Electric Forest Author:Tanith Lee Children were the most overtly cruel. They would chase after her, gleefully screaming taunts . . . pulling at her hair, jabbing her with small, sharp objects, pinching or tripping her so that she would have to scramble awkwardly and painfully to her feet again. But the children weren't her only tormenters. Strangers on the street would stop a... more »nd stare, or look away until she had passed, or change their course to avoid brushing against her.
For Magdala Cled was horribly disfigured--a human monstrosity forced to live in a society of regular features and well-formed bodies. On Indigo, her home world, as on all the planets of the Earth Conclave, foetal conception was supposed to be the controlled result of selective artificial impregnation. It was an excellent way to ensure that all children were born healthy and at least reasonably attractive. Magdala, however, had been conceived biologically . . . an error in contraception which her mother, a licensed prostitute, intent on her trade had been too busy to correct with an abortion.
Thus, Magdala's crippled personality was ripe for exploitation when the beautiful and charismatic Claudio Loro asked her, "Do you want to be beautiful?" And this leads, step by step, betrayal by betrayal, to a morass of personal and political danger.
BOOK CLUB EDITION, cover painting by Jack Woolhiser« less