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Uncharted Territory (1994)

by Connie Willis

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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6481430,899 (3.48)73
"Connie Willis deploys the apparatus of science fiction to illuminate character and relationships, and her writing is fresh, subtle, and deeply moving."--The New York Times Book Review Findriddy and Carson are two explorers sent to Boohte to survey the ridges and scrub-covered hills of the planet. Back home, their adventures are followed by countless breathless fans, but the reality is far less romantic as they deal with dust, nitpicking regulations, and uncooperative aliens. Teamed with a young intern whose specialty is mating customs, and a native guide of indeterminate gender, the group sets out for a previously unexplored sector of the planet. As they survey canyons and cataracts, battle dangers, and discover alien treasures, they will soon find themselves in alien territory of another kind: exploring the paths and precipices of sex. And love.… (more)
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» See also 73 mentions

English (13)  Catalan (1)  All languages (14)
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
Uncharted Territory is a novella of 3 explorers on planet Boohta and their indigenous guide that is full of humor and satire of political correctness. ( )
  Kristelh | Aug 17, 2021 |
This is a very odd little novel, but in the end, the Connie-Willis-ness of it all won me over. ( )
  elenaj | Jul 31, 2020 |
A novella - and a quick light read. Typical of most of Connie Willis' writings - you're tossed into the middle of something and half the fun is figuring out who, what, and where. By the time you've got your feet back under you, you're hooked. Love the banter between characters. ( )
  DocHobbs | Jul 30, 2020 |
A pleasant diversion. ( )
  kvrfan | Aug 19, 2016 |
Renowned planetary explorers Findriddy and Carson have a simple mission: to investigate and map out the alien planet they're currently surveying. But their task is fraught with several complications. Their alien guide, Bult, is hellbent on extorting every last possible penny from Earth by fining Fin and Carson for everything from "destroying indigenous flora" (stepping on the grass) to "disturbing the land surface" (leaving footprints). Earth is also watching Fin and Carson with an eagle eye, theoretically to prevent them from destroying the indigenous environment and customs, but actually to evaluate what natural resources might be worth exploiting. Then a visiting scientist, Evelyn Parker, arrives to tag along on Fin and Carson's cartographical expeditions, complicating the already volatile relationship between them. Evelyn's speciality is the mating customs of various species, both human and alien; and it's no coincidence that as the expedition continues, all parties find themselves exploring the uncharted territory within their own hearts as well.

I'm such a huge Connie Willis fan, so I was very glad to finally read this short novel. It's one of her comedic offerings (think Bellwether, not Doomsday Book), and I loved her satire on political correctness and the "noble savage" myth. (Not that she paints the aliens as villains, either; they're just regular people, no better or worse than the visiting Earthers.) There's also a lot of playfulness surrounding gender: Evelyn turns out to be a man, and Fin's gender isn't revealed until quite a ways into the story. Of course, this all foreshadows the eventual emergence of the romantic plot, and I really enjoyed the resolution of that as well. It's a bit predictable but also quite funny. Overall, I'd say this book is a pleasant diversion, although it lacks the thoughtfulness and depth of Willis' longer novels. I wouldn't necessarily recommend it for newcomers to this author, but her fans should definitely enjoy it!
  christina_reads | Feb 16, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Connie Willisprimary authorall editionscalculated
MierreDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ruddell, GaryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stephens, ChelseaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ward, Jeffrey L.Cartographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"Connie Willis deploys the apparatus of science fiction to illuminate character and relationships, and her writing is fresh, subtle, and deeply moving."--The New York Times Book Review Findriddy and Carson are two explorers sent to Boohte to survey the ridges and scrub-covered hills of the planet. Back home, their adventures are followed by countless breathless fans, but the reality is far less romantic as they deal with dust, nitpicking regulations, and uncooperative aliens. Teamed with a young intern whose specialty is mating customs, and a native guide of indeterminate gender, the group sets out for a previously unexplored sector of the planet. As they survey canyons and cataracts, battle dangers, and discover alien treasures, they will soon find themselves in alien territory of another kind: exploring the paths and precipices of sex. And love.

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