My friend Dianne Kopser is an avid reader—a woman truly after my own heart! So I invited her to do a guest post here and talk about one of the few genres I don’t read—science fiction:
“Darkover, a cold planet with a bloody red sun is located at the junction of two spiral arms of the galaxy, a stopover point for interspace travel and commerce. It hosts at least three non-human intelligent races, and a small human population. They’re agricultural, feudal, and they wish for nothing more. That is, until World Wreckers attempt to destroy the planet’s ecology and economy. Like the Lower Cape and its rejection of chain stores, Darkover treasures its own special beauty, and rejects the technology of the Terran Empire. The reason Darkovans can afford to do so is that they host a special caste of telepaths who serve and direct the human population in many ways.
“At Darkover’s minimal spaceport town of Thendara, scientists embark on an experiment to harness or at least begin to understand the powers of telepaths, both Darkovan and off-worlder. They send out a request for telepaths to gather and share insights. When they do, mayhem ensues among the wildly uncontrolled talents. Within a mix of sexual dysfunction, gambling, tortured souls and wizened crones, our scientists attempt to quantify and explain what’s going on.
“From the hills, a creature out of legend appears and volunteers to join the study group. Keral is one of only a handful of the mythic Chieri, godlike ancestors of the telepathic Comyn caste on Darkover. Contributing greatly to the scientists’ study, Keral’s vanishing people have virtually lost hope for a solution to their dwindling numbers.
“Some of the talents brought in from faraway planets find community and solace, while others cannot handle the intense scrutiny of their peers after a lifetime among non-telepaths. But Regis Hastur, leader of the Comyn needs all the telepaths he can find to stop the insidious World Wreckers from destroying his planet. From castle and tower, farm and forest, anyone with a scrap of talent is recruited. They gather in their hundreds, to create something infinitely stronger than the sum of their parts, but their very togetherness makes them uniquely vulnerable.
“As a result of a particularly Darkovan tradition-dancing beneath the four moons- Darkover’s telepaths find several solutions to their common problems, and end a tale well worth reading.”
So… check out Darkover and the World Wreckers, and stay tuned for more book reviews here at Arts Week!