Sunday, June 01, 2008

Aaron's Book of the Week :: Rendezvous by D. Alexander Smith

RendezvousContinuing our tribute to artist John Berkey, the Book of the Week is Rendezvous by D. Alexander Smith, cover art by Berkey.

This is a first printing, paperback original published in 1988. It is not much of a collector's item, but I chose it for this week's BOTW because it is a typical example of John Berkey's renowned spaceship art, and because Rendezvous is an old favorite of mine. Rendezvous is the middle volume of the Marathon trilogy, but while the middle book is the weakest in many trilogies, here it is far and away the strongest book of the series. This is because the Marathon trilogy examines mankind's first contact with a strange alien species, and Rendezvous is the volume where the first contact actually occurs. Rendezvous was a finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award. Unfortunately, D. Alexander Smith has written little since the Marathon trilogy, including only one further novel (In the Cube), so the Marathon series has become unjustly neglected.

As for the cover art, John Berkey delighted in painting large gleaming spaceships, which were sometimes scientifically implausible (Do I see railings on that big ship? It is hardly ever a good idea to go check out the view from the balcony of your starship.) but always visually impressive.

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