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Playing God by Sarah Zettel

Playing God (edition 1998)

by Sarah Zettel

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249476,904 (3.55)4
Ecologist Lynn Nussbaumer and her company are hired to detoxicate Dedelphi, a planet polluted by years of bacteriological warfare. A dangerous assignment because hostilities are about to start anew, but an interesting one as the planet is run by women who become men in old age.
Title:Playing God
Authors:Sarah Zettel
Info:Aspect (1998), Hardcover
Collections:Your library

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Playing God by Sarah Zettel



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» See also 4 mentions

English (3)  Italian (1)  All languages (4)
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tiptree shortlist 1998 ( )
  SChant | May 9, 2013 |
Sarah Zettel has won all sorts of accolades, so I made myself stick it out through this ponderously complex novel in which the alien Dedelphi race asks for bioremediation help from Earth. The Dedelphi are made up of extended family clans of identical twins and their pouch-bred children. The main players are female; “fathers” – seemingly mindless bundles of testosterone (nice trope, there) are kept around (but mostly penned up) for perpetuating the race. The Dedelphi hire the human Bioverse Corp. for planetary cleansing and rebuilding after biological warfare kills many of them and destroys their ecosystem. Dr. Lynn Nussbaumer, a wide-eyed, polyanna-ish tree-hugger, is asked to head up the project for Bioverse, and her doctor-husband David is needed as well. She had already been working with the Dedelphi, and became close to one particular clan, the t’Theria, especially the female Praeis and her daughters Res and Theia. But wouldn’t you know it: Lynn discovers that an old boyfriend, Arron Hagopian, has also been living and working with the Dedelphi, but with a rival clan, the Getesaph.

Lynn and Bioverse decide to evacuate the planet, clean it up, bring back the clans, and Life will be Good. The clans, however, have other ideas. Violence and death ensue, and Lynn learns that all life forms can sometimes be bad. Unfortunately, so can otherwise heralded authors.

Okay, it wasn’t terrible, and it was hard not to like the little pouchettes, Res and Theia. But having to keep the many clans straight, not to mention the rankings and relationships within clans, took entirely too much time and energy, and seemed to serve as a substitute for plot all too often. ( )
  nbmars | Jun 20, 2008 |
Sarah Zettel's novels are well written and interesting. This is one of her earlier works and more sci-fi than fantasy. I enjoyed it very much. ( )
  Jawin | Jan 4, 2007 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sarah Zettelprimary authorall editionscalculated
Youll, StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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