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Ammonite Paperback – April 30, 2002
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In Ammonite, the 1994 James Tiptree Jr. Award winner, the attempts to colonize the planet Jeep have uncovered a selective virus that kills all men and all but a few women. The remaining women undergo changes that enable them to communicate with one another and the planet itself, and give to birth to healthy, genetically diverse children. Marguerite Angelica Taishan is an anthropologist who realizes this phenomena and makes the decision to give herself up to the planet to uncover its mysteries. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Los Angeles Times Book Review
Ammonite's story is gripping, many-layered, ever-changing. Griffith has a fine way with character and sure talent. Many passages are beautifully written; most seem to do double duty, shimmering with the many levels and complex meanings of this remarkable first novel.
Washington Post Book World
Uncompromisingly packed with nondogmatic feminist and queer ideologies... Griffith reveal[s] herself to be fluent in presenting realistic science and its implications, capable of cinematic clarity in her prose, insightful with emotions and character.
New York Times Book Review
Pays homage to Ursula K. Le Guin'sLeft Hand of Darkness without inviting invidious comparisons.
Ammonite represents a major, no, make that a revolutionary change...a remarkable departure from the commonplace.
Nicola Griffith's first novel, Ammonite, flies all the banners of traditional sf [but] beneath the banners, it is armed to the teeth against convention.
A serious assault on conventions so enormous that it is very much more dangerous, sometimes, than writing about lesbianism.
The New York Review of Science Fiction Probably the best debut novel of the year--an accomplished, moving, intelligent, and graceful examination of gender roles, and a helluva good read.
Ammonite, by Nicola Griffith, is the first novel of a major talent.
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The only weakness is that the climax and resolution were far too quick and easy. Greater final conflict and more direct confrontation would have been more satisfying. As it was, it felt like the author just got tired of the story and was ready to move onto the next thing.
Planet Jeep has a virus which kills all men and a significant percentage of the women as well.
So the planet is a women-only society, both the Terran Company and the natives.
I liked Marghe herself, the change she undergoes, and the trials she endures. I also liked the world building, which was very convincing. I didn't like most of the secondary characters, which were too shallow to be real, mainly the commander of the mirrors which was cardboard thick. I also thought the author used vocabulary out of a thesaurus (which is ok, as long as it doesnt feel like showoff, which it did).
All in all - I enjoyed the book, it was a good read.
Griffith's Ammonite fills in that deficiency brilliantly. A planet of all women, none perfect, very few stereotypes. Some are kind, some are vicious. Written (much like LeGuin's works) from the perspective of an outsider that finds her own way in a society that is at first incomprehensible to her.
There are perhaps a few cliches in the relationships that Marghe forms with the both the "real" natives and the "alien" women who have been there a few years, but these are cliches that actually work in a poetic manner.
A fantastic read,somewhere between LeGuin's work and Margaret Atwood's.