Tuesday, 14 August 2001

Anne McCaffrey: Restoree (1967)

Edition: Corgi, 1970 (Buy from Amazon)
Review number: 904

A common theme in science fiction and fantasy - and one which succeeds admirably in attracting would be escapists to the genre - is the sudden travel of a normal person to an alien environment. It also, in the science fiction context, ties in with the idea of alien abductions, though this is something that has become much more widely talked about since Restoree was published.

What McCaffrey does in Restoree is an unusual version of this idea. The adaptation of the individual concerned to their new environment is usually taken as a matter of course, but here the stress and terror involved in her abduction send her temporarily insane. She is almost catastrophically unfitted for the role she ends up having to assume when she escapes from an asylum with the Regent for the Warlord of the planet Lothar, drugged to appear insane by his political enemies.

The novel itself, though ringing the changes on one of the clichés of the genre, is easy reading. It is in McCaffrey's habitual light, slightly romantic style, and is one of the novels which leaves the reader with a silly grin on their face.

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