Gill Shutt's fantasy novelette, On the Edge, follows a group of monkeys (monkey-like creatures, but sentient and with a rudimentary belief system...on a planet with two moons) who go to the edge of their territory, only to discover a band of strangers (other monkey-like creatures, but with a slightly different and more violent belief system) huddled there in the "Home Trees." The strangers proceed to insinuate themselves into the existing community, separating the young from the old, the males from the females, the leaders from the followers, and slyly eliminating any who oppose them. The story, I think, is meant to be chilling and sad, and perhaps is meant as a commentary on human behaviour.
I say "I think" it's meant to be that way because, in truth, I'm not sure I really "get" this story. It's not poorly-written and it's interesting enough, but, well, I just didn't care that much about any of the characters. I feel like I'm supposed to care, but I didn't. Maybe it's because the characters are too removed from me, there are too many levels of separation--they are monkeys AND they're on another planet AND they're divided between old and young AND they're in a conflict with another tribe--there just wasn't enough in it that made me think, "Aha! That's what she means! That's just like (insert thing from real life) this!"
I asked my partner Mike (who reads a lot more fantasy and science fiction than I do) if he would still like Planet of the Apes if there weren't any humans in it. He said he would, but I don't think I would at all. This novelette was, for me, like Planet of the Apes without any humans. I suspect many readers would not be bothered by that concept and those are the ones who should definitely check out this novelette.
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Disclaimer: I received a free digital copy of this novelette from the publisher through the Early Reviewers program on LibraryThing, in exchange for posting an honest review. The review did not need to be favourable, just honest (well, I hope so anyway, because that's how I write). The opinions expressed--for better or for worse--are my own.