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A Story Teller'S Story
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From Publishers Weekly
Thomson's lyrical, episodic tale of symbiosis between humans and aliens and of a boy's growth to adulthood recalls Heinlein's beloved Citizen of the Galaxy, which enchants with both details and broad strokes. On the primitive water planet of Thalassa, with its few clutches of small islands, Teller, a seemingly simple, elderly woman, rescues a destitute eight-year-old orphan, Samad. Besides belonging to the revered Storyteller guild, whose mission is to alleviate social ills and disseminate history and morality, Teller has another identity that readers will have the pleasure of suspecting well before she lets her young charge in on the secret. Thalassa's human colonizers depend on the ability of some people to communicate with the native harsel, charming, sentient whale-like creatures, inside whose "backs" they travel between islands. Having benefited from off-world rejuvenation drugs, Teller is also part of a much larger intergalactic culture, which was responsible for Samad's childhood problems. Eschewing technological explanation, the author explores such familiar SF themes as rejuvenation and longevity, interstellar societies and ecological balance. Some may find the major plot shifts and gaps in chronology jarring, but all will feel touched by mystery and wonder.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
On Thalassa, a watery world dotted with thousands of archipelagos, history is kept by the Storytellers. Samad, an orphan, has nothing to pay Teller, however, so in exchange for her knowledge, he becomes a guide for the storyteller, who is also a har-captain. The har are telepathic fish native to Thalassa, and Teller's har, Abeha, is one of the oldest and largest of them. Storyteller follows Samad from his adoption by Teller, through the difficulties of growing up and travels off-planet to the day when he must choose between responsibility to Thalassa and freedom. Woven in throughout are revelations about Samad's favorite story, the history of the Pilot, the first human on Thalassa, who prepared the way for later colonists. Thomson's well-crafted account of growing up immersed in history and travel is suffused with great caring for a place that, though considered an impoverished backwater by some, is culturally and historically wealthy. Regina Schroeder
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Booklist, November 15, 2003
[a] well-crafted account of growing up...
National bestselling and Joseph W. Campbell Award-winning author.
On Thalassa, storytelling is Teller's life. With the great sea-beast to whom she is telepathically bonded, she travels Thalassa's many oceans. But Teller has a secret--and when her young apprentice discovers it, he will be changed profoundly.
About the Author
Amy Thomson won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. A former reviewer for Locus magazine, she is the national bestselling author of Through Alien Eyes, The Color of Distance, and Virtual Girl.
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