In FISH TAILS, two of Tepper's beloved characters - Abasio and Xulai (A PLAGUE OF ANGELS and THE WATERS RISING) - and their children travel from village to village scattered across the sparsely populated land of Tingawa. They are searching for others who might be interested in adopting their sea-dwelling lifestyle.
Along their journey they encounter strange visitors from the far-off world of Lom, characters from Tepper's nine-book True Game series of novels - Mavin Manyshaped, Jinian Star-eye, and Silkhands the Healer - all of whom have been gathered up by an interfering, time-traveling, rule-breaking do-gooder to do one last good dead on earth before its metamorphosis is complete. For the waters are rising and will soon engulf the entire planet, transforming it utterly and irrevocably.
This is a strange book, a weird book. A very well-written book. A analytical book. A philosophical book. A book about the environment, social order, and just about the stupidity of men. We really are a stupid race.
The book had so many lovely quotes, I'd love to write down all of them but that would be one long review. So here are some.
They were talking about old religions
"I am not joking. While millions of children were starving at various places on the earth, some religions were still insisting that it was sinful to prevent excess births. I am fascinated by the religions of that time. Without exception they simply denied reality. They were completely myth-driven. Self-inflicting pain was a common religious practice..."
"If a man seeks to make his faith a law, this action alone disproves his faith, for the law cannot define kindness."
"If a man seeks to kill others who believe otherwise, this action alone disproves his faith, for those who kill are not kind."
It was a long time since I went quote crazy, but she just tells it so well, so cleverly. About every subject too.
This is a sci-fi book. It takes place in the future where we have killed the earth, then we invented machines that went on killing us. Those left live in a strange medieval world mixed with some tech at times. And people are still stupid and do stupid things. But some are trying to save the human race as the waters are rising and soon we will all drown.
I would not recommend this book without having read earlier books. Sure it is strange, so for that reason I am sure you could jump right in and still understand, but to really grasp it you really must start at book 1.
The main characters of Abasio and Xulai, Needly and her grandma, are all fascinating. And truth be told, I can't really tell you much. Because as I have said before, Tepper writes strange books. You have to be in the zone. To read about them discuss monkey-brain willy-waggers, the future of the earth and how men became men and forgot the earth. To see them meet new people and strange things man have created. There is a lot of talking going on, and I found myself nodding my head and agreeing.
I do recommend this series, just, take your time with it.
I like the woman
Published December 26th 2014 by Gollancz
Plague of Angels #3