The City Who Fought by Anne McCaffrey and S.M. Stirling
The City Who FoughtSimeon is the shell person or “brain” who runs Space Station SSS-900. His prior brawn partner retired and a new person is assigned. Simeon was unhappy with Channa, but he wouldn’t like anyone. He had been very comfortable with his previous brawn and had tried to prevent the retirement. Channa is here and now Simeon has to learn to work with her. He is aggrieved, failing to notice Channa doesn’t want to be there any more than he wants her.
As they are starting to adjust, a space ship is spotted hurtling at them. They have an emergency situation, and do their best to avoid being smashed and breached. Channa and Simeon have to quickly learn to work together. Once they find a solution to this crisis, they discover another, more dangerous. On the trail of the space ship are space pirates. The Kolnari will reach Space Station SSS-900-C more quickly than the Navy can. How can they survive an enemy race who wants to sack, then destroy the station? Is there some way Simeon, Channa, and the inhabitants of the station can hold out until the Navy arrives?
The brain and brawn coupling featured in The Ship Who Sang is used effectively in The City Who Fought. Simeon, the brain, is a complex character. He plays wargames for relaxation. The hobby comes in handy when the Kolnari threaten. Channa is not as well defined as Simeon. She is one of McCaffrey’s strong, confrontational women. Amos, a leader of colonists under attack by the Kolnari, is a strong leader yet properly naive when needed. The Kolnari are too unbelievable, too over the top.
While not great science fiction, The City Who Fought is a pleasing novel.
Notice: Non-graphic violence, Suggestive dialogue or situations