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Allusion is not Illusion

You'll pry my books off my cold, dead body. By the time you shift them all I'll be flat and dessicated.

Currently reading

Winter's Tales
Karen Blixen, Isak Dinesen
Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (Penguin Classics)
Rebecca West, Christopher Hitchens
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Susanna Clarke
Already Dead
Charlie Huston
The Rings of Saturn
W.G. Sebald, Michael Hulse
Lady Audley's Secret
Mary Elizabeth Braddon, David Skilton
Unequal Protection: How Corporations Became "People" - And How You Can Fight Back
Thom Hartmann
The City, Not Long After
Pat Murphy
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Martin Millar
Rains of Eridan - H.M. Hoover A scientist is camping out alone during a month+ research stint on a little-explored planet when she hears an unexpected shuttle land nearby. Investigating, she witnesses the murder of two highly-ranked individuals from another base by their own personnel. When the mutineers depart, she finds that they have left behind the dead Orlovs' young daughter, Karen. Karen tells Theo of a strange, disease-like Fear that causes people to behave in violent and erratic ways. Has the Fear spread to other bases? Where should Theo and Karen go? Who can they trust? As they travel across Eridan and weigh their options, the rainy season begins, revealing unsuspecting dangers on the previously harmless-seeming planet...

I really liked this book but am a little surprised it was published, since it has a couple factors that don't seem like they would necessarily appeal to children (from a publisher's sale-oriented point of view, I mean). First of all, the main character, the one whose view we see the story from, is an adult woman, a scientist who is mainly interested in her work and not in other people. And there is quite a bit of science in this book. The explanations for human presence on the planet, and for everything that goes wrong, are scientific. Yes, there is some danger-in-the-wilderness, but there is even more time spent in labs running experiments and discussing them. The characters are on this mission because they are experts in various sciences, and that's mainly what they talk about. There are crystalline structures, modes of viral transmission, cryptobiosis, hermaphroditic reproduction, research application and patent concerns, etc. It's pretty impressive that Hoover manages to make this interesting without dumbing it down. Despite the alien life forms it's pretty realistic.