Tor, 2003 (2003)
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
begins like a standard SF colonization story - various ethnic groups fleeing Earth on the starship
in search of a better future on a new planet (empty of sentients) that they have called Greentrees. The group has been pulled together by Jake Holman, a talented negotiatior, in partnership with brilliant organizer Gail Cutler. It includes New Quakers, a deposed Arabic royal family, Chinese, environmentalists, and neo-Cheyenne.
e learn early that Jake has a dark secret, and there are other complications amongst the colonists - in particular, New Quaker doctor William Shipley's rebellious daughter Naomi, and a trend to paranoia in the Swiss military team hired to police the new planet. When the colonists arrive, they are surprised by the discovery of various groups of sentients, not native to the planet, and who seem to be experimental subjects. They name them
. Then the experimenters show up.
hese are members of a plant intelligence, and are quickly labelled
by the colonists. The humans begin a debate about who to support, the warlike
or the non-violent
, who have perfomed genetic manipulation on their enemies. Naomi is strongly partisan, consistently favoring her
' peaceful approach appeal to her father, despite his concerns about their methods. Various adventures ensue on and off planet, and different characters must make pivotal decisions, each influenced by their past.
s the story ends, humans on Greentrees prepare for the possibility of war, in a potential
' bio-weapons and the
' superior hardware. There is also the additional complication of a scientific expedition expected from Earth.
is the first in what looks to be an intriguing series.
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