Sheri S. Tepper:Sideshow

In Raising The Stones, Sheri S. Tepper introduced the Hobbs Land Gods. Gods made real and concrete, and answering the needs of their worshipers (and vice-versa).

In Sideshow, Tepper turns to those who fled rather than face the "tyranny" of the Gods. They founded a planet called Elsewhere, and divided it up amongst the various refugee religious groups, assuring each of them mutual tolerance and noninterference, mandated by law.

Meanwhile, back in the late twentieth century are born a pair of Siamese twins, joined in such a way as to be inseparable. They eventually get transported to Elsewhere(after centuries in stasis).

The book takes a while to get moving, as it has to introduce the various characters--Fringe Owldark, Danivon Luze, Zasper Ertigon, and a few enigmas standing on the sidelines... But then they get called together to investigate reports of dragons in a mysterious province never explored... The suspicion is that these are the horrible Hobbs Land Gods, come at last.

however, lurking under Tolerance, Elsewhere's capital, spirits preserved in computer for centuries are getting restless, and decide they want to be gods...

This book, like Raising The Stones, examines the question of what it means to be a god. It also questions whether we have the right or obligation to interfere if we find another's customs immoral. And a lot of other pointed questions. Although it is dangerous to expect the book to espouse the author's opinions, it may be safe to make a guess at a few of Tepper's from this book.

Sideshow is just as good as any of the books Tepper has been turning out in the years since The Gate To Women's Country. Highly recommended.

%A Tepper, Sheri S.
%T Sideshow
%I Bantam Spectra
%C New York
%D May 1992
%G ISBN 0-553-56098-0
%P 482 pp.
%O Paperback, US$5.99, Can$6.99

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The Den of Ubiquity / Aaron V. Humphrey / alfvaen@gmail.com