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The Waterdancer's World Paperback – October 9, 2016
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frogmore is not the ideal world for human colonists, but they have arrived, they intend to stay, and the military is in control and determined to eliminate any threat to the human population, even if that means doing major damage to the local ecology and trampling the rights of the indigenes. The major player in the story is the daughter of the commanding general, who commands a commercial empire in her own right, and who is firmly behind the plan to terraform the world despite her fascination with a new artform that is directly inspired by the life forms she hopes to eradicate. The interplay of emotions unfolds on both an individual and a mass level, and the role of art in human history becomes a major theme. This author's work is almost always just a bit outside the mainstream of science fiction, and that is I think part of the reason that it is so often, as in this case, intensely appealing. --Don D'Ammassa, Critical Mass Oct 2016
This creative (though at times academic) novel takes place on the planet, Frogmore, as seen by five different individuals, and features the analytical guidebook, ''A Star-Hoppers View of the Galaxy.'' The narrative explores the struggles the first few generations face while establishing life on the harsh and unforgiving planet....Generations later, when Frogmore is thriving, a government-like group, the Combine's Council for Developmental Strategy, seeks to use the planet only for its resources. The balance of the planet is on the line while groups grapple to gain control while managing oppression and ostracism.
Readers looking for a breezy beach read will need to keep looking, for this is a formidable novel that takes concentration and patience. The rewards are great, however, for those who stick with it and wind up reflecting on it long after they've finished. -- Stormie Petrakovitz --Booklist September 29, 2016
This thoughtful but emotionally distant account of a failed colony world driven to rebellion against its corporate owners is told with a scholar's perspective, highlighting themes of art, family, freedom, and tradition as seen through the eyes of a travel guidebook and five carefully selected characters. The world called Frogmore is a rich source of mineral wealth, but its punishing gravity and atmosphere full of hallucinogenic spores have created physical as well as social distinctions between the ''natives'' and their overseers. Snobby philanthropist Inez Gauthier is insulted and confused when Solstice Balalzalar, a native "waterdancer" whose performances defy cultural norms, is unimpressed by Gauthier's offer to guide her career. Meanwhile, native workers and matriarchal families of women who work as surrogate birth mothers on Frogmore are strained by predatory economic policies that keep them at a disadvantage. Aqueduct editor Duchamp (Never at Home) raises some hard questions about society's responsibility for the well-being of its most marginalized people, suggesting that the powerful create the underclasses and keep them powerless for the sake of economic convenience. Readers will find much to ponder in Duchamp's provocative ideas about culture and colonization. --Publishers Weekly October 2016
About the Author
L. Timmel Duchamp is the author of the five-novel Marq'ssan Cycle, which was awarded a Special Honor by the 2009 James Tiptree Award jury; two collections of short fiction, Love's Body, Dancing in Time and Never At Home; the short novel The Red Rose Rages (Bleeding); and numerous uncollected stories, for which she has been a Nebula and Sturgeon Award finalist and short-listed numerous times for the Tiptree Award. She lives in Seattle.
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