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Mindworlds by Phyllis Gotlieb
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"Violent Stars" and "Mindworlds" are the sequels to "Flesh and Gold" - which was one of my very favorite books last year. These were both excellent (but perhaps not quite as good as the first in the trilogy).

Plots and aliens abound in another complex sci-fi mystery...
The story continues in 'Mindworlds,' but now the focus is on a seeming plot by the alien Lyrrht to attack the planet of Khagodis. However, it is suspected that the plot may be only that of some rogue Lyrrht who do not speak for their whole species. But someone is recruiting armies, and disaster is in the works. Ned Gattes and his friend, the Lyrrht-created AI robot Spartakos, getting deeper and deeper in to danger, struggle to unravel the mystery, as does the judge Skerow's son Hasso, now a respected archivist - at least when he's not being framed for crimes he did not commit.
As the title suggests, thematically, the book is all about types of communication - and the breakdown of communication - between individuals, both on the level of misinformation and political plots - and the subtle transmission of human feelings of friendship and love.
Gotlieb has definitely become one of my very favorite authors. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312878761, Hardcover)

How can you stop a conspiracy of telepaths? The alien Lyhhrt are powerful enough to read the human mind; if they find you know too much, they can erase your memory, or simply stop your heart. The normally peaceful Lyhhrt society has been splintered by technological change, the bitter legacy of their exploitation by the Zamos crime family. Now a few renegade Lyhhrt, driven mad by isolation from their group mind, seem to be planning terrible crimes--or are they again being used as deadly tools in someone else's scheme?

When the illicit corporation created by Zamos collapsed, it disrupted the lives of heroes as well as villains. With gambling dens shut down, gladiator Ned Gaddes has nowhere to fight. Beautiful Lorrice had hoped to sell her ESP talents to Zamos, but was forced to sell her body instead. And on the planet Khagodis, scholarly Hasso will be forced to leave his archives and unravel the shadowy web that has entangled their fate with the Lyhhrt's.

The struggle that ensues provides the ultimate test of their resources - Ned's savvy toughness, Lorrice's psychic insight, and the fact that even a gentle Khagodi like Hasso could go head-to-head with a dinosaur. Like the best science fiction, Mindworlds is simultaneously exciting and thought provoking. Gotlieb offers a satisfyingly complex look at the ambiguous consequences of toppling even the most evil of empires, and the sacrifices that ordinary people must make to prevent the vacuum of power from being filled by equally corrupt forces.

Ursula K. Le Guin found Gotlieb's earlier novel Flesh and Gold "dazzling," lit up by "sex, violence, intricate plotting, light-speed pacing, an amazing variety of aliens, touches of Philip K. Dick's sardonic humor and Cordwainer Smith's obstinate idealism." Its sequel, Violent Stars, was described in Maclean's as "above all a poet's novel.... Gotlieb's language lifts her book from exotic thriller to literary achievement." Mindworlds offers a resounding climax to the story that began in these celebrated novels.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:26 -0400)

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