This is a pretty good book. It still sad to see in the future that sexism and misogyny is still alive in the casual asides leveled at some of the women, the fact the creche people are all women and wear pink and the fact that Van Atta exists at all.
The sad fact is that the men in the book do most of the heavy lifting. Leo has the plan, Ti is the one to pilot the jumper, Pramod and crew are the ones to redo the configuration etc. Silver and Claire are the only two women that really feature prominently. Claire being a baby clutcher at that.
Also in the end there was no reason for Andy to be male. SO once again we have the “all babies are male” coming into play. Someone might point out that this was written back in the 80s, but that’s still no excuse.
The good points of the book though is that there isn’t really any violence. There are a few incidents that happen, but unlike On Basilisk Station there’s no ship combat, people shooting everything up, dead bodies hanging everywhere. So it’s a nice relief from all that.
Overall this reads a lot better than The Cage of Zeus too, which is turning into a shit show.
There is diversity also in this book. Maybe not executed so so well, but we have Ti, Pramod, Yei, and a few others.
The only squicky thing is that Leo is said to be around 40? and Silver is 15? And they make googly eyes at each other. I guess maybe it’s excused because quaddies have a shorter life BUT… they look like children, which goes back into that whole fetish/pedo thing.
As and aside I read some of the short reviews for the The Warrior’s Apprentice and te first comment is about how Bro McDudely is picking apart her work because she’s a woman and “what do wimminz know of military!” and he can’t find fault with it. I be he doesn’t pick apart the men’s SF. The next one just outright calls Bujold a “girl”. Doesn’t even see her as a woman. Gross on all accounts that these mindsets are STILL ALIVE TODAY.