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Strangers Mass Market Paperback – 1978

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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About the Author

Gardner Dozois is one of only a couple of people to have won a Hugo award thirteen times. He is the editor of Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine and the Year's Best Science Fiction collections, and two-time Nebula Award-winning author. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 166 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; First Thus edition (1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425039242
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425039243
  • ASIN: 0399120955
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 3.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,560,161 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Many people today, sadly, have no idea that Gardner Dozois was an author before editorship took over his career; mainly a short story writer, he wrote a single solo novel (STRANGERS) and a novel in collaboration with George Alec Effinger (NIGHTMARE BLUE) and has had three or four interrelated short story collections published (the latest of which being STRANGE DAYS: FABULOUS JOURNEYS WITH GARDNER DOZOIS). STRANGERS, sadly his only solo novel, is a masterpiece. It has beautiful, effective prose coupled with believable, likable characters with complete depth. The narrative is surprisingly immersive--once I began reading, I could not stop myself from continuing on, and ended up finishing the entire novel in the space of a single afternoon. This novel is highly recommended; rather, think of it in terms of me pushing you towards this page, saying, "You HAVE to buy this book!"
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Quick plot summary: a human has an affair with a alien on an alien planet.

Although Dozois does attempt to portray the alien and her planet as truly alien, it comes off more as an American male who has fallen in love with someone in Russia or Japan. There are many subtle differences between cultures of different countries and for someone foreign to a country for an extended time, those differences can be astonishing, bewildering, and frustrating. Add to that an emotional experience of an relationship then those differences can become more pronounced.

The downside of this novel is that it's deeply sad. Published in 1978, it can be considered a novel of it's time, such as Gregory Benford's The Stars in Shroud also published in 1978, that has this deep fatalistic tone throughout. It's a few years after the loss of the Vietnam War, there's a simultaneous economic hyperinflation and recession at the same time, one of the first's in US history, with no precedent on how to react to it, there's an oil shortage, it's during the time of ecological shambles with such events as the Cleveland River catching fire, and is a few years before the optimism of Reagan. So the hopelessness of the times permeates throughout the novel. The upside is if the theme interests you, it can be read quickly as it's a short novel at 166 pages.
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Format: Paperback
Humans have peaceful, if ineffectual trade relations with the alien humanoid race on Lisle. They know next to nothing about their biology, a closely guarded secret.

This all changes when a human falls in love with one of their women, and finds out that their evolution and reproduction has a great cost.

A reasonable, short, and dark toned book.
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