So let me preface this post by saying that Dave Duncan is usually a reliably solid fantasy writer whose books range between excellent and decently entertaining. You should absolutely read stuff he’s written, and I’ve written up a bunch of it positively.

So with that out of the way, now I’ll say this: Dave Duncan’s Eocene Station is a terrible book. It is not good at all. It’s full of sexist attitudes (which are lampshaded a bit by references to “the New Morality” ushering in a sort of neo-Victorianism, but it goes well beyond the ability of the setting to explain or excuse), it’s rapey in a really creepy way that seems more about the character development of the male protagonist than anything else, and it is just in general not good at all, despite a few fun action scenes and a setting that could have been interesting in a different book.

Back when I was a teenager, after I’d read a bunch of Duncan’s fantasy, I picked up his Hero, which was SF. It was so much worse than his fantasy that I wondered at the time if it was actually the same Dave Duncan or a different guy. These days, I’m certain it’s the same guy, but if I didn’t know it, I wouldn’t believe it. Stick to his fantasy, is my advice.


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