Holly Lisle: Hunting the Corrigan’s Blood
Hunting the Corrigan’s Blood
by Holly Lisle
Hunting the Corrigan’s Blood is a blend of science fiction and fantasy. It takes the quote that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” (Arthur C. Clark, 1961) and uses it to create legends out of normal – if futuristic – humans. The story is all sci-fi, but the plot is dependant on the existence of fantasy.
Cadence Drake is a finder of lost things in the far future, in a time when people have mastered space travel. Along with Badger, her partner, she is hired to find a stolen spaceship: the Corrigan’s Blood. Along the way, she finds more questions than answers, questions that lead her to suspect that the matter of a “stolen ship” isn’t as simple as it originally seemed. The few answers she does get all point in the direction of the impossible, and to legends of Old Earth’s gothic era…
Holly Lisle delivers a sci-fi novel which, like her fantasy books, is character-driven and multi-layered. The science seems well thought-out, and is described well enough that it shouldn’t cause confusion. In a few places, the concept for some of the leaps in science left me thinking it was unrealistic, but in each of those cases she still described the process completely so that I found no fault with her creation. For example, Hunting the Corrigan’s Blood starts with the main character near death. Fortunately, she is rescued and placed in a rejuvenation chamber which restores her to perfect health. To me, the science behind that is implausible – but Lisle uses it in such a way that I found myself accepting it, even if I couldn’t agree with it. (She is not the only one to do so, either; see the movie “Stargate” for a good example.)
The story itself is fast-paced, while not excluding the interpersonal relationships that are one of the things I like best about Holly’s writing. Within the first few chapters, the story goes from being a complete adventure story to something of a murder mystery as well, with hints scattered throughout the entire book. It’s inevitable that a fantasy fan will pick up on at least some of those hints early on, but that doesn’t make the story any less enjoyable.