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Silver Ship and the Sea


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About the Author

Brenda Cooper is a futurist who works with Glen Hiemstra at She's the co-author of the novel, "Building Harlequin's Moon," which she wrote with Larry Niven. Her solo and collaborative short fiction has appeared in multiple magazines, including "Analog, Asimov's, Strange Horizons, Oceans of the Mind, "and" The Salal Review."


The colonists of the planet Fremont have struggled to survive amid the seismically active world's wild ecology. Now six genetically altered children have been abandoned there. Feared by the colonists, the children must either find a way to live in harmony with the planet or escape from it. Cooper's (coauthor, Building Harlequin's Moon) first solo effort combines the feel of classic sf adventure with strong, character-driven storytelling and lays the foundation for other tales set in her brave new world. Suitable for both adult and YA sf collections. [Library marketing campaign planned.--Ed.] Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Cooper's first solo flight into SF (after Building Harlequin's Moon, with Larry Niven) doesn't quite get off the deadly colony planet Fremont, where 12 years earlier war raged between the original pure-human settlers and the "altered" (bioengineered) second wave of colonists. Adolescent heroine Chelo Lee, orphaned by that war and adopted by the leader-couple of the planet's only city, Artistos, leads the other five living altered youths to the silver spaceship New Making that had brought their parents to Fremont. With the help of Jenna, the only surviving altered adult, Chelo dreams of freeing herself and the other altereds from the paranoid subjugation of the Fremontians, who both fear and need the youngsters' gifts. The lack of psychological development in this sluggish and predictable growing-up excursion may limit its appeal to preteen readers. (Mar.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Adult/High School-Cooper's first solo novel is an engrossing tale of six young outsiders growing up on a colony planet. They were left behind as young children, descendants of a group of "altered" (genetically modified) people who landed on the planet and ultimately fought with its original colonists. Now 12 years have gone by, the "altered" children are teens, and many members of the colony are profoundly uneasy about them. The story is narrated by the eldest, Chelo. They are all big, strong, and fast, and each one has a special skill. When an earthquake literally shakes everything up, Chelo and her friends find themselves drawn to Jenna, the one remaining "altered" adult, who lives on the fringes of society, and to the spaceship that the "altered" left behind. The teens begin to find out who they really are, and what they might become someday. This is an adventure story, because life on this planet can be treacherous, but it is also a story about the relationships between insiders and outsiders, between adults and the teens who are about to surpass them, and between people who need each other in order to survive.-Sarah Flowers, Santa Clara County Library, CA Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

"Combines the feel of classic SF adventure with strong, character-driven storytelling and lays the foundation for other tales set in her brave new world."--"Library Journal""Distinctive characterizations, well-limned interrelationships, and the vividly realized Fremont contribute to an exciting coming-of-age story with a strong message about the evils of prejudice. . . YAs are sure to relate to the travails and exploits of these extraordinary young people."--"Booklist" (starred review)"Good plot, with some nice touches...Characterizations were particularly well done."--"Locus"

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