by Michael P. Kube-McDowell

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In a departure from Kube-McDowell's last book, The Quiet Pools, which was set mainly on Earth in the relatively near future, this one takes place on an alien world where the human colony has forgotten most of its history: vestiges of high-tech culture seem like magic, while Earth and other worlds have been wholly obliterated from memory. The city-state of Ana is a quasi-matriarchal communist utopia, where citizens pool their resources and do assigned labor; it is portrayed sympathetically and with skill. Life is peaceful, reasonably prosperous, safe--the only trouble is that everyone is intentionally kept ignorant of the past. The protagonist, Meer Faschen, falls in with a subversive student group led by Kedar Nanchen, a teacher dedicated to ferreting outthe truth. Eventually, this group clashes with the government and is beaten; the students are exiled and their knowledge is buried (though Meer, through luck, remains safe). When he receives a message from the exiled Kedar, he has a chance to resume his pursuit of the truth and to right past wrongs. In Kube-McDowell's deft handling, parallels to events in Tiananmen Square remain subtle, and his devolved world has some of the charm of those in Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun and Paul Park's Starbridge Chronicles. Though the climax is too hurried and simple, this is a moving, intelligent story of the search for truth and the struggle against oppression. (May)
Library Journal - Library Journal
On a planet governed by harsh laws and customs, a middle-aged counselor responds to a dying man's last wish and embarks on a journey into the unknown to return a traitor's body home for burial. Kube-McDowell depicts a civilization gone quietly awry in this compelling and disturbing story of a man's recovery of his lost honor. The author of The Quiet Pools (Ace, 1990) tells his tale with spartan simplicity, letting his prose imply rather than explicate. On the basis of literary merit as well as good storytelling, this title belongs in most sf collections.

Product Details

Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 5.00(h) x 1.00(d)

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