Publishers Carb the fuck up skepticism

Read kindle GrassAuthor Sheri S. Tepper –

Generations Ago, Humans Fled To The Cosmic Anomaly Known As Grass But Before Humanity Arrived, Another Species Had Already Claimed Grass For Its Own It Too Had Developed A Culture Now A Deadly Plague Is Spreading Across The Stars, Leaving No Planet Untouched, Save For Grass But The Secret Of The Planet S Immunity Hides A Truth So Shattering It Could Mean The End Of Life Itself

10 thoughts on “Grass

  1. says:

    tis the season13 TALES OF TERROR BOOK 4once upon a time there was a delightful young story named Grass by Sheri S Tepper this story seemed to know exactly what i was longing for Horror in Space and so she provided it to me a fascinating planet full of strange multi colored grass, bizarre fauna, the ruins of an alien civilization a backdrop based around a particularly esoteric and semi totalitarian theocracy an expertly portrayed and atypical heroine who felt alive and real and who rather reminded me of Deborah Kerr in her various classy roles a perfect introduction to the planet s aristocrats, well rendered through the eyes of an uncomfortable young lady on her first foxhunt a foxhunt that is not a foxhunt, but something else entirely something inexplicable, something horrible a feeling of claustrophobia but, uniquely, a claustrophobia based on an entire planet, one filled with huge living spaces and wide, windy open ranges an atrocious plague spreading like wildfire from planet to planet the unsettling sound of beasts stamping out a threatening dance from not so distant caverns my gosh, those bizarre fauna the various moments portraying them gazing silently and malevolently at characters, up close and even eerily in the distant grasses such brilliantly sinister tableaux and those foxhunts this story was full of twisted emotions, strained familial relations, ambiguous motivations, intriguing mysteries, and a constant yet subtle sense of increasing dread how enchanting wonderful chills ensued from this delightful story i looked on Grass by Sheri S Tepper as the child i ve never had but always wanted a sort of Wednesday Adams Monday i was filled with pleasure at the sight of her alas, the child grew up somewhere around page 200, i think that winsome feeling of terror just on the horizon, that sweet sense of horror lurking just around the corner, all the subtlety and strange wonder vanished it was replaced by confusing xenobiology, a didactic chemistry lecture, a ham handed coincidence oops, that extremely important and provocative letter just dropped out of that villain s pocket , increasingly two dimensional characters, an extremely lame vision of God, creepy alien sex and not the good kind , the idea that a rebellious daughter is better off with her mind wiped clean, and repetitious obsessiveness with original sin what makes a good wife who is in love with who now and why and why won t they a precocious child grew into a distinctly tedious adult.but i will try to remember that child because the first half or so of this book was awesome.

  2. says:

    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 plumy trees which are grass again So opens Grass, Sheri Tepper s first fully successful novel and her masterwork, I think.If you ve read any Tepper, you ll have noticed that she takes a pretty dim view of human nature, especially among men and of religion, especially patriarchal religion The standard Tepper themes are here of course, they weren t standard back then but handled lightly and thoughtfully, with only a bit of the didactic ham fistedness that mars some of her later books What I didn t remember about Grass is the splendid sense of place she evokes Grass emerges as a fully formed, beautiful, and thoroughly alien world The formative image of Grass, to the Colorado born raised Tepper, is that of the American Great Plains after a good spring, which is indeed an oceanic experience one that your Oklahoma raised reviewer has shared, and misses.Sanctity, the noxious world religion of Tepper s Earth, is explicitly modelled on Mormonism Mormon readers saints will not be flattered though Tepper has exaggerated for effect Sanctity is not nice At times it verges on cartoonish, but then I would reflect on the banality of evil Tepper does a good job, handling evil Beauty 1991 is her masterwork of evil a remarkable book, but not for the squeamish Down, down, to Happy Land Ugh.The Hippae aren t nice, either Neither are the Hounds, another Grassian species she introduces in the Hunt, and splendidly develops as the novel progresses I ve seen criticism of Grass s ecology, but to this non biologist it seems reasonably sound, certainly good enough for fictional background.The extreme isolation and strange behavior of Grass s rural aristocracy are again drawn from Tepper s Western experience Larry McMurtry has written eloquently of just how strange isolated pioneers could get, and I remember similar stories from Oklahoma Tepper, McMurtry and other senior Westerners like me are just one lifetime distant from the frontier.Marjorie Westriding besides having a wonderful name, and a remarkably irritating husband remains Tepper s most memorable character The NY Times says she s one of the most interesting and likable heroines in modern science fiction Well, me too Westriding appears in two of Tepper s books, but is far less memorable in those But she s great here.The Great Plague, ah, that s where the dodgy biology lies, and it s a pretty contrived MacGuffin, too And the wrap up gets a little mooshy and pat But these are quibbles I had a great time re reading Grass, and you will, too Highly recommended.Review commissioned by SF Site in 2002,

  3. says:

    I ve no idea how this makes lists such as most underrated sci fi , or how it s in Gollancz s SF Masterworks range despite one or two interesting ideas it is, on balance, absolute drivel.The pacing is terrible The science is woeful The characters are tedious and one dimensional, and their dialogue wholly convincing However, much worse than that, the entire novel turns out to be some vehicle for the author to explore some uninspired hokum about Catholicism guilt, original sin, etc and horse riding fox hunting.Any opportunity to discuss colonisation of alien worlds, first contact with an alien race, the differing philosophical outlook of that race, telepathic control, sexual submission, genocide, or indeed any of the potentially interesting themes that emerge in this book, all ultimately become discussions about Catholicism and or horse riding Even the eponymous grass that comprises the alien setting for this novel serves no purpose other than to allow horse riding in space.I cannot recommend this book.

  4. says:

    There s a lot of things going on in Grass Religion, tradition, health illness, education, relationships all these things get batted around during the course of the book, and that s a big load for just 500 pages, but not unusual in a planetary romance of this sort However I liked the main character, Marjorie Westriding, with her love of her horses, her ability to ask the right questions of the right people, and the willingness to put herself in danger.As in her book The Gate to Women s Country, Tepper explores human relationship territory in which men and women seem to talk past one another, with Rodrigo not taking Marjorie seriously enough and Marjorie taking him way too seriously They do approach mutual comprehension several times during crises, only to back away quickly.Also explored is the issue of who is worth caring for The church of Sanctity has decided to let the plague run its course and the resurrect only a chosen few although they refuse to admit publically that there s a plague at all Marjorie has done charitable work, helping the people who have run afoul of Sanctity, and wonders why they are treated so unfairly, even if it s according to the church s rule book When she Rodrigo change planets, she begins to wonder if the native creatures of Grass give or receive consideration What about the noble class on Grass, who believe themselves in charge but are actually humoured by the so called lower class who run the planet s economy and are much educated than the aristocrats When aristocratic children are abducted and abused by the mysterious Hippae on Grass, are they heartlessly forgotten by their parents or are their minds being controlled And ultimately, are the people of Grass, who are immune to the plague, obliged to do anything for the rest of humanity Unsurprisingly the aristocrats and the priests come out of this tale looking poorly and I can t help but think that Tepper had colonialism in mind as she crafted this tale I can see where I m going to get thinking about this tale for several days to come Also, I m disappointed to note that the following two Arbai books follow different characters no Marjorie.Book 262 of my Science Fiction Fantasy reading project.

  5. says:

    One of my favorite science fiction books in recent years, this intricately plotted book creates a complete world and is utterly absorbing Tepper reminds me a bit of another favorite woman sci fi author, C.J Cherryh, in that she takes a somewhat anthropological approach to the alien societies she creates I won t go into details of the plot it s one of those complex sagas that doesn t summarize too well, but I will mention that I enjoy her style, which is lyrical and lush, much like the planet described in this novel.

  6. says:

    Grass is an absolutely stunning read Shari S Tepper is now one of my top adored authors I hate to use the overused noun tour de force , but I do not have the imagination to use another word for this novel It has everything a literary reader and a science fiction fan would require for an absolutely enchanted weekend of reading joy Intelligent, forceful, fast paced, enthralling, unique, rational I am SO happy However, I have read reviews which go a bit sideways from my ecstatic positive opinion of Grass , if not outright south of my position with disappointed groans So, I am including, perhaps, a mild spoiler the moral of the story is dogma is dangerous, and people who are dogmatic are people you should immediately guard against Life is a process of changing circumstances and paradigm shifting discoveries Dogmatic certainties are a poison to intelligent reasoning.IMHO, NEVER allow dogmatic believers in positions of authority Dogmatic minds are evil, and do much evil, since they persist in shaping reality to suit their unchanging philosophies, no matter the evidence or who must be killed to continue supporting their philosophy or idea It is a lot like how people believed in the Middle Ages when anyone who denied the earth was flat, or that the sun circled the earth, despite mounting evidence for a several centuries, was burned at the stake for heresy On the world Grass, two dogmatic societies vie for power and minds, using belief and sustenance as the whips to control those who they wish to command Fortunately for the small town of Commons, neither the Green Brothers, an outpost of disgraced Sanctity monks Sanctity is a powerful Terran Catholic breakaway sect or the antiquated seven bon families of aristocrats who live isolated in their estancias, or estates, populated by people who are the product of marriages of incest, care very much to extend their power beyond their locked down enclaves Grass is a mostly an unexplored planet, too, full of spiky creatures which kill people, although they appear to be half tamed pets of the bons, and mysterious forests, grassy plains and marshes in which people never come back if they dare to enter The book describes a future where religion, particularly Catholic rites and beliefs, have once again taken over human civilization The Catholic religion has split into two sects Old Catholic and Sanctity Religious philosophy is a strong cage for most of the dogmatic and philosophically enslaved minds of the high born, the wealthy, and the leaders of Terra earth Sanctified members of Sanctity are forcibly recruited by Sanctity in the areas the Heirarch controls Sanctity has a two child per couple rule If couples dare have three children, the third is declared illegal and forcibly moved into horrific slums, the parents losing their civil rights The third born is not permitted any pregnancy whatsoever, the penalty being death, and on their 16th birthday, third borns are forced to emigrate to the few populated outer worlds Old Catholics and Sanctity strictly control population growth on Terra, and even though the two religions oppose each other ferociously, they work together to limit any space exploration as well, hoping to prevent any ridiculous settlements which are free of their influence Grass is one such free world, but it is considered too lightly populated, outlier and remote, thus unimportant for both religions However, Grass was settled by a group of Sanctity monks interested in the strange plants and ecology of the mostly unknown world, and a few of the monks are curious about an ancient non human city discovered there another mysterious dead Arbai city Eventually, though, the planet became a dumping ground for disobedient Sanctified monks, most of whom were forced into Sanctity when children Sanctity and Old Catholic are now involved in another conspiracy hiding the fact plague has been attacking humanity everywhere It is a slow disease which kills everyone who becomes sick eventually There is no immunity To avoid panic, both sects are seeking out the people with the characteristic sores and isolating them When they are found, the infected are taken away, never to be seen again The few children who appear to not be infected yet are forced into religious service, although the religions maintain the fiction of voluntary induction Rillibee Chime is one such reluctant child, now almost adult monk He is chaffing under his religious enslavement, and he will soon commit the sin of trying to speak truth instead of religious lying, which will most certainly end up in the prison priory on Grass.Examining big data , Sanctity sees Grass is the only planet where no one has become infected with the plague Is there a cure there Disturbed, the plague infected Heirarch sends his high born relatives, Rodrigo Yrarier, and Lady Marjorie Westriding, as ambassador to Grass to secretly spy out the people of Grass, even though the Westridings are Old Catholic The Heirarch needs people who are completely trustworthy with the secret of the existence of plague Religiously indoctrinated and completely dogmatic believers are perfect, despite their Old Catholic beliefs Marjorie in particularly, has shown her faith in never questioning either the rules or doctrine of the Church, and she follows, and believes in utterly, the command and control of both Rigo her husband and the church teachings She disbelieves her own eyes and experiences, preferring to only see the frame and paradigm of reality that the church and her husband teach her Thus, the churches have complete faith the two ambassadors will properly understand whatever they discover within the doctrines of religious philosophy, not science or observation Both churches are confident God will not permit the cure to be something which involves thinking outside the box in the first place After all, God hates non doctrine thinking.Commoner Town is a small town on Grass the only town with a lot of ordinary people who work for the stupid bon aristocrats they don t know they are ignorant or tech stupid who are too proud to work themselves, although they depend on the lower classes to grow their food and clean their mansions The people of Commons pity them The Commoners have become very inventive, educated and tech smart However, they never speak truth to the bons, who proudly live on in their bubble of ignorance and separation The Commoners also maintain the Port, separate from the town, where space ships land, fuel up and deliver supplies, sometimes staying overnight or a week to enjoy the pleasures of Commoner Town.The bons have a secret ritual of The Hunt , where they ride Mounts, led by the Hounds, hunting down the Fox They do not question The Hunt , and keep away all others from participating The seven families alternate hosting the event at their estancias, and they all begin training for the hunt while children All bon estancias maintain utter silence about The Hunt , although they occasionally permit off world officials to observe, when they are forced, and of course, the Commoner servants often see the annual event since the servants are required to take care of the physically exhausted Hunt participants when they return if they return For some mysterious reason, none of the bon ever mention the young girls who go missing on the Hunt Rigo and Marjorie and their almost grownup children Tony and Stella ride horses, so upon hearing about the aristocrat Hunt of Grass, they naively bring a stable of horses to Grass, unaware the Mounts, Hounds and Foxes of Grass are not the animals they know by those names Mounts, Hounds and Foxes on Grass are monsters.This is a future of doctrinal beliefs, enforced by society, laws and personal choice, whether the beliefs are in church, class or government enforced teaching The people of Commoner Town are a democracy, but they keep their heads down since they have no military force or weapons However, the plague will kill all of humanity in time, perhaps in seven years Will anyone be able to break free of their dogmatic chains of thought or ideological mind control to find the truth The various leaders will kill before they allow free thinking, since such personal revelations threaten their power and control They have no belief in process or change in the first place, since the old eternal truths are cemented into society by god and class and religious doctrine.Marjorie has long accepted her chaste loyalty to Rigo, despite his concubine Eugenie, whom he brings to Grass along with Marjorie and their children She has also accepted the orders of her priest confessor, who travels with the family to Grass, to accept Rigo s authority over her However, Grass soon is turning over every religious philosophy she has believed completely Unlike all of her family and the bon, she finds herself unable to ignore the dangers she begins to uncover or the intelligent malice of the monster animals she sees with her own eyes Following the commands of Rigo and Sanctity to help find a cure for the plague, the religious paradigm into which she has willingly caged herself is proving to be a handicap If she will not disavow many of her beliefs, all of Mankind will die view spoiler The Foxen, the fourth and final stage of the metamorphic changes the dominant indigenous intelligence on Grass process through, amused me with their lack of action due to their endless philosophical discussions Some historians think the Ancient Greeks allowed their civilization to dissipate through such endless academic disputes and arguments They are famous for the success of thought experiments, but they are also infamous for completely discounting the value of actual experimentation with some famous exceptions Personally, I think the Ancient Greeks believed in experimentation than they were given credit It was the early Western Civilization cultures of Europe and their early scientists who often discounted actual experimentation, preferring to argue endlessly in scientific societies philosophic and thought experimentation papers, studying the ancient Greek and Roman and Mesopotamian texts, rather than getting their hands dirty touching actual objects, as did Galileo hide spoiler

  7. says:

    When a plague sweeps humanity, a diplomatic mission is sent to Grass, the only human settled planet without signs of the sickness Grass is nominally run by the bons, a patriarchal society modeled after old European nobility But the bons are far interested in the Hunt than in the running of the planet, or even the certain extinction of humanity The ambassadors are as ill suited to saving humanity as the bons are Lady Marjorie Westriding Yrarier is consumed with guilt, and her husband Roderigo is too busy trying to get his wife s adoration and the bon s respect to concentrate on the plague But at last, personal tragedies spur Marjorie on to first finding the source of the plague, and then confronting those who stood by and did nothing while it spread In so doing, the interconnectedness of sentient beings, the oddities of evolution, and the morality of genocide are all examined.Tepper has very little sympathy for most of her characters, and it shows She s also rather heavy handed when presenting ethical choices it s very clear what side the narrative is on at all times Although in the beginning this book looked like it was going to be a space faring take on culture clash, the middle section was entirely about how selfish and self involved Roderigo and their teenaged daughter Stella are And then the end is basically one scene after another of all the characters talking about how stupid and useless worse than useless actually harmful, in this book pacifism is, and how one needs to take moral stands and just commit genocide now and then It skeeved me out Plus, there s this whole subplot about Rillibee Chime being a Nice Guy and getting to take care of and eventually have babies with a trio of brain damaged girls I couldn t get over the sketchiness of it I liked Lady Marjorie a lot, but even she couldn t save this book Overall ambitious, but not particularly successful book Too heavy handed, and the plot is too poorly paced and disjointed.

  8. says:

    Unreliable narration is kind of trendy these days It s not the easiest thing to do well, and often enough I ve seen people kind of dismissively wave it away as a cop out And it very much can be a cop out Which is why it s really refreshing to see it used well, and I really enjoyed the way this book kept catching me off guard again and again Grass is an old fashioned science fiction book, in the best sense It s set on an ecologically interesting world with a fairly small human colony There s a number of interesting concepts explored, and a satisfying conclusion to the story But it s the way the book kept cutting my feet out from under me with assumptions I didn t realize I was making that I m going to remember.As far as the technology marches on problems that can plague older science fiction, there really isn t any of that What there is, however, is social commentary that feels outdated The main character is a devout Catholic woman in a loveless marriage Much of what is said about the role of women, and the Catholic moralizing, is outdated Though perhaps not as much so as I would have said at the beginning of the month Tepper passed away a few weeks ago, and I had never even heard of her A friend is a big fan, and I read this on her recommendation This was overall excellent, and deserves to be better remembered.

  9. says:

    Sheri Tepper has never been my favourite science fiction writer I ve only read two of her books, and while I thought The Gate to Women s Country was interesting feminist dystopia utopia, I really disliked The Fresco I thought the solutions in that one were very deus ex machina, although the bit about impregnating right to life male senators with alien babies was very amusing , and that if you need to have unbiased aliens to come fix all your problems, and they ll do it perfectly and be perfectly understanding, you ve just reintroduced the idea of God in alien clothes.Note The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement You can read why I came to this decision here.In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook

  10. says:

    Not my favorite Sheri Tepper book I totally loved The Awakeners and Plague of Angels but Grass was a bit too wordy and tedious, even a little preachy at times An average book from a usually above average author.