Tag Archives: 2000

The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead

Lila Mae Watson is the first female black elevator inspector in a nameless metropolis. Her life is endangered when an accident pulls her into murky politics. What will she do when she learns startling truths?

The Intutionist is a story where everything provokes questions. There are hints about the city’s name and time period. Elevators have a symbolic importance that calls into question progress -especially in seeking equality- and what reality is. Lila Mae’s life is an unsettling look at integration. The Intuitionist offers a story filled with food for thought about racial equality and other aspects of life.

Want more books like The Intuitionist?

Gabriel Lynch’s impetuous choice to become a cowboy brings him into contact with moral questions, racial issues, and the West in Gabriel’s Story by David Anthony Durham.

Not Sidney Poitier endures miscommunication, racism, and unexpected wealth in I Am Not Sidney Poitier by Percival Everett.

A nameless African American is invisible to the world in Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison.



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Valor’s Choice by Tanya Huff

Valor's Choice (Confederation, #1)

Staff Sergeant Torin Kerr, and her platoon, needed leave after a costly mission. They did not need to be conscripted as ceremonial guards in a mission to recruit the warrior Silviss. When the mission unexpectedly leads to combat, Kerr and her marines must face inhospitable surroundings, overwhelming number of the enemy and breaking in an inexperienced commander. Just another day in the life of marines if they survive…

Valor’s Choice draws the reader in with a focus on Staff Sergeant Kerr and members within her platoon. Staff Sergeant Kerr is calm under fire, thinks on her feet and knows when to deftly defuse tensions or shoot. She gives the reader a perspective on big picture issues of military life: handling officers without being insubordinate, interacting with civilians who don’t understand – or approve- of combat and keeping members of a platoon in order. The members of her platoon give a more personal perspective. The reader wants to know if flirty Haysole, creative with rules and technology Ressk and the others will survive being bored, being shot at and each other. The reader is exposed to a world with philosophical aspects. For example, the Confederacy Kerr fights for only invited humans, and several other species, to join because they have an enemy they are too pacifistic to fight. This sometimes causes a divide between the original pacifistic species and the newer, aggressive species. The seriousness of the ‘will they survive’ element in the plot is counterbalanced with moments of understated, crude and/or quickly spoken humor. Valor’s Choice is a potential match for a reader looking for a military science fiction book with likeable characters, a look on military life and/or a plot with some humor.

Want books with aspects of Valor’s Choice?

Robert Asprin’s Phule’s Company is another military science fiction book with likeable characters and humor. The brilliant, and disgraced, Captain Willard Phule is given a choice of either resigning or somehow turning a bunch of misfits int0 a functioning military company….

Elizabeth Moon’s Trading in Danger also features a likeable military female protagonist who has to think quickly in the face of overwhelming odds. In experienced Kylara Vatta must keep her crew alive despite the threat posed by an interplanetary war…

Tanya Huff was inspired by the battle of Rorke’s Drift during the Zulu War. She mentions the movie Zulu as one title about the Zulu War.

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