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Perdita

text and cover art by Arwen Spicer, 2001, 454 pages

$9.00 + (7.25% tax on orders to California addresses) + $2.00 shipping in the US.

Exclusive, autographed first edition. Due to flooding, only some 700 undamaged copies exist. The original MS is gone; no more copies will be printed. Collect this unique book today!

Summary

For millennia, the planet Perdita has battled over technological ethics. But when the West-of-Now family crash lands on the planet, bringing the secrets of a deadly, seductive technology called jae, the fate of the planet is changed forever. Now the pro-tech leader, Ethan, and the anti-tech leader, Sherayna, must overcome their hatred for one another to rescue their world from cataclysmic destruction.

Review by Corie Ralston, science fiction writer

The story has the feel of an epic, but draws you in close to each character and their individual predicaments. Spicer depicts characters so well that you find yourself siding with each one, even though they have political views more dissimilar than the Nader and Bush camps. The political differences propel the story forward nicely, and there are plenty of interesting subplots and twists, but I felt the real strength of the story was that Spicer manages to draw the characters together at the end, to the point that they begin to respect and even understand each other. E.M. Forster once said, "characters should be surprising in a convincing way," and Spicer fulfills that difficult imperative perfectly. But the characters aren't the only interesting aspect of this novel. Even though the story is set on another world, the many political discussions made me reflect quite a bit on our own current political atmosphere, and how we might be both damaging and helping to preserve our environment through the use of technology.


From a review by Carla Minor for The National Fantasy Fan Federation

Arwen Spicer's debut science fiction novel, Perdita, succeeds on many levels. Its multilayered style should please fans of hard or soft SF, as it neatly balances a plot of planetwide conflict, political intrigue, and family relationships.

Author's Self-Review...

...wherein I try something avant-garde, honesty in marketing.

Though it's far from perfect, I find this book moving.

Perdita's strengths:

* Multivocality: a wide variety of often conflicting perspectives are all treated as with respect. The story establishes a moral problem (how and whether to use jae on Perdita) and illustrates how thorny and possibly insoluable this problem is, despite the fact that everyone involved is ultimately trying to do the right thing, many at great personal sacrifice.

* Angst and catharsis. Perdita is character-driven and explores depths of love and hate (including self-hate) and personal transformation.

* World-building. I spent ten years developing the planet Perdita, and it shows. Despite things I would do differently today, I find that the societies presented come together in a consistent, detailed, and relatable yet culturally foreign setting.

* Multiple levels. Here are a few things I'm happy with: sun, water, and moon symbols; the backstory for the Sherayna-Leric-Illia relationship and how it plays out in Sherayna and Leric's "first causes" game; the evolution of Perdita's language; seasonal imagery; the narrative frame.

Perdtia's weaknesses:

* Too wordy. This was Don D'Ammassa's only complaint in his Science Fiction Chronicle review, and he was right.

* Odd structure: many short chapters, some of which feel choppy. But that meeting-in-Nac chapter goes on and on like the Council of Elrond. It has a convoluted plot that occasionally requires odd character behaviors to advance plot points. For example, it may be implausible that the West-of-Nows agree to be separated.

* No clear protagonist, a problem or not, depending on your tastes. It has four potential candidates. So choose your own!

There you have it. If it sounds like your cup of tea, do please buy it!


StarMerrow's Official Merrow Painting!

Trista Musco's original Merrow art is for sale. 18"x18" Lightweight. Canvas on a wooden support frame. Suitable for framing. Ships from California.

This image, taken with my (Arwen's) old camera, does not do this lovely picture justice. People in the area are welcome to contact me to see the picture in person.

Trista is currently accepting offers through StarMerrow. Email to suggest a price.


See also the StarMerrow Store forum on our discussion board.


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