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19 April 2016
‘Sure, sure, you’ve got 3, 296 books. That’s all very well – but will I like any of them?’
As we noted last week:
(a) we’re sure you’ll find something to suit your tastes if you look hard enough, and
(b) we’re happy to help you look!
So, here’s another mini-review to help you find a path through the 3,000-book labyrinth that is the SF Gateway . . .
Travel is possible but difficult on Jubal, as the planet’s geography is marked by soaring, glittering crystalline structures (the Presences) that are highly sensitive to sound and vibration. If you don’t have the right song – the password – the resulting rockfalls will spell a terminal end to your journey. The Tripsingers (among them, Tasmin Ferrence) have discovered the passwords for some journeys, and by accompanying travellers, make trade and colonization possible. But then Tasmin’s estranged brother Lim dies, after apparently making some progress in quieting the most difficult Presence of them all, the Enigma. But Lim’s death raises a lot of questions: what was he doing there? He wasn’t a Tripsinger, so how had he come to have part of the password? And why? And what does any of it have to do with a corporate plan to put all of the Tripsingers out of a job? Sheri S. Tepper’s tale is a highly satisfying read, at once awe-inspiring, mysterious and humbling.