"Military sci-fi the way it should be written"
The end days seem apparent for the troubled earth so Mira
Corporation CEO Jake Holman and his company manager Gail
Cutler decide to build a starship The Ariel to escape.
They sell passage to six thousand wealthy patrons from an
assortment of earthlings. The group travels through space
before establishing Mira City on the planet Greentrees.
The settlers meet the Furs, who are also from off world.
Subgroups of Furs behave extremely differently from others
with some violent and some passive, but no mixing of
behavior within a subgroup. Not long afterward, an alien
ship arrives containing the Vines. Though the colonists'
military wing attacks the newcomers in vain, the Vine
remains peaceful and seeks talks. The expatriate
earthlings learn that the Vines and the Furs are at war.
Soon a Fur ship attacks the Vine vessel and captures Jake,
Gail, and other humans. To keep Mira City and Earth safe
from a Fur assault Jake (and company) must destroy the
force field that protects the Vines' homeworld.
Though not quite at the level of the Probability trilogy,
CROSSFIRE is a terrific first contact tale loaded with
action as the three species seem genuine and the key
characters whether human, Fur, or Vine seems real.
However, what makes this action packed outer space tale so
strong is the competing battle of philosophies as ideas are
fully discussed yet interwoven so as not to slow down the
hyperspeed pace. Though the ending will disappoint some
readers, Nancy Kress will once again take the genre by
storm with her usual cerebral action adventure thriller.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted February 15, 2003
In the early nineties, Nancy Kress took the SF world by
storm with her multiple award-winning novella, "Beggars in
Spain," which became the basis for her extremely successful
Sleepless Trilogy (comprising Beggars in Spain, Beggars and
Choosers, and Beggars Ride). Since then she has written
more than a dozen novels, most recently the well-received
Probability Trilogy, which Booklist praised saying "Kress's
characterizations are as sound as ever, but many will be
agreeably surprised at her proficiency with military
hardware and action scenes. Very impressive."And Kirkus, in
a starred review, simply raved: "Kress's always excellent
characters wrestle with a splendid array of puzzles and
problems, human, alien, and scientific: another resounding
success for this talented sure-footed writer." Now comes a
brand-new science fiction epic: Crossfire
Crossfire is the story of a human colony settling on a
distant planet, a colony formed by Jake Holman-- a man
trying to escape a dark past. But as this diverse group of
thousands comes to terms with their new lives on a new
world, they make a startling discovery: primitive humanoid
aliens. There are only a few isolated villages, and the
evidence seems to indicate the aliens aren't native to the
planet-even though they live in thatched huts and possess
only primitive tools. When the humans finally learn the
truth, they find themselves caught up in an interstellar
In the end, this handful of human colonists will have to
choose sides in the struggle. A lot is riding on their
decision--not just the fate of their new home, but the fate
of all humanity.