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Dykstra's War    by Jeffery D. Kooistra order for
Dykstra's War
by Jeffery D. Kooistra
Order:  USA  Can
Baen, 2000 (2000)
* * *   Reviewed by Marian Powell

What do you do with your life if you're one hundred and twenty-six years old, retired and reputed to be the greatest genius since Einstein? If you're James Dykstra, the hero of Dykstra's War, you come out of retirement and head into space to save the human race from an invading alien race.

This is a traditional science fiction adventure story but with a twist. The hero is elderly. His brilliant helper is a man more comfortable with his colony of pet squirrels than with people. The aliens are extremely strange and the more we see of them, the stranger they become. An all too frequent problem in science fiction is that aliens often seem to just be people who happen to have green skins and antennae. In this story they are truly different.

There are several subplots centered on the men and women who do the fighting. There are also a number of thought provoking comments. The novel is good enough that it was just nominated for the Nebula, an annual science fiction award. While it's too early to know if it will win, the nomination is an honor, especially as this is Jeffery Kooistra's first published novel. He has been a highly successful short story author, and also currently has a monthly science column in Analog Magazine.

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