Strangers Author:Gardner Dozois "An intricate and melancholy tale of love and biological mystery on a distant world" is what Robert Silverberg said in praise of the novella "Strangers". Now Gardner Dozois, one of the most talented and respected young authors of the science-fiction field, has produced his first novel. — Hundreds of years in the future, Earthmen have moved out i... more »nto the galaxy of inhabited worlds, but only through the gift of advanced technology from alien interstellar traders. Earthmen do not dominate among inhabited worlds, as many races are older and wiser. In fact, space travelers from Earth are second-class citizens or worse on most of the planets they visit, able to offer little in the way of trade to the incomprehensibly alien cultures of the galaxy.
Joseph Farber, an artist, is part of the uncomfortable and decadent Earth colony among the alien Cian on the planet Weinunnach. The culture of Cian is a web of seasonal and life-cycle rituals as old as their race: moving, powerful and strange. As with many of the earthling spacefarers, once out among the stars Farber suffers a decline in spirits when faced with the utter difference of alien cultures. Yet Farber is deeply moved by the riturals of Cian, and while attending the ceremony of Alantene, he meets Liraun, a humanoid Cian, and they fall in love.
Love between races is forbidden, and Farber must suffer the scorn and the roadblocks put in his way by both the administrator of the Earth colony and by the alien liaison, Jacawen, to whom Liraun is related. However, against all odds, Farber allows himself to be genetically altered so that he and Liraun may marry and interbreed.
But as Farber and Liraun gradually begin to fit themselves into a married Cian life-style, Farber begins to encounter bits of information that disturb him. The lovers have not taken into account fundamental differences between their races and cultures that prevent adequate communication between them. This lack of communication leads to a powerful climax of tragedy and revelation.
Gardner Dozois is one of the most respected authors and editors of science fiction in the 1970s. A writer of the younger generation, he has established his name with a group of distinguished anthologies, including a "best of the year" annual which he edits for E.P. Dutton, and a number of Hugo and Nebula Award nominations for various stories, which have recently been collected into his volume "The Visible Man" (Berkley paperback). "Publishers Weekly" has called him "one of the best of the new SF writers." "Strangers" will catapult him into the first rank of SF novelists.« less