In the late 1980s, our prize possession may well have been our Alien Legion poster. We don’t recall what happened to it. You couldn’t just find it anywhere to replace it, either – not for many years. Then, someone invented the glorious internets for the express purpose of helping us find it in minutes. We got a brand new one, signed, a couple years ago.
The poster has a definite irony that may not be immediately apparent unless you know the book. In the stories, we see that life in the Legion borders on nightmare continuously. Yes, the Legionnaires do experience the “wonders of the outerworlds:” brutal, alien environments only slightly less dangerous than the beings who inhabit them, ravaged by war, and sacrificed to politics. Reviled and under fire everywhere they go, they struggle to hold onto their sanity. Their stories explore what kind of person it takes to survive, contrasting Jugger’s ruthless amorality with Torrie’s well-intentioned idealism. The Legionnaires see the “wonders of the outerworlds” indeed – and it’s a wonder any of them ever survive.
Lesson: Don’t believe the recruitment poster. It’s brutal out there.