Duncan, Dave -- Pock's World

An odd little book from a small press. Having read it, I can see why it wasn't picked up by Duncan's usual publishers; it's not quite up to his standard. In a galactic sector dominated by the autocratic (but not particularly despotic) We-Own-The-FTL Company, somebody turns up evidence of human genetic engineering. The Company quickly assembles a crack team of civilians (the priest, the journalist, the industrialist, the politician) to check it out before they apply their usual penalty of sterilizing the planet. There's a lot of tossed-off social-biological assumptions (the engineered humanoid species must be destroyed, because two races cannot possibly coexist, even though it's explicit that every colony does some gene-fixing to make its members more comfortable on their planet) and then some vaguely creepy underage (consensual) sex. The author should have kept the priest character and written him a better novel.

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