Posted by : atcampbell | On : March 17, 1998

Expendable by James Alan Gardner

Seven folks showed up to discuss Expendable, which we found to be a real page-turner. This futuristic space adventure follows a group of planetary Explorers, who were selected for their dangerous jobs by having “unpopular” traits (bad breath, baldness, birthmarks, etc.), which would make them less missed if they were killed in the line of duty. Gardner explored the situation fully, creating a compelling story full of surprises. The characters were distinctive and well-written, and the women in our group found the female protagonist believable. The author worked wonders with misdirection, managing to keep both his main character and the readers in the dark for most of the book. We’re eagerly looking forward to his next book.

— A. T. Campbell, III