Image of The Creative Fire (Ruby's Song)


Image of The Creative Fire (Ruby's Song)

As the author makes clear, protagonist Ruby is inspired by — but not based on — Eva Peron; the social structure of the ship is even more stratified than the society of post-war Argentina’s, and the situation here, with the craft isolated in deep space, is far more dire. In a genre that so often sides with aristocrats and the wealthy, it is an interesting change of pace to see a novel focused on the common people — even if it’s only one exceptional member of the underclass.

The decaying generation ship Creative Fire is finally nearing its long-awaited destination. Civil disorder left the ship with a rigid class system and a largely ignorant society, a society whose ability to keep the ship functional long enough to reach the target is open to question. Ruby Martin, a member of the lowest strata of society, has ambitions to rise above her station, to earn her way into the ranks of the ruling blues. Despite determined opposition by the guardians of society, a chance encounter and her natural talent will win her her a place at the center of events that will change Creative Fireforever. (PYR Nov., 400 pp., $17.95)

Reviewed by: 
James Davis Nicoll