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The Secret City: A Novel Paperback – 19 Apr 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 209 pages
  • Publisher: Ingram Publisher Services (19 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1892391449
  • ISBN-13: 978-1892391445
  • Product Dimensions: 16.4 x 1.6 x 20.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,395,723 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

“...a sweet and involving story. Its attitude toward humans and aliens is refreshing—humans are neither markedly inferior nor markedly superior to the aliens. Both species have problems, particularly severe class differences. What is ultimately important is personal connections—people who learn to love each other. The story is told through the points of view of Lorpas and Allush, and both are good but naïve sorts, giving the novel a pellucid sort of voice. (The viewpoint characters of Emshwiller’s other recent novels, Mister Boots and The Mount, are similarly naïve, as are the narrators of many of her stories. Her strategy often seems to be to show disturbing situations, and nasty characters, through the eyes of innocents—an effective approach.) The Secret City is yet another strong late work from one of our treasures.”
SF Site, featured review

“But all these past instances aside, no one has yet approached the trope with the finesse and grace of Emshwiller. She’s a writer of such slantwise sensibilities and such deep perceptions that she conveys the exotic weirdness of such a setup—and the almost unfathomable otherness of the Betashan mentality—with uncommon vividness and startling jolts of creepiness.”
Sci Fi Weekly (Grade: A)

“Highly recommended.”
Midwest Book Review

"Emshwiller has been writing occasionally for 50 years, and a new work is a treat."
The Denver Post

“Emshwiller’s latest displays her incredible talent for writing naturalistic prose about unnatural situations as well as her ability to create a compact level of intensity.”
The Agony Column

“This carefully crafted, ambivalent story depicts alien and human alike struggling just to get by.”
Publishers Weekly

“During an award-filled, 30-year career, Emshwiller has delighted readers and fellow writers with her unique brand of exquisitely rendered magic realism. The city of the title of her latest haunting book is a mountainous retreat, concealed by vines and tree roots, where alien tourists now stranded on Earth may assuage nostalgia for their home world, Betasha. It is to this now largely abandoned hideout that one particular alien, Lorpas, goes to seek fellowship after being arrested for vagrancy and escaping to the hills. There he meets and falls for Allush, a female Betashan who, like Lorpas, was born on Earth and has blended in so well that rescue is no longer appealing. Emshwiller alternates between Lorpas’s account of his growing friendship with a bumbling rescuer whom he overpowers and Allush’s tale of return to Betasha as the two meet, separate, and finally reunite to establish Earth as their new home world. A simple yet vivid parable on the value of cherishing the home one knows best.”
Booklist

About the Author

Carol Emshwiller is a key figure in science fiction’s new-wave movement and the author of Carmen Dog, The Mount, Mr. Boots, and The Secret City. She is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant and a Pushcart Prize as well as the Philip K. Dick and Gallun awards. In 2005, she received the World Fantasy Award for lifetime achievement and the Nebula Award for “I Live With You,” the title story of her short-story collection.


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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com

Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars 5 reviews
C. Baker
3.0 out of 5 starsUnique First Contact Novel
26 April 2007 - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
8 people found this helpful.
Gert-Jan Lind
5.0 out of 5 starsGreat Reading
18 June 2016 - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Jimmy
2.0 out of 5 starsClear explanations must not be appropriate for our type
26 August 2012 - Published on Amazon.com
Richard R. Horton
4.0 out of 5 starsSweet, involving, first contact story
10 May 2007 - Published on Amazon.com
13 people found this helpful.
Sally Charette
5.0 out of 5 starsSatisfying character driven science fiction.
5 June 2016 - Published on Amazon.com

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