Excellent and revealing book. I was only marginally aware of many of the Native American chiefs and heroes featured in this book. The book was very informative and surprisingly well-balanced.
I tried to read this book on my Kindle, but the formatting (mobi format) made the board examples unviewable. There was some good information in the introduction and explanation of chess, but beyond that, it was kind of useless. I may try a different format when I get the chance to see if the grids are viewable to follow the strategy examples properly.
I don't think it's much of a spoiler to say that this rather short short story lives up to it's title. It's about a man who falls overboard.
It's also a fairly well-written story, with a pseudo-twist at the end. I agree with another review who supposed that Churchill was probably depressed when he wrote it. Kind of glad he was, considering the quality. I enjoyed the barely-two minutes it took to read.
I have to say at the outset that if you are looking for adventure like Smith's Lensman series, you won't find it here. This is just your average 50's sci-fi adventure, with all the adorable if completely wrong suppositions about outer space you often find in those tales.
There are some interesting tweaks to it, such as a society that builds things out of ice (because it's the hardest thing on their distant planet that they can manipulate). But a good portion of the book is "Robinson Crusoe on Mars" Meets "Assignment: Outer Space". I can easily see this being filmed as an Italian space opera with all the special effects that allow me to indulge in schadenfreude.
It's worth a read if you're a fan of that era's sci-fi, but don't try to critique it with modern standards or you'll go a bit crazy.
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2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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