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The Howling Stones (The Humanx Commonwealth) Mass Market Paperback – November 26, 1997
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From School Library Journal
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
Foster's sometimes humorous, occasionally poignant, but always entertaining short fiction has appeared in all the major SF magazines as well as in original anthologies and several "Best of the Year" compendiums. His published oeuvre includes more than 100 books.
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Top Customer Reviews
The world of this novel is known as Senisran, a largely ocean planet, devoid of any substantial continental landmass but instead spotted with thousands of islands, many of them in archipelagoes. Most of the islands are fairly small, the largest being about half the size of Madagascar. The climate over most of the globe is hot and humid, the islands being covered in tropical vegetation (with a fair amount of venomous fauna).
The native race is known as the seni and are bipedal humanoids, tending to be a bit shorter than adult humans, with smooth skin, pointed ears, drawn faces, relatively small mouths, and powerful hind legs easily capable of allowing their owners to hop great distances and over large obstacles. On the cover of the book one is depicted, the illustration pretty much spot-on for what is described in the text.
In the Humanx Commonwealth novels, there are two competing interstellar civilizations, rivals not unlike the two superpowers during the Cold War, one being the human-thranx (the thranx being an insectoid race, not seen in this novel and indeed most of the Commonwealth books), the other the AAnn Empire (this being a civilization of bipedal endothermic reptiles, something not unlike what dinosaurs might have evolved into according to some).Read more ›
I read the kindle edition, and it had a huge amount of transcription errors. Normally I get past that pretty easily, but these were enough to affect my enjoyment of the story. However, I did not factor that into my score, as it had nothing to do with the story itself.
The story occurs on an oceanic planet, Senisran, where thousands of islands are inhabited by non-spacefaring bipeds, the seni. One sub-group of the seni, the Parramati, has been resisting diplomatic overtures from two spacefaring races. These are human beings and advanced lizards called "Aann." The spacefarers are exploitive and high-tech, and they want to dig up the Parramati islands to mine commercial minerals.
A highlight of the novel, indeed my favorite part of it, is the relationship of the two main characters, both human. One of these xenologist-diplomats is Fawn, a tall, blond, easygoing female shaped like a goddess. The other is Fawn's polar opposite. He is a diminutive Javanese male, Pulickel (poo' lick ull), who balances Fawn not only with his short height but also with his adherence to proper procedure.
In addition to other absorbing elements, a mystery helps the reader turn pages. Why won't the Parramati sign a trade agreement, with either the humans or the Aann? The natives would get technology and the spacefarers would get minerals. But the stubborn natives always have an excuse, albeit unconvincing. And then a new, seemingly magical phenomenon enters the picture, making it even more imperative that Fawn and Pulickel get that treaty.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love the way that things are named and described. It shows a fertile imagination and helps you believe in the other world. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Avid reader
I like everything written by Alan Dean Foster ... Most times I find him to be comparatively the best story teller of recent and past science fiction history. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Timothy Brennan
This is Alan Dean Foster at his best. He does a wonderful job with world building. The aliens are ALIEN, their technology is totally outside our science. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Terry Sofian
Very innovative storyline with good character development. Flits just a little and jumps on some of the logic to move the story on (a common trait with most writers) but still a... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Daniel Dye
I wasn't sure how this fit into the flinx and pip series but does now I have to retread then in proper orderPublished 21 months ago by shopping at midnight
This book was really good. Took several surprise twists but kept the reader interested. It was a good story line and I enjoyed reading to the finish. Read morePublished on May 26, 2013 by Amazon Customer