7th Sigma by Steven Gould

7thSigmacoverart7th Sigma
by Steven Gould
2011

This was a fun and interesting science fiction book that was mostly a character study, with the science fiction largely a backdrop for the Wild West atmosphere. Most of the chapters are essentially stand-along short stories about what our main character, Kim, is getting up to.

In many ways, this book reminded me of Zenna Henderson’s The People series, what with the mixture of high-tech knowledge and low-tech life and the overall theme of people being people. Much more blatantly, the story is also heavily influenced by, or possibly a re-write of, Rudyard Kipling’s Kim. It’s been a while since I read that and don’t particularly remember it, but I do think they suffered the same issue: Kim as a child is adorably precocious; Kim as a young man is somewhat irritatingly perfect.

Luckily, as Kim grows older in 7th Sigma, the world building also begins to expand, so it balances out and I enjoyed the book as a whole. I do wish there were more, because the world building was pretty fascinating and I wanted to see the implications of one of the final reveals.

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