cover image Fish Tails

Fish Tails

Sheri S. Tepper. Harper Voyager, $32 (512p) ISBN 978-0-06-230458-2

The waters are rising, and soon the world will be covered in boundless sea. Abasio and Xulai, previously seen in A Plague of Angels and The Waters Rising, wander the slowly drowning land, seeking out those worthy for transformation and preservation. Few indeed seem to deserve salvation; the human population of Earth remains short-sighted, violent, and greedy. Given this portrayal, Earth’s intelligent animals should rejoice to see humans exterminated, but the other land species of Earth, innocent of any crimes, will be swept away with the humans, a fact not lost on them. In their quest to salvage the worthy of Earth, Xulai and Abasio discover the lost secrets of Earth, encounter emissaries of far-off worlds, and uncover the unknown sources of the waters below. While longtime Tepper fans may welcome old friends and familiar themes, new readers will balk at the gleeful embrace of troublesome elements; although Tepper is careful to stock her world with reprobates whose destruction seems justified, nevertheless many readers may hesitate to embrace the disturbing advocacy for what amounts to omnicide. Adequately written but profoundly misanthropic, the novel cannot be recommended to any but the most steadfast Tepper fan. [em]Agent: Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. (Oct.) [/em]