Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard

Lawrence M. Schoen. Tor, $25.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-7653-7702-9
Nebula- and Hugo Award–nominated Schoen (Calendrical Regression) spins an emotional, richly imagined tale in this novella. In the far future, the Fant, an outcast race of anthropomorphic “uplifted” elephants, are at the mercy of a powerful alliance of hundreds of worlds and races that would destroy them and their home planet, Barsk, in order to wrest control of the drug koph, which allows its users, known as Speakers, to speak to the dead. Jorl ben Tral (a member of the Fant and a Speaker himself) is compelled to discover why his best friend, Arlo, committed suicide, while Pizlo, Arlo’s six-year-old son, hears whispers that lead him to take his own fateful journey. Meanwhile, a young uplifted otter named Lirlowil is forced to put her own talents as a Speaker to the ultimate test. Schoen’s vivid writing makes the Fant and the other species intensely relatable, elevating familiar themes of predetermination, prophecy, and the power of memory. Even as the Fant face genocide, their bravery and spirit makes this a hopeful and very human tale in a posthuman world. Agent: John Silbersack, Trident Media Group (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/12/2015
Release date: 12/29/2015
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 978-1-4668-5339-3
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-7653-7703-6
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