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The Braided World by Kay Kenyon
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The Braided World

by Kay Kenyon

Other authors: Paul Youll (Cover artist)

Series: Maximum Ice (2)

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100. sf
[The Braided World] [[Kay Kenyon]]

While set in the same future Earth as [Maximum Ice] the stories only share the premise of the plague that has been destroying humanity and the scourge of the incursion of the voracious dark matter cloud that literally "eats" information, destroying every living thing in its path. There are close to being too few humans left for a viable population. Earth receives a message from a star system many light years away to "come and get what you have lost". The governments are too overwhelmed to respond but a ship, The Restoration, funded by a fabulously rich and powerful older woman, Bailey Shaw, formerly a renowned opera singer, goes. The captain dies shortly before they arrive and Bailey chooses a new captain from a pool of two young officers (there had been three, one a woman who has died on the voyage) Nick and Anton, choosing the latter. On planet, they find a people, the Dassa, indistinguishable, at first, from humans. But the majority of Dassa procreate quite differently from homo sapiens and have different sexual mores and not only that, they regard the concept of a woman carrying a child in their own body as disgusting and treat those "throwbacks" born among them cruelly. Likewise, the human crew struggle with revulsion at the many human taboos the Dassa violate. Anton tries to remain open-minded and focussed on the task of getting along and also figuring out the message, which, it turns out, was sent by an earlier race, whom the Dassa call the Quadi. The Quadi, they know, created them, in fact. The biggest flaw in the story is the conflict between Nick and Anton which just feels completely manufactured and completely unnecessary. First there was the cliche aspect: Do two ambitious young men, when one is passed over for a promotion, have to really always end up in a conflict over power? And if they do, does it have to play out so predictably? It's a darned good read despite that, very interesting. ***1/2 ( )
1 vote sibyx | Sep 18, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kay Kenyonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Youll, PaulCover artistsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553583794, Mass Market Paperback)

“Come find what you have lost...”

Heeding this cryptic message from deep space, the crew of the starship Restoration journeys from Earth to a distant planet, hoping to find humanity’s lost genetic diversity. But with the human race on the verge of extinction from the twin horrors of plague and a mysterious scourge of dark matter, how can an alien world harbor any remedies for Earth’s declining populations?

Worse, the Restoration arrives depleted: its captain is dead, its crew demoralized--except for an indomitable old woman whose power and wealth give her the privilege of naming the new captain. Anton Prados, a young, untested officer, will now preside over humanity’s first contact with an alien race. An alien race that, improbably, looks exactly like humans. Only, the Dassa possess highly unusual breeding habits--and a reproductive process that seems to be the nullification of all that is human. And they think much the same about humanity…

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:41 -0400)

Heeding a cryptic message from deep space, the crew of the starship Restoration journeys from Earth to a distant planet, hoping to find humanity's lost genetic diversity. But with the human race on the verge of extinction from the twin horrors of plague and a mysterious scourge of dark matter, how can an alien world harbor any remedies for Earth's declining populations?… (more)

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