Archive for August 18th, 2015

William Dietz’s fast-paced ‘Runner’ is well built but mindless science-fiction entertainment

August 18, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken
Aug. 18, 2015

Runner, a 2005 novel by William C. Dietz, is set in a far-distant future where humanity has settled dozens of planets across the galaxy but has lost most of its understanding of science and technology.

A trio of characters are at the center of the book: The titular runner, Jak Rebo, a seasoned interstellar courier-cum-mercenary; Tra Lee, a roughly 10-year-old boy who is a contender to be named leader of his religion, a Buddhist-like denomination known as the Way; and Lanni Norr, a “sensitive” with psychic powers who finds herself gaining unwanted attentions from the ghost of a deceased technology enthusiast and the order founded by the dead man.

The plot is kicked into motion when Rebo is hired to escort Lee to Thara, which happens to be both the home world of the mainly irreligious runner and the headquarters of the Way. While trying to elude operatives of a rival sect while traveling aboard a starship, the duo encounter Norr, who senses that Lee’s life is in danger after he becomes separated from Rebo.

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