.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Tillabooks: Will's Book Blog

Sunday, February 15, 2004

The Visitor by Sheri S. Tepper. New York: Eos, 2002. ISBN: 0380979055

Novels by Sheri Tepper tend to have a dreamlike quality to them that makes it difficult to grasp or describe the essence of her work. In this case, you're not even sure at first if the action is taking place on earth, or if we're on some other planet somewhere else in time and space. In fact, you aren't even sure if you're reading science fiction or fantasy, since there seem to be magical and supernatural things going on that don't seem to fit in with a strictly rationale point of view.

Eventually we learn that we are a thousand or more years into the future, witnessing the society that has evolved after another dinosaur-killer asteroid has struck earth, wiping out most of the population, and plunging most of humankind into a pre-technological society. But as it turns out, this asteroid was deliberately controlled by a "godlet" or "godling," a being from a much more advanced race, whose purpose it has been to shape the growth of intelligence on this world, and to hopefully guide it into a higher and better way of life. This same being sent the real dinosaur-killer asteroid too, when after millions of years, it appeared that the hapless dinos would never develop or evolve beyond their "live happy" lives.

Of course, none of this explanation of the plotline provides even the smallest taste of the real flavor of this story, which is science fiction that reads more like fantasy, in which unusual characters live in a world that is radically different from ours today. Much of the novel is like waking up inside a bad dream, but gradually things change for the better, as it appears that humankind is once more being given another chance to overcome evil, and make the most of itself.

On a scale of 1-10 for reading pleasure, I'd put this book at about a 7. Another Tepper title, Singer from the Sea, was blogged here on Nov. 5, 2003.

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home