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Posted January 1, 2012
Posted January 16, 2015
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An early MZB novel from 1961 or 1962, depending on where you look. I found it an accomplished and entertaining sci fi novel with Heinlein and Asimov influences plus her signature feminist views.
Seven survivors of an intergalactic ship find themselves on Earth near a large Texas city. Each is a level of telepath or telempath also programmed to adapt to wherever they are and assimilate so well that the locals don't recognize them as extra-terrestrials. Earth is considered a Closed Planet meaning they will not be rescued.
As time passes a baby is born, there are conflicts amongst the survivors, and they become involved with a Texas rancher and his family. MZB gets in some semi-political commentary on Mexicans and immigration and treatment of illegals as employees.
Most of all I liked her nicely worked out neuroscience of telepaths (who can receive and transmit worded thoughts in any language they know) versus telempaths (who can probe the thoughts and emotions of all humans as well as translate these into the languages and concepts of any other race.)
Due to these excellent skills as well as intelligent assimilation most of the seven survive and are able to bring a boon to Earth. Great story!