- Mass Market Paperback
- Publisher: Del Rey; 1st, First Edition edition (March 12, 1980)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0345287622
- ISBN-13: 978-0345287625
- Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4 x 0.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,224,605 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Still Forms on Foxfield Mass Market Paperback – March 12, 1980
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More About the Author
Slonczewski's classic "A Door into Ocean" depicts an ocean world run by genetic engineers who repel an interstellar invasion using nonviolent methods similar to Tahrir Square. In her book "Brain Plague," intelligent microbes invade human brains and establish microbial cities. She also authors with John W. Foster the leading microbiology textbook, Microbiology: An Evolving Science (W. W. Norton).
Author blog: ultraphyte.com
Top Customer Reviews
It's not space opera. But if you want psych-social ideas, alien contact, and an early concept of the Net that may come true in the next decade or so, this is a book you might want to find. Too bad it's out of print.
The culture clashes are depicted very thoughtfully- the ones the colonists had with the aliens (mostly historical); the ones the colonists had with the Authority that swept in and demanded allegience, and the ones said Authority had with the aliens. One could see and sympathize with all the various motivations, and that made it fascinating to me.
Nothing super-dramatic happens. It's about the small stuff- the stuff that makes up our lives- like, figuring out how to negotiate with those very, very different. In some ways, it reminded me of Le Guin's "The Dispossessed" in terms of culture clash, and there is not higher praise I can give.
Don't read it for the explosions, which are rare and not plot-central. Read it for the interactions, and the hope that entities with good hearts can find common ground.
Joan Slonczewski's Still Forms on Foxfield is an interesting study of people surviving on an alien world with alien creatures very different from us. The Commensal's are evolved "plantoids" who appear to have developed a quasi-hive mind...individuals are able to think and perform tasks on their own, but are still part of the overall "Whole". But despite living in peace with the Commensals for nearly a century, those living on Foxfield still understand very little about them...and when the rest of Humanity makes contact with those on Foxfield and wants to reintegrate them into the fold it sets up a conflict between the two disparate entities. Not a conflict with guns and bombs, but a conflict of ideas and how those ideas affect everyone who lives on Foxfield...and beyond.
Slonczewski is great at depicting connections. Connections between people. Connections between societies and cultures. Where this book doesn't manage to hold up is in the "scientific details".Read more ›
To start with, I just kept waiting for something big to happen, something that would surprise or excite me, and it never came. The ending kind of fizzled out, and I was left feeling like I had just wasted my time. There were times when I found my attention wandering, specifically when dealing with the Commensals, who I just never understood. They were the planets indigenous, alien (at least to the humans) lifeform, and I couldn't get a feel for them. I couldn't picture what they looked like, the science behind what they were doing, how they lived. None of it made any sense to me, and it felt like the author kept going into detailed scientific descriptions about them, which is fine if you're a biologist or really into science, but I'm neither of those things. It really took me out of the story.
I also didn't feel like there were any characters to root for. Allison, the main character, was okay, but it seemed like she always just went with the flow. The whole thing was just so blah, with very little excitement for being a clash of the cultures type novel. There were some interesting things, but they seemed to be few and far between, and I just wish they had been explored further. I don't think I would recommend this one, but I would very highly recommend A Door Into Ocean by the same author. It's one of my favorite science fiction novels.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A classis science fiction first contact story about aliens who are really alien (not humanoids with minimal differences from Earth-humans). Read morePublished 13 months ago by John W Daschke
I really enjoyed this read. I found the idea of a group of Quakers sent off in spaceship to colonize another world intriguing. I enjoyed Allison, the central character very much. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Cobwebsmom
Still Forms on Foxfield is set on the alien planet Foxfield, settled by Quakers who were afraid of World War III destroying humanity. Read morePublished on March 19, 2008 by Judah
I guess I was expecting Simak style science fiction. Meaning quiet, low key, rural, spiritual, pacifist, & even unabashedly sentimental. Read morePublished on August 27, 1998