HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Companions: A Novel by Sheri S. Tepper
Loading...

The Companions: A Novel (edition 2003)

by Sheri S. Tepper

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5031120,248 (3.67)33
Member:jillnienhiser
Title:The Companions: A Novel
Authors:Sheri S. Tepper
Info:
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:fiction, science fiction, scifi

Work details

The Companions by Sheri S. Tepper

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 33 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
A mature and well-crafted work.
I personally find the sci-fi scenario where humans are squished together in huge building complexes that they rarely leave, and all other lifeforms have been forced into extinction due to humanity's lack of caring or active malevolence, to be truly terrifying, as it is all too likely that that is truly the direction that we are heading in.

I thought Tepper's point that a race that cannot co-exist in its natural environment is unlikely to be able to co-exist with itself is also relevant....

I find it incomprehensible that the forces behind environmental destruction are often those also touting Christianity as a prerequisite for civilisation...
If an all-knowing, benificent god created all life on this earth, then is not wantonly destroying that life the worst blasphemy imaginable? An insult to god's creation?
But - that's what they're doing, and I liked how she linked the anti-environmentalists to far-right religious groups in her theoretical IGY-HFO group.

HOWEVER

In the Companions, I thought Tepper really ruined the force of her message by, at the end, revealing that the aliens/gods had saved the thought-to-be-extinct animals by zapping them into heaven/alternate universe.
That was like, "don't worry about destroying species, I'm sure god will make sure we don't really do it..." I'm sorry, but gone is gone forever and there's no "feel-good" fix that can mitigate that all-too-real horror.


Also, I think that she didn't really do enough with the discussion of genetic tampering that was brought up with the use of Zhaar technology. Is it ethical to tamper with a creature's natural way of existence to "improve" it? Is it really "saving" the species? This is a complex and relevant issue, and it was mostly avoided.

Making the Simusi so wholeheartedly and irrevocably evil, after linking them with the lovable and benign dogs, also created some oddities in the plot, I thought. It seemed that Tepper couldn't make up her mind whether "pets" are enslaved or not. Sometimes it seemed like she was arguing FOR having domestic animals, with all the old saws about friendship between species, and maybe the dogs think they've domesticated us - then in the scenes with the Simusi and their human slaves, the parallels are drawn (very heavy-handedly) to indicate that we have terribly enslaved domestic animals.... I was like, say what you want, but make up your mind! ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
This is as good, if not better, than Grass. Tepper falls into hypnotic, lyric prose often. And my sci-fi lit professor read parts of Grass in a British accent, so I always hear Tepper's prose that way. ( )
  Marjorie_Jensen | Nov 12, 2015 |
An interesting science fiction novel, in the tradition of humans overpopulating Earth and destroying all other lives in the proces.
The World building is interesting and the detailing makes it believable despite the occasional lack of internal Logic or explanation. The narrative use of Jewel, the protagonist, as first person narrator through most of the novel works well, and the things we, as readers are kept ignorant of until it benefits the plot, are Well handled in her telling of the story. Her occasional injektion af commentary is Never to the point of distraction, and adds a bit of personality without being overpowering or distracting.
The story suffers a bit from the Common theme of good races and bad races - the good races, the elder races revere and respect all lifeforms, whereas the bad races, amongst which most of the human race is counted, only considers itself valuable and destroys other species - Either actively, because they want all the ressources to themselves or because their interpretation of their religion, or passively by crowding out others and disrespecting their needs. Our hero is ofcourse one of the fem humans who respect other species, and belong to an organisation, Arkists, who work to save the biodiversity of Earth through purchasing Ark planets (planets hat May sustain Earth lifeforms, but with no other value! That Can be bought cheaply) all through the Universe, and populating them with plants and animals that are becoming extinct on Earth due to population pressure as Well as active malice and political manipulation.
Jewel has traveled to a number of alien planets as a companion to her brother, an accomplished linguist. Through her travels, she meet both the good kind of aliens (which becomes important later) and bad aliens, who, linke a lot of humans, believe that they are their gods chosen, and that they should destroy other lifeforms because they are not the gods chosen. Functioning as a spy for the Arkist movement, she, and a dog breeding program is sent to e newly discovered planet when her brother is offered a job finding and translating the language of the (potential) inhabitants of the planet.
Once on the planet, Jewel makes contact with a colony of humans who have been stranded for several houndred years, as Well as a representant for the Local population, who Can speak with the planet-mind.
The dogs, two alien races as Well as the several contingents of humans all collide with dramatic results. ( )
  amberwitch | Apr 12, 2015 |
A while ago, I read and reviewed Sheri Tepper's "The Margarets". Had I known, I would have read "The Companions" first because this book, written only a few years earlier than "The Margarets", treats the same themes using different characters but very similar plots with fascinating details like the centrality of Mars to the story. Almost as though Tepper, not satisfied with "The Companions" returned to the same concerns with the later novel. Both are good reads but I read them close together in time by chance--lucky chance, so I hope others read them in any order but close enough together to enjoy the similarities and differences. ( )
  nmele | Apr 6, 2013 |
The Companions added to my deepening love of Tepper's writing, after starting me off on the wrong foot. My initial worries of either/both a) getting beaten about the head by gloom-n-doom ecopocalypse themes (and that's coming from a bleeding heart liberal!) or b) having my heart ripped to shreds for 300 pages at the prospect of the remaining few canines in that god-forsaken world being exterminated, happily were dispelled all around.

I found the humans-wreck-everything theme and story-lines plausible and thought-provoking without being preachy or beating me about the head. I connected strongly with the protagonist characters and felt substantial active dislike/revulsion of the disreputable characters and races. There was a pleasing amount of suspense and some-but-not-too-many bread crumbs that kept me engaged and turning the pages until the end.

I don't know that Tepper is the first to hit upon the notion of scent-based language, but she does a fantastic job of weaving the structure of the story and all of the characters and pieces around and through the scent-language notion.

A great story - I felt like I thoroughly got know the characters and by the end I felt like I'd been there and part of it. Tepper has an ability unlike anyone else that comes to mind to really personally and emotively draw you into her stories, and to the connect with the themes and characters therein. ( )
  tinLizzy | Sep 9, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060538228, Mass Market Paperback)

Three planets have been recently discovered in deep space, and prosaically named to reflect their respective environments. Jungle, lush and foreboding, swallowed up an eleven-member exploratory team more than a decade earlier, while hot, harsh, and dusty Stone turned out to be phenomenally rich in rare ore, the most profitable new world to be found in a century. But it is the third, Moss, that could well prove to be the most enigmatic . . . and dangerous.

Enlisted by the Planetary Protection Institute -- an organization founded to assess new worlds for potential development and profit -- famed linguist Paul Delis has come to Moss to determine whether the strange multicolored shapes of dancing light observed on the planet's surface are evidence of intelligent life. With Delis is his half sister, Jewel, the wife of one of the explorers lost on Jungle. Working together, they are to determine the true nature of the “Mossen” and decipher the strange "language" that accompanies the phenomenon.

Yet the great mysteries of this bucolic world -- three-quarters covered in wind-sculpted, ever-shifting moss -- don't end with the inexplicable illuminations; there is the puzzle of the rusting remains of a lost fleet of Earth ships, moldering on a distant plateau. Perhaps the biggest question mark is Jewel Delis herself and her mission here at the far reaches of the galaxy. Leaving an overpopulated homeworld that is rapidly becoming depleted of the raw materials needed for human survival, Jewel is a member of a radical underground group opposing a recent government edict that will eliminate all of the planet's “nonessential” living inhabitants. And it is here, at the universe's unexplored edge, where the fate of endangered creatures may ultimately be decided -- though it will mean defying ruthless and unforgiving ruling powers to repair humankind's disintegrating relationship with the beasts of the Earth.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:08 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"Three planets have been recently discovered in deep space, and prosaically named to reflect their respective environments. Jungle, lush and foreboding, swallowed up an eleven-member exploratory team more than a decade earlier, while hot, harsh, and dusty Stone turned out to be phenomenally rich in rare ore, the most profitable new world to be found in a century. But it is the third, Moss, that could well prove to the the most enigmatic...and dangerous.". "Enlisted by the Planetary Protection Institute - an organization founded to assess new worlds for potential development and profit-famed linguist Paul Delis has come to Moss to determine whether the strange multicolored shapes of dancing light observed on the planet's surface are evidence of intelligent life. With Delis is his half sister, Jewel, the wife of one of the explorers lost on Jungle. Working together, they are to determine the true nature of the "Mossen" and decipher the strange "language" that accompanies the phenomenon.". "Yet the great mysteries of this bucolic world - three-quarters covered in wind-sculpted, ever-shifting moss - don't end with the inexplicable illuminations; there is the puzzle of the rusting remains of a lost fleet of Earth ships, moldering on a distant plateau. Perhaps the biggest question mark is Jewel Delis herself and her mission here at the far reaches of the galaxy. Leaving an overpopulated homeworld that is rapidly becoming depleted of the raw materials needed for human survival, Jewel is a member of a radical underground group opposing a recent government edict that will eliminate all of the planet's "nonessential" living inhabitants. And it is here, at the universe's unexplored edge, where the fate of endangered creatures may ultimately be decided - though it will mean defying ruthless and unforgiving ruling powers to repair humankind's disintegrating relationship with the beasts of the Earth."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
1 avail.
20 wanted
3 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.67)
0.5
1 1
1.5
2 6
2.5 1
3 41
3.5 8
4 43
4.5 7
5 17

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 107,544,345 books! | Top bar: Always visible