On a dark and moonless planet, mutations have left women as little more than wombs, while men can teleport but have limited control over the ability. When aliens come to plunder this world's resources
On a dark and moonless planet, mutations have left women as little more than wombs, while men can teleport but have limited control over the ability. When aliens come to plunder this world's resources, the already harsh environment degrades exponentially. Will the Galactic Federation find this world in time to help the natives restore their women and save their civilization?
A visionary novel in the tradition of Ursula K. LeGuin and James Tiptree, Jr., by a leading feminist author.
With an afterword by Nalo Hopkinson.
"Phyllis Gotlieb is the grand dame of Canadian SF, a poet with a cosmic perspective who elevates space opera to high art."
-- Robert J. Sawyer
"The best SF novel I've read in years."
-- The Globe and Mail on Flesh and Gold
"A new novel from Phyllis Gotlieb is a major event."
-- Candas Jane Dorsey
"Gotlieb knows how to do it right."
-- Analog Science Fiction and Fact
View Review text
"Space Opera has the reputation - not entirely undeserved - as being the power fantasies of maladjusted teenage boys. But, for over fifty years, Toronto author Phyllis Gotlieb has proven that this subgenre can be complex, intelligent and even feminist. Her new novel, "Birthstones
", is no exception. . . Gotlieb rarely pauses to dump information upon the reader. Instead, she reveals much of the society and its problems through glimpses that finally add up to a cohesive whole. As the story unfolded, so did my understanding of the world. But I always knew enough. It is this deftness, as well as Gotlieb's sensitivity to character, that earned her a Governor General's Award Nomination."
"Gotlieb has a lean poetic style full of irony, intelligence and subtle humour even when describing unmitigated horror. Mainly what shines through is her compassion for her endearingly and realistically flawed characters who muddle on, doing the best they can."
— The Peterborough Examiner
". . . add up all these tastes and you get a very potent brew that will keep you turning pages avidly."
— SciFi Weekly
"In Birthstones Phyllis Gotlieb, the doyenne of Canadian Science Fiction, brings us a novel that is fresh and exciting in several ways. Gotlieb gives us completely alien worlds and punches through the issue on the first page of the book, carrying us in her wake. . . At first, the ending is disconcerting, because there is no big bang, no huge climax; but it stays in the reader's mind because what Gotlieb has done is to end with a beginning. The structure of the book is ingenious: instead of chapters, Gotlieb transports us from world to world in a see-saw movement that reminds the reader of a wave ebbing then breaking. The story itself is a clever political whodunit set in a totally unfriendly environment with a mix of races that somehow neutralizes our (humans) ethno-egocentrism. That the novel speaks to the reader in a variety of ways, and that, as with any great art, it disturbs the soul, is the sign of an accomplished writer. Phyllis Gotlieb has shown with Birthstones how she has honed her craft to diamond clarity. A must read.
— Ohmy News
View Biographical note
Phyllis Gotlieb has been nominated for the Governor General's Award as well as the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America's Nebula Award, and she's the recipient of a lifetime-achievement Aurora Award. Her previous novels include Sunburst, O Master Caliban!, Heart of Red Iron, and Mindworlds. Phyllis is now professor emeritus of Computer Science at University of Toronto. She has three grown children, four grandchildren and lives in Toronto.
Afterword by Nalo Hopkinson. Nalo's novel Brown Girl in the Ring won the Warner Aspect First Novel Contest. She has taken second place in the Short Prose Competition of the Writers' Union of Canada, and is the recipient of the Ontario Arts Council Foundation Award for Emerging Writers, the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and the Locus Award for a first novel.