Monday, February 07, 2011

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Joan D. Vinge - Blue Tyson

Joan D. Vinge is the author of a massive planetary romance, that shares some elements with Dune. An exotic planet that is hard to get to is the source of a longevity drug. However, in this case it is harvested from sentient natives, not from the excreta of giant animals. With the obvious fairytale reference in the title, you can guess where some of this is going to go. Maybe not the use of clones though as a possible tool to keeping power. The planet Tiamata undergoes long, slow, seasonal change rather than being static like Arrakis, and with this change comes the traditional change of ruler, and hence a sequel, The Summer Queen. There are a couple of other books set in this milieu. Vinge's Cat and Heaven Chronicles books may also appeal, with telepathic rogues and asteroids. All in all she has around 20 novels including a Lost In Space movie novelisation, and a similar number of short stories.

The Snow Queen

The Summer Queen