Top critical review
an idiotic level of altruism
Reviewed in the United States on February 3, 2021
I have read all of these, gotten used to the routine descriptions of getting up, eating breakfast, saying hi to people, throwing, frisbee, going to bed that permeates all of them, and overlooked that for some mindless upbeat entertainment and the fantasy that there was a hillbilly somewhere in the universe that prevailed through common sense.
About a day after I finished this, and was part way into the next one, it hit me all of a sudden. Bob Wilson just committed the most grievous offense against common sense anyone can imagine, essentially racial suicide by any practical measure. And the rosey-eyed author sneaked it right by us like one of Bob's jokes we didn't get.
Bob could pick up Scandium from an asteroid in any uninhabited system in the part of the galaxy where it is common, for free. (Fuel doesn't seem to cost him anything) The Roos only occupy one planet there. But habitable planets where his people, now exiled from Earth, could make a future, are rare. He's found exactly one. And he trades it for Scandium, which he could get for free. I'm sorry. I cannot keep up the fiction that Bob is some kind of hillbilly genius. This is a major plot error.
To further compound the offense, the Roos don't like him and are constantly attacking and trying to steal his ship. Exceptions are only acting selfishly, e.g. one family he rescued from captivity, one merchant he made rich, one old timer he gave a job. Now he's tripled their planetary footprint since he also arranged for them to acquire some space on a sparsely occupied robot planet.
Oh, sure, the author can just write in a new planet for Bob to find. And can write whatever he wants for the future behavior of the Roos. But it isn't realistic to think this ends well.