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Warlords of Xuma by David J. Lake

Warlords of Xuma

by David J. Lake

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    Venus Plus X by Theodore Sturgeon (paradoxosalpha)
    paradoxosalpha: Science fiction in which human gender is put into question by alternatives.

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This sole sequel to Lake's Gods of Xuma follows its Barsoomian models somewhat by progressing a couple of generations from the initial volume. Also, in a reversal of the first book, the human protagonist is female, and her Xuman companion matures into a male during the course of the story. (The paperback cover art by Oliviero Berni shows her credibly -- if a bit overdressed -- but he looks far too human.) In general, the content and tone of this story are more traditionally sword-and-planet than its predecessor.

If there were more of these books, I'd probably read them. They are quick, exciting stories with some worthwhile implicit philosophy. The four-stage lifecycle of the Xumans, with their resulting six genders, opens a lot of interesting narrative possibilities which these two novels certainly didn't exhaust.
3 vote paradoxosalpha | Oct 27, 2012 |
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