The Sky People by S.M. Stirling

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Marc Vitrac was born in Louisiana in the early 1960's, about the time the first interplanetary probes delivered the news that Mars and Venus were teeming with life--even human life. At that point, the "Space Race" became the central preoccupation of the great powers of the world.

Now, in 1988, Marc has been assigned to Jamestown, the US-Commonwealth base on Venus, near the great Venusian city of Kartahown. Set in a countryside swarming with sabertooths and dinosaurs, Jamestown is home to a small band of American and allied scientist-adventurers.

But there are flies in this ointment - and not only the Venusian dragonflies, with their yard-wide wings. The biologists studying Venus's life are puzzled by the way it not only resembles that on Earth, but is virtually identical to it. The EastBloc has its own base at Cosmograd, in the highlands to the south, and relations are frosty. And attractive young geologist Cynthia Whitlock seems impervious to Marc's Cajun charm.

Meanwhile, at the western end of the continent, Teesa of the Cloud Mountain People leads her tribe in a conflict with the Neanderthal-like beastmen who have seized her folk's sacred caves. Then an EastBloc shuttle crashes nearby, and the beastmen acquire new knowledge… and AK47's.

Jamestown sends its long-range blimp to rescue the downed EastBloc cosmonauts, little suspecting that the answer to the jungle planet's mysteries may lie there, among tribal conflicts and traces of a power that made Earth's vaunted science seem as primitive as the tribesfolk's blowguns. As if that weren't enough, there's an enemy agent on board the airship…

Extravagant and effervescent, The Sky People is alternate-history SF adventure at its best.

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About S.M. Stirling

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S.M. Stirling is the author of many science fiction and fantasy novels. A former lawyer and an amateur historian, he lives in the Southwest with his wife, Jan. Author website:
Published April 21, 2010 by Tor Books. 302 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Business & Economics, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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A fanciful, politically tinged tale from Stirling (The Ship Avenged, 1997, etc.), set on the frontier of Venus circa 1988 as the Eastern Bloc rivals the US Sky People in the great space race.

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BC Books

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The first section of the book sets up the romantic triangle that’s dangled before the readers, which is also another staple of many Burroughs' books.

Dec 24 2009 | Read Full Review of The Sky People

BC Books

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Stirling came up with the idea of an alternate history series showcasing intelligent life on Venus and Mars, and wrote two books about those planets.

Dec 24 2009 | Read Full Review of The Sky People

Entertainment Weekly

Originally posted Nov 17, 2006 Published in issue #908 Nov 24, 2006 Order article reprints

Nov 17 2006 | Read Full Review of The Sky People

Gather Books

Even if the ETs didn't seed Venus with an ecologically complete package of plants and animals in the first place, the animals that they did put on Venus would develop into a reasonably complete ecology in a few million years.

Mar 23 2007 | Read Full Review of The Sky People

SF Signal

The cover worked so well it persisted through many reprintings, something which few cover designs ever manage, and now has a life of its own beyond the cover.

Nov 18 2009 | Read Full Review of The Sky People

SF Signal

Given that the premise – that the sci-fi writers idea of Mars and Venus from the 40′s and 50′s turns out to be right – perhaps he was intentionally working to write a pulp novel in the grand tradition of those eras.

Jan 01 2007 | Read Full Review of The Sky People

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