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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

Playing God

Copyright 1998 by Sarah Zettel

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Very good (3/5)

I first read this in July 2001 and most recently on the 16th January 2004.

The alien Dedelphi are a passionate and violent people. Their nations have been fighting each other for thousands of years and they have done so well at this that, following the last wave of biological attacks, they are faced with racial extinction on a ruined homeworld.

Many Dedelphi refugees were allowed fled to the human space, and were granted refuge in the colony of Crater Town on Mars. The inhabitants of Crater Town have been able to overcome their differences and the colony has thrived.

The young landscape designer Lynn Nussbaumer is one of the contributors to the colony's success. She came to design the folliation but stayed out of a love of the Dedelphi people. She has been adopted as a firm friend by one of the leading Dedelphi families.

In an attempt to save the Dedelphi, and to make a lot of money, the human corporation Bioverse Inc done a deal with those Dedelphi still surviving on the ruined homeworld. If the Dedeplhi agree to cease their hostilities, Bioverse will terraform this damaged world back to health and a sustainable ecology.

Bioverse have chosen Lynn to lead the massive terraforming project.

Of course, ecological reconstruction is never an easy job, especially when there are a billion desperately xenophobic and violent people still living there.

We follow Lynn and the family of Praeis, her closest Dedelphi friend, as they attempt to save the Dedelphi from themselves, and indeed, from the humans.

I feel guilty that I left it so long to write the review for this exciting and enjoyable novel. I first read it in July 2001 but complicated reasons (primarily laziness) kept me from writing it up.

The Dedelphi are attractively exotic aliens, warm and charming while brutally vicious. There are thrills and spills and even some moralizing. Admirable work by Commander Keale, head of security (but one should expect no less from a security manager). This is very good.

Loaded on the 29th February 2004.
Cover of Playing God
Cover by Steve Youll and Don Puckey

Reviews of other work by Sarah Zettel
Fool's War
Kingdom Of Cages