Book Review: Enemy Mine by Barry B. Longyear

Enemy MineEnemy Mine by Barry B. Longyear
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Read for the 12 in 12 Challenge and the Big Fun in a Little Package Novella Challenge.

This book won the 1979 Nebula and 1980 Hugo and Locus Awards for Best Novella.

I saw the movie many years ago. In the days of VHS, I got a copy and watched it over and over again until the tape was stretched and there were lines of colourful static running through parts of it.

This is a story of how two sworn enemies are forced to work together to survive, and thus, become the best of friends, even family. It’s powerful, and we still need it now every bit as much as we needed it in 1980.

I have read the original award-winning novella as presented in the book The Super Hugos, not the adaptation from the screenplay adapted from the novella, and it’s even more beautiful and powerful than the movie, perhaps. In part, I think it’s because it was portrayed in such plain language. Longyear’s POV character, Willis Davidge, is a soldier. He’s very plain-spoken. There’s no flowery language involved in his journey; just the facts, presented as he sees it, and it’s amazing.

This story (from its movie format) almost certainly has influenced my writing and my love of sci-fi. I think you’ll see elements of it in the work I’m currently doing.

Please do yourself a favour and find this original novella, and read it.

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