrayal of these subject matters adds depth to the story, making it relatable and significant in our own reality.

The character development in Once a Greech is another highlight of the book. Hershey, with her wry wit and sharp intellect, is a compelling protagonist. Her growth throughout the story is both believable and satisfying, as she confronts her own misconceptions and grapples with the gray areas of morality. The supporting characters are also given their own arcs, each with their own motivations and desires that keep the narrative moving forward.

In terms of pacing, the book strikes a perfect balance between intrigue and action. The story unfolds gradually, allowing readers to absorb the intricate details of Engalr's society. However, with unexpected twists and turns, the plot keeps readers on their toes, creating a sense of urgency and tension that propels the story towards its captivating climax.

If there is one minor drawback, it would be the occasional dips in pacing during certain exposition-heavy sections. While necessary for world-building, these moments could occasionally slow down the pace of the narrative. However, Smith's engaging prose and vivid descriptions keep readers invested, even during these slower moments.

Overall, Once a Greech is a captivating and thought-provoking science fiction novel that explores complex themes while maintaining a thrilling narrative. Smith's vivid world-building, nuanced characters, and exploration of discrimination make this book a must-read for fans of the genre. Whether you are a seasoned sci-fi enthusiast or a newcomer to the genre, this book is sure to leave a lasting impression.

First Page:

Once a Greech

By EVELYN E. SMITH

Illustrated by DILLON

[Transcriber's Note: This etext was produced from Galaxy Science Fiction April 1957. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.]

[Sidenote: The mildest of men, Iversen was capable of murder ... to disprove Harkaway's hypothesis that in the midst of life, we are in life! ]

Just two weeks before the S. S. Herringbone of the Interstellar Exploration, Examination (and Exploitation) Service was due to start her return journey to Earth, one of her scouts disconcertingly reported the discovery of intelligent life in the Virago System.

"Thirteen planets," Captain Iversen snarled, wishing there were someone on whom he could place the blame for this mischance, "and we spend a full year here exploring each one of them with all the resources of Terrestrial science and technology, and what happens? On the nineteenth moon of the eleventh planet, intelligent life is discovered. And who has to discover it? Harkaway, of all people. I thought for sure all the moons were cinders or I would never have sent him out to them just to keep him from getting in my hair."

"The boy's not a bad boy, sir," the first officer said... Continue reading book >>




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