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David Gerrold is an interesting writer, his many novels running across the whole gamut of science fiction, and with significant media credits as well. This, however, is not a genre novel. This is fictionalised autobiography, in a similar vein to Mike Harrison's Climbers. This, The Martian Child, is his story, as a gay man, of his adoption of a disadvantaged child, and his struggles to build a family from the new relationship.

The Martian Child is a short novel, but one that grabs the reader and throws them into the author's life. It takes you from meetings with social workers, to the tender construction of a relationship with a child who finds it difficult to trust. We follow the story through tantrums and trauma, to hope, to dreams, and yes, to love. David's relationship with Dennis is a fragile one, and complicated by Dennis' past. There are many hurdles to overcome in the two years the story covers, but there is ultimately triumph in the finalisation of the adoption, and Dennis' realisation that relationships are not temporary.

An engrossing, and quick read, with heartfelt emotion on every page. It's also an inspiration to anyone struggling with the conventional definitions of family - yes, there are other ways, and yes, they do work.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Oct. 28th, 2002 11:06 am (UTC)
Thanks for the review!

(Now why aren't you reviewing for Plokta or BSFS or The Guardian?)

I'm always uncertain of David Gerrold novels - long story - but I will look for this one.

Much appreciation!
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )