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After Long Silence
After Long Silence
Author: Sheri S. Tepper
Humankind has tried to colonize the planet Jubal, but the massive crystal Presences seem to hold true dominion. It is suspected that they are alive and intelligent but all that is known for certain is that they restrict travel and technology - and that they can be deadly. Before those who would do so can destroy them, the Presences must break th...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780553269444
ISBN-10: 0553269445
Publication Date: 11/1/1987
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

4 stars, based on 33 ratings
Publisher: Spectra
Book Type: Paperback
Members Wishing: 1
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

althea avatar reviewed After Long Silence on + 774 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I can't help suspecting that this book was written directly after Tepper read Anne McCaffrey's "Crystal Singer" (1982), was horrified by its portrayal of the exploitation of alien worlds, and said, "I'm going to show a different perspective on this!"
Both books feature an alien world of harsh yet dramatic aspect, covered with large crystals that respond to sound (esp. singing), are extremely sharp and dangerous, prone to slicing up people, but yet have an elite/apart group of people (singers) to work with them. But in McCaffreys book, the 'Crystal Singers' sing to shatter the crystals in specific ways for mining, and in Tepper's the 'Tripsingers' sing to *avoid* shattering the crystals, allowing caravans and other travellers to pass through them unharmed.
It fits with Tepper's usual ecological awareness.
Of course, there are other elements on the planet: governmental, corporate, and religious, who would just love to destroy the unique crystals, for their own immediate profit... which of course leads to much dramatic conflict.
Published in 1987, this book is not quite as adeptly written as many of her more recent books, but, if one can disregard the distracting resemblance to the earlier book, it's a pretty good sci-fi thriller with an action-filled climax.
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reviewed After Long Silence on + 168 more book reviews
My disclaimer is that I love and adore Sheri Tepper. I'll read anything and everything by her. For those of you who are looking at potentially reading some Tepper books - don't be discouraged by my review! She really is a phenomenal author.

Having said that, I just couldn't get into this novel. Maybe it was because I had just finished reading Singer from the Sea, followed by Grass - both superb Tepper books. So, this one seemed sort of ho hum after those. The book did keep me reading to the end, as Tepper did a good job of ever so slowly revealing the mystery surrounding the presences. But, otherwise, I could not make myself care about the main male character. Whether he died or didn't, whether bad things happened to him or good - it was all the same to me. The Presences were much more interesting, and overshadowed the male character in interest.

I also agree with another reviewer who said this book was like a response to "Crystal Singer." However, if it matters, I thought Tepper's version was far more interesting.

Truthfully, I can't bear to give Tepper anything but 5 stars. However, if this is your first time discovering Tepper, I'd head for her other books first and come back to this one later. Otherwise you might decide Tepper isn't that interesting and miss out on all her other brilliant books!


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