An Alien Light Author:Nancy Kress Nancy Kress presents a novel of character and science-fictional ideas that looks at the paradox of human aggression and cooperative survival from a alien viewpoint. The human race is at war with the Ged, a collective species that is baffled by mankind's ability to turn violence upon itself and yet advance into space. In order to defeat the human... more »s, the Ged must first understand them.
So they go to a world called Qom, where a lost Earth colony has forgotten its origins and regressed to a pre-industrial society. They are split into two warring city-states: Delysia, town of merchants,and Jela of Spartan warriors. The Ged build a walled city out in the wilderness, promising riches and new weapons for anyone brave enough to stay in the city one year.
The offer attracts a diverse collection of outcasts and adventurers, Jelite warriors and Delysian artisans. Once inside, they are taught the secrets of science and technology. In watching them learn, the Ged hope to find out how humans think. But they don't anticipate the few humans who will cross feudal boundaries to unite against the Ged, deducing more than the Ged meant to teach about the nature of the universe and the origin of humans on Qom.
"An Alien Light" explores the difficult questions of survival and suicidal aggression with a degree of excitement and insight that made Spider Robinson proclaim: "Kress made me think and she made me feel, so skillfully that it wasn't until the book was over that I remembered to be professionally envious."« less