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Twin-Bred [Kindle Edition]

Karen A. Wyle
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Can interspecies diplomacy begin in the womb? After seventy years on Tofarn, the human colonists and the native Tofa still know very little about each other. Misunderstanding breed conflict, and the conflicts are escalating. Scientist Mara Cadell’s radical proposal: that host mothers of either species carry fraternal twins, human and Tofa, in the hope that the bond between twins can bridge the gap between species. Mara lost her own twin, Levi, in utero, but she has secretly kept him alive in her mind as companion and collaborator.

Mara succeeds in obtaining governmental backing for her project – but both the human and Tofa establishments have their own agendas. Mara must shepherd the Twin-Bred through dangers she anticipated and others that even the canny Levi could not foresee. Will the Twin-Bred bring peace, war, or something else entirely?

This revised edition removes some unnecessary minor character names, relocates a few scenes into more logical places, and divides chapters that lacked focus as originally organized.

"Now and then I read a really good book, and this is one of the best . . . Escaping from an over-crowded Earth, humans search for somewhere to live. . . They settle on Tofarn, which seems to fit all of their requirements – even the indigenous aliens appear happy to accept them. Trouble inevitably flares between the native Tofa and the human newcomers, mostly because of mutual ignorance. What is needed is a means of bringing the two communities closer . . . What follows is the story of a scientific attempt to produce that perfect solution; the setbacks and the successes, the joys and the unforeseen disasters. A happy ending? A hopeful one, definitely! I would love a sequel to this beautifully written, captivating novel. More please!" -- Ellen Ghyll,

"An original and beautifully written SciFi story . . . The Tofa are interesting and well worked out aliens . . . In a way this story reminded me of Capek's 'War with the Newts', not surprising as both stories shine a light on how humans treat each other and where we go wrong. But where Capek's view is a grim one, Wyle still leaves some hope that we as a species might one day see the light. All in all a beautiful, thought provoking tale. I will keep an eye out for Wyle's next book." -- Carien Ubink, Pearls Cast Before a McPig

Editorial Reviews


"Now and then I read a really good book, and this is one of the best....I would love a sequel to this beautifully written, captivating novel." - Ellen Ghyll, author
"Twin-Bred is one of the best science fiction novels I've read in decades. It is literary fiction as well as of the most original stories I've ever read....beautifully written and riveting." - R. Lee Holz, author
"An original and beautifully written SciFi story....All in all a beautiful, thought provoking tale. I will keep an eye out for Wyle's next book." - Carien Ubink, book blogger (Pearls Cast Before a McPig)
The story is tense and fascinating, as we are taken through the intricacies of plot and counter-plot . . . . A bold idea, which may capture the imagination of many people, but in particular womb twin survivors will enjoy the moments of insight when the world realises what twins have to offer." - Althea Hayton, blogger (Womb Twin Survivors)
"[A] classic science fiction tale spun in a well thought-out and interesting manner....I've been a fan of SciFi for most of my 70 years and find the premise out of the ordinary and quite fascinating. I recommend this to all ages." - Dale Day, author

From the Author

     The origin of Twin-Bred was an article I read about interactions between twins in utero -- synchronized movement, touching, even kissing. Either this article or a comment on the article mentioned the longterm effect of losing a twin in utero. As an avid science fiction reader, I tend to see the sci-fi potential in any event or discovery. I imagined a scientist seeking to overcome the comprehension gap between two intelligent species by way of the bond between twins. It would be natural for the scientist who conceived this idea to be a twin; it would be intriguing if she were a twin survivor, and if she had somehow kept her lost twin alive as a companion, who could be a character in the story.
     On a deeper level, I have always been fascinated by communication issues and the struggle to understand what is different.

Product Details

  • File Size: 4080 KB
  • Print Length: 354 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Oblique Angles Press (October 12, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005VDVHQ2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,139 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Aliens of Interest October 24, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I've been reading sci-fi since high school (not fantasy, thanks) and still enjoy a good space opera (ships hopping from planet to planet with whatever "drive" works). One of the weaknesses of the space opera genre, though, is that the aliens on other planets, even if they look like Jabba the Hutt, often seem either all too human or all too non-human to be of much interest. For example, in the much acclaimed Chanur series, the Hani, who look more-or-less like large cats or small lions, always seem to me just humans who have a few cat-like traits (they are forever flattening their ears).

In Twin-Bred, by contrast, the author has managed to create an alien species, the Tofa, who are just human enough to be of interest, yet just alien enough on a psychological level to be quite riveting, if slightly creepy. One wonders as one reads: just who ARE these creatures and what do they want? There is also at times a sense of threat about them, a feeling that at any moment they may decide they've had enough of humans and will do something about it. The author, by the way, has found a nice semantic trick for carving out a distinctive Tofa personality. Instead of giving them a strange accent, she simply causes them to speak very formally. They use large words where simple ones would do and seem never to use contractions. It works.

The setting for the novel is the planet Tofarn, which is co-inhabited by humans and the Tofa. Humans, however, are the newcomers. It is unclear exactly when they arrived on Tofarn, but it was long enough ago that they celebrate Landing Day.

The core problem is that humans and Tofa have great difficulty communicating. Neither can quite master the language, let alone the psychology, of the other species.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too many ..... but not enough August 17, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The basic premise of the story is fascinating and the author deserves credit for that. However, it lacked skillful presentation.

Too confusing at the beginning - The author laid out many strands of the story right from the start. It was hard to follow.

Too many questions - The author presents a lot of questions right from the start but offers no answers throughout the book. The only thing that kept me reading was the promise of answers. When I got to the end and had none, I felt cheated.

Too many characters - The author introduced too many main characters and not enough development of a few more important ones. The author got a great start on development but it didn't get beyond a start. The characters seem to lack emotional depth.

Not enough action - The author includes of interesting descriptive passages but the entire book lacks action. It causes the story to stagnate rather than pull the reader through.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unique and Thought Provoking Science Fiction October 21, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
TWIN BRED is the fantastic debut novel by Karen A. Wyle, about the human colony on Tofarn as it struggles to interact with the native Tofa. The two species can barely communicate, and fundamentally do not understand each other. But Mara has a solution.

Mara is a scientist who lost her twin brother, Levi, in utero. She always knew about him, and over the years, kept his memory by imagining him as he would have been. As a result of this connection, Mara believes that communications between the species can be improved by implanting one human and one Tofa embryo into host mothers of both species, creating `twins' designed to act as liaisons between communities. It works.

The story follows Mara and the children as they grow and mature, facing challenges that none had anticipated. Deep-seated prejudice on both sides threatens the project and the twin-bred's lives.

Characters: *** 3 Stars
There were simply too many points of view in this novel. Mara and Levi were great characters, both well-developed with distinct voices, and the two primary host mothers and their children are fantastic additions to the story, but at times I got lost in all of the voices and it could be difficult to remember all of the relationships involved.

Plot: *** 4 Stars
I loved the concept of TWIN BRED. The plot was both imaginative and well-designed. My only complaint really goes back to the characters, because I would have liked to have had longer sections from the main points of view, and could have done without some of the lesser points of view. In addition, the beginning background could have been a little better interwoven with the overall story.

Setting: **** 3 Stars
I wanted more description.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars After long silence* February 21, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Real science fiction is back! The SF aisles in the bookstores have been overrun with seemingly endless space opera and fantasy series for a number of years. There is nothing wrong with vampires and paranormal stories, but science fiction they are NOT; and endless galactic wars get tiresome after awhile.

Intelligently conceived and written SF is speculative, challenging the reader to think beyond the norm, rather than just dressing up tired issues with new technology and costumes. It need not be 'hard' science, but the story must play out consistently within the parameters of the world the author builds. Aliens should not be thinly disguised humans, but offer the reader a new perspective on sentience and how humans may interface with very different cultures and life forms. This first novel meets all of these criteria admirably, and I eagerly anticipate more books from the author.

*With apologies to author Sherri Tepper for stealing the title of her excellent novel of the inter-species interface for this review.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful
I was impressed by the original plot. The action was timed well and it had a great flow. I liked this book so much that I purchased the Second book at less than the halfway point f... Read more
Published 1 month ago by jmm
4.0 out of 5 stars It was interesting.
It's like a slice of life of what's it like to have a twin. For a special group, it happened to be an alien.
Published 3 months ago by Hans C
5.0 out of 5 stars Great sci-fi novel!
I've loved sci-fi since I read my first Robert Heinlein novel at age 14, and Twin-Bred was great on every level. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars unusual
This was an interesting allegory. It showed inter species cooperation but also fear. The story of future space travelers in an intriguing possibility. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Traveler46
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent. Wonderful imagination and great writing.
First of two. I'm impressed. The characters are well formed, the storyline makes sense, the writing is great and wonder of all wonders, the editing is perfect. Read more
Published 10 months ago by jerri
4.0 out of 5 stars True science fiction
This was an interesting and well-written book. I think the concepts in the book were very imaginative and the author went through painstaking detail creating the character... Read more
Published 10 months ago by kwadzana
2.0 out of 5 stars Over described, Lost Interest
This book started out great, and it had so much potential. Everything was over described, but I felt there was nothing to keep me reading.
Published 11 months ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 stars for an excellent story
I can't remember the last time -- if ever -- I wanted to give an indie book 5 stars. This book is skillfully crafted and well-written. Read more
Published 12 months ago by CatherineS
2.0 out of 5 stars Meh
I love the idea, but the time jumps were too confusing, and the general narrative failed to draw me in. I wanted to read it, but it couldn't hold me.
Published 13 months ago by Buschh family
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic style science fiction
Superbly edited and well crafted, Twin-Bred is a complex story that will demand your concentration and stimulate your imagination. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Paul M. Schofield
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