Synopses & Reviews
marks the long-awaited return of one of the most respected authors in the sf community; a writer who has earned accolades and the admiration of every true aficionado of bold, brilliant, risk-taking speculative fiction. Sheri S. Tepper dazzles yet again with a powerful tale of ingenious survival and strange destiny.
The only human child living in a human work colony on the Martian satellite Phobos, little Margaret Bain has devised a system for keeping the suffocating demons of boredom and loneliness at bay: She invents six imaginary companions, each an extension of her own personality, to play with. When the unproductive Phobos project is shut down, and after Margaret is forced to return to Earth with her parents, the child's other selves are lost to her. But they are not gone. Left behind, each one flourishes—refining its own persona, acquiring its own history—before ultimately dispersing to far-flung destinations throughout the universe.
On a near-barren homeworld denuded by thoughtless-ness and chemistry, Margaret grows to adulthood and marries, despite the seemingly utter hopelessness of humanity's future. The Earth is so impoverished that its inhabitants must import water and other basic necessities of life—trading the only viable product the planet has left to offer . . . slaves.
The time will come when Margaret must leave this world as well, expelled as part of a desperate survival plan millennia in the making—an astonishing scheme that will require her to gather together the many Margarets who are now scattered throughout the galaxy.
The creator of the Margarets must now bring all her selves home . . . or watch her race perish.
"'Full of fascinating characters and beautifully detailed settings, Tepper's complex and multifaceted far-future SF novel follows the many selves of Mars colonist Margaret Bain on a mission to save the human race from annihilation. Long ago, hairless bipeds earned the eternal hatred of the foul-tempered Quaatar after some prehumans stowed away on a Quaatar survey ship. Now humankind is at the brink of self-destruction through overpopulation and ecological collapse. The farsighted Gentherans have taken up the human cause within the Interstellar Trade Organization, but as Earthgov struggles to conform to ISTO's enforced sterilization laws while trading excess children for offworld water, the Quaatar continue plotting to destroy humanity. Only Margaret, a secret organization called the Third Order of the Siblinghood and the truth behind an old Gentheran folktale can stop the genocide and give humanity a future. As always, Locus Award winner Tepper (The Companions) wields grand science fiction themes with skill, vision and a twist of black humor. (June)' Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)"
A breathtaking futuristic tale from the author of "The Companions" and "The Visitor." Her novels are the old-fashioned kind . . . the kind that wrap you in their embrace, that take over your life, that make the world disappear--Village Voice Literary Supplement.
About the Author
Sheri S. Tepper is the author of several resoundingly acclaimed novels, including The Companions, The Visitor, The Fresco, Singer from the Sea, Six Moon Dance, The Family Tree, Gibbon's Decline and Fall, A Plague of Angels, Sideshow, and Beauty, which was voted Best Fantasy Novel of the Year by the readers of Locus magazine. Tepper lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.