Star Mother Author:Sydney J. Van Scyoc Here is a splendid new far-future adventure novel that poses challenging questions on the meaning...human. — Cadet Jahna arrives on... backwater planet, as a volunteer interstellar peace corp..Fathers of Neldinga ...progressive group, requested her...-surprisingly , for she is youn and is inexperienced. Her first impressions are gloomy. Jahna is ... more »delivered to the huge log fortress, Pengalen, where she learns first , that she is to be assigned the care of infants and secondly from Becklord, the mysterious but attractive lord of Pengalen, that there is another culture on Nelding, a forest community called Tentback which is considered unclean and inhuman by the First Fathers and their followers.
Tentback is inhabited by people called mock-dirads, the mutated descendants of human colonists, born deformed and cast out by the First Fathers. They have mysteriously become protean, have imitated the native dirads and grown to look like them. Becklord sees the danger of the mock dirads becoming too alien to preserve civilization of any kind and plans that Jahna become a template , a pattern for imitation for female infants (for the ability to imitate is lost in early childhood). Becklord is opposed by the First Fathers, by certain mock-dirads, and by Zunilin , and insane Tentback mother , tortured by hatred and fear, who will kill Jahna before letting her "steal" Tentback babies.
Conflict increases, culminating in violent warfare. Jahna must choose to stay in Tentback and become the Star-mother or retreat to civilization.« less