Earthman’s Burden

Since I recently reviewed H. Beam Piper’s Fuzzy books and Dorsai! Dickson, I thought I’d post this from the archives.

Raw Feed (1990): Earthman’s Burden, Poul Anderson and Gordon R. Dickson, 1957. 

This is a fix-up of a rather funny set of stories (I don’t know if I would say hilarious) that I strongly suspect were the basis for Star Trek‘s “A Piece of the Action”. 

The cute, teddy bear Hokas are irrepressible and fun as they set out to harmlessly imitate — to often humorously extreme lengths — Earth cultures. Dickson and Anderson use the series to parody the conventions of a variety of literary (and the non-literary genre of opera) genres. I particularly liked the pirate and French Foreign Legion stories. 

The series’ only flaw (and I did chuckle aloud at several points) is that the stories are all a bit formulaic:  Protagonist Alexander Jones gets involved with Hokas, gets drunk or knocked out, things get way out of control with the Hokas, and Jones lucks into (or cleverly exploits) the situation to accomplish his ends.

2 thoughts on “Earthman’s Burden

  1. Pingback: Hoka! – MarzAat
  2. Bookstooge July 25, 2022 / 10:04 am

    I think I read the omnibus edition put out by the SFBC, so I’m not sure what books or stories I actually ended up reading. I did enjoy them though 😀

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