Shadow Man

Melissa Scott, Author Tor Books $22.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-312-85800-1
Political intrigue set in a far future that features a radically different human culture hinging on a multitude of genders is the theme of Scott's (Trouble and Her Friends) new work. The drug hyperlumin-A, which eases sickness from faster-than-light travel, has given rise to three new sexes--mem, fem and herm--each with its own pronoun system and stereotyped societal role. On the planet Hara, however, only male and female are legal roles, and the ``odd-bodied'' that form one-fourth of the population there must choose to act as one or the other. Warreven is a Haran herm, living as a man, whose personal history and work--first as a ``clan advocate'' arguing the legal cases of ``players'' who ply the ``trade'' (commercial sex), then as an elected official--lead him to oppose his world's policies. Scott's commentary on today's sexual politics is obvious, but she develops a rich, creative and consistent culture with its own family structures, social mores, religion and technology that will engage readers and likely return in a sequel. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/31/1995
Release date: 08/01/1995
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-312-86206-0
Paperback - 312 pages - 978-1-59021-242-4
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