Tag Archives: Alien worlds

Humans on Alien Planets: Science fiction recommendations


Recently I attended a seminar on advanced book marketing put on by the Northwest Writers and Publishers Association. The speaker was Cheri Lasota and her book is Artemis Rising.

 She did a great job, giving out a number of worthwhile comments on how to market your book.

The one I want to revisit is Dean Wesley Smith’s QR code card. These are plastic cards that are sold like books with the code on the back that can be scratched off and the book downloaded. Here’s a link where Dean talks about his experience in this new marketing technique


Also, The Greener Side will create cards with, say, your cover on the front and a blurb on the back. You supply the URL that you want to send the reader to and they can download the book. They run about 250 cards for $150. You sell at your ebook price, or whatever you choose.

It’s just another interesting new marketing technique to reduce the volume of paperbacks or hardbacks that you might carry around. Someone says that your book sounds interesting; you whip out one of these cards, and using the code, it’s theirs.

Recently I talked about humans living on an alien planet in Embassy Town and it brought to mind Sheri Tepper’s Grass. Although this came out in 1990, it is a distinctive novel that fits in with my recent discussions of alien worlds…and has gotten a lot of acclaim since being published.

Besides, I thought anyone named Sheri must be an interesting read.

Don’t you agree?

GrassSo I present Grass as a “gateway” book to the many novels of Sheri Tepper.

The human race has spread out over several wolds, yet a plague is threatening to wipe out all humankind.

Except one planet appears to be immune.

The planet is called Grass because the only plants that grow are various grasses.

Tepper opens by saying,

“Grass! Millions of square miles of it…a hundred rippling oceans, each ripple a gleam of scarlet or amber, emerald or turquoise..the colors shivering over the prairies…Sapphire seas of grass with dark islands of grass bearing great plummy trees which are grass again.”grass photo

And so builds a strong sense of place both exotic and strange.

On Earth, a splinter group of the Catholic Church called Sanctity dominates. They send Lady Marjorie Westriding her husband Rigo and children Stella and Troy along with Rigo’s mistress and a few priests to Grass in hopes of finding the cure for the plague.

It’s a covert operation because the natives are not forthcoming with any information about their planet or the alien indigenous species that inhabit it.

For good reason.

The human settlements are based on South American estancias with a strong English Manor flavor. The main sport is a variation on the fox hunt. The native Hippae with their associated Hound are capable of mentally controlling those around them…

And they’re not nice.

But they are the analog to a horse that humans ride to these “hunts.”Raising the stones

The Foxen are the elusive hunted ones.

Bizarre goings on and murky associations among humans and indigenous aliens form a compelling and unique story.

Be aware that Tepper has feminist and Eco friendly leanings that form a philosophy in the story.

And yet, this is an intriguing book that you’ll remember years and piles of books later.

I know I did.


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