review Leviathan's Deep 109

characters Leviathan's Deep

review Leviathan's Deep 109 ã He looked ugly even for a Terren his brown skin marred by mottled bruises souvenirs of the mob that had discovered him where no Terren should ever be He might almost have made it; he was tall for a Terren so short for a Hardyen Among us a short individual is sometimes bulky also so that wasn't too bad Skin dyed orange a fake crest a The better; but his pouch held several mysterious potions in it the 2nd one I gingerly tested took off all fakery with neat efficiency He awoke during the midst of his cleansing protested vigorously if somewhat incoherently; but he could see that the guards were for the most part done so he subsided grumbling to himself But looks alone aren't enough; he must have given himself away in a hundred small ways his Terre stench alone until even the most dull minded realized; the riot started Two things had saved his repulsive Terre hide Th. Margery Ruth Morgenstern Krueger 7740–122006 wrote this her first novel about the interaction of matriarchal and patriarchal cultures and persons raised within them in a science fiction context The matriarchy interestingly forms the frame of reference for the reader many of the virtues commonly claimed by males in our society being seen as the particular character of women in theirs

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He looked ugly even for a Terren his brown skin marred by mottled bruises souvenirs of the mob that had discovered him where no Terren should ever be He might almost have made it; he was tall for a Terren so short for a Hardyen Among us a short individual is sometimes bulky also so that wasn't too bad Skin dyed orange a fake crest a fisherman's kilt fake skin to hide his fur other fakeries Oh he passed in looks at least I think my guards would have been most pleased to scrub the lying orange off his skin if the skin came too so much. An interesting novel of the cultural clash between a patriarchal human culture the Terrene and a matriarchal society Delyafam is a water world populated by a number of water dwellers and amphibians including the Leviathan of the title which makes only a brief appearance The dominant lifeform is a humanoid race the Delyene whose females are long lived intelligent and in some cases belligerent following a way of life which values honour highly The males by contrast are shorter lived dependent sexually alluring and perform valuable work such as weaving and pottery making All the usual feminine traits from a human point of view are assigned to males who are 'boys' and become devoted servants to a single female forming her household and acting as her sexual partners as well as keeping the barter economy turning over All females start off in barracks where they gradually work their way up and are adopted by one of the main families or are 'written off' as 'lumpen' Those who are adopted set up households and serve the family who adopted them It isn't very clear what the lumpen end up doingThe Delyene physical norm is an orange skin and no hair the protagonist The Kimassu Lady is a genetic 'sport' who has pale skin and therefore will not be permitted to breed It gradually becomes evident over the course of the story that the Delyene spawn and produce lots of 'sprats' which are nursed by the males in broodpouches The Kimassu Lady is an officially sanctioned torturer whose job is to bring into line anyone who offends against their religion customs and ways of life there is no codified law In fact the supposed lack of a written language among the Delyene is one aspect which permits the humans to classify them as primitivesThe Terrans are on Delyafam because it is on an intersection of trade routes and because it becomes evident the Terran way is to move in and offer the dominant lifeform a longevity drug on which they become dependent and then to or less enslave them under the threat of withdrawing the drug This policy hasn't worked on Delyafam because unknown to the humans the females are already very long lived so they have always refused the drug The Terrans erroneously assume the Delyene to be shortlived because a group whom they imprisoned and ran tests on didn't last longer than another ten years all the test subjects were males and it never crossed the minds of the humans that the lifespan might differ so widely between sexesThe Kimassu Lady is embroiled in a power struggle between her sponsor and another senior female which is made complicated by the presence of the humans her work brings her into contact with them One Neill has trespassed into the Delyene religious centre and is placed in her charge to be interrogated before he is put to death however he is an untypical human and the Kimassu Lady becomes uite fond of him as he freely discloses lots of interesting and disuieting facts about his people Neill is an agent for whom it is unclear who opposes the official practices and has sympathy for the 'natives' although he also tends to view them as primitives The Kimassu Lady eventually becomes drawn into the human power struggle and suffers the violent and misogynistic attitudes of the males first handAs a minor point the cover of this edition includes inaccuracies Firstly no Delyene has a navel they don't reproduce like mammals Secondly both sexes wear kilts which show their statusjob rolefamily by woven patterns rather than a plain bikini bottom Thirdly the headgear shown is what is forced upon the Kimassu Lady by her captor at one point she would just be bald For information a review I read said that the females wouldn't have breasts but in fact there is a understated explanation to do with glands for eliminating excess salt taken in when the Delyene go into the sea so that isn't a mistakeThe book suffers from a couple of issues Firstly the human males are unredeemingly patriarchal misogynistic colonialist etc and we don't see any human females although we're told that they have gone to the Delyene in the past when humans were trying to establish a presence on the planet Even Neill tries to rape TKL he discovers this is impossible because it isn't spelled out but it seems the females don't have the 'plumbing' to make it possible except when they voluntarily take part in sex In fact Delyene females are able to force themselves on males if they wish Secondly the last part of the book is a whistlestop tour of what happens over an unspecified but long time at least several years and probably a lot longer as the Kimassu Lady leads a resistence movement If written now rather than in the early 1980s the book would probably be three times longer to handle all that or else would be turned into a series As it is it suffers greatly from a lot of events being summarised as the Kimassu Lady looks back so they are sketchy and read like a synopsis This doesn't make what we are told all that credible It's a shame as the main character is engaging and the various cultural misunderstandings and exchanges are interesting But ultimately there are too many loose ends for example why does nothing happen after she tells Neill's colleagues what has been going on and how the intelligence and technology of her species has been deliberately played down The whole conclusion is so rushed it loses all cohesion and ultimately there are too many frustrating unanswered uestions for the reader

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Leviathan's DeepEre were no guards near him at the beginning so he was only mauled by fists kicked by sandaled feet he didn't fall get trampled Had someone held him up the better to beat him so unwittingly saved his life He wasn't trampled he didn't suffocate his attackers once the crush began couldn't even get enough room to effectively beat him There he sprawled living breathing Pity Now he was my problemTerren I said almost gently because I couldn't help a flash of pity do you understand your situation what's going to happen to you from dust jack. Really very good This is one that needs to be republished with a better coverIn some ways it is a story of how hard things can be for you if you are a woman rather than a man but really it is just about colonialism