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Phylogenesis by Alan Dean Foster
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For
Michael Goodwin and Robert Teague,
First citizens of the Commonwealth.
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Things have a way of working out, if not always as planned.
No one saw the attack coming.
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Book description
In the years after first contact, humans and the intelligent insect-like Thranx agree to a tentative sharing of ideas and cultures despite the ingrained repulsion they have yet to overcome. Thus a slow, lengthy process of limited contact begins.

Yet they never plan for a chance meeting between a misfit artist and a petty their. Desvendapur is a talented Thranx poet who is bored with his life and needs new inspiration for his work.

Venturying beyond the familiar, Desvendapur runs into Cheelo Montoya, a small-time criminal with big dreams of making fast-bucks. Together they will embark upon a journey that will forever change their beliefs, their futures, and their worlds ...
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345418611, Mass Market Paperback)

The Humanx Commonwealth is Alan Dean Foster's signature fictional universe, the setting of, among others, his Adventures of Flinx series (which begins with For the Love of Mother Not) and the Icerigger trilogy. But how did the Commonwealth come to be? How did two seemingly dissimilar races--the gregarious, warm-blooded humans and the reserved, insectile thranx--form a union that would become so strong and prosperous as to eventually dominate our part of the galaxy?

The actual first contact between the humans and the thranx takes place in the quite exciting Nor Crystal Tears, but you don't have to have read that novel to follow what happens in Phylogenesis. In this book, which takes place soon after the first contact, the races have embarked on a program of slow, careful cultural exchange. If all goes well, the planners feel, in some decades a few tentative agreements might be reached. But they never planned on the chance meeting of a rogue thranx poet and a human thief who's hiding in the Amazon jungle. The events that surround the friendship of these two, each an outcast from his own society, will force scientists and politicians of both races to alter not only their plans but also their beliefs about human/thranx compatibility.

Foster makes excellent use of his knowledge of Latin American culture to paint a picture of a vibrant yet realistic future South America. The Amazon jungle is presented in such vivid detail it seems almost an alien world itself. Fans of the Commonwealth novels won't want to miss this crucial chapter in its history. --Brooks Peck

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:57:02 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

An alien meets a criminal on the run in the Amazon and they strike up a friendship, each keeping his real identity secret. The alien is a poet who has come to Earth, seeking inspiration for his writings.

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