A Woman of the Iron People
Published December 1st 1991 by eReads.com
(first published 1991)
ISBN: 0759224161 (ISBN13: 9780759224162)
Edition Language: English
BLURB: Lixia and the members of her human crew are determined not to disturb the life on the planet circling the Star Sigma Draconis which they have begun exploring. But the factions on the mother ship hovering above the planet may create an unintended chaos for both the life on the planet and the humans exploring it. As the anger increases on the ship, the ground crew becomes more and more affected by the conflict and begins to rely on their instincts to keep the project moving forward. Unexpected danger plagues the mission as Lixia is determined to expand her knowledge.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Reto Popsugar 27: Un libro ambientado en otro planeta.
This is a First Contact story. With furry hominid aliens.
The alien society portrayed here is of the matriarchal variety. Pre-industrial. The females live generally in nomadic villages , they grew vegetables, take care of the children, tan skins, cure, knit, and are the shamaness and smiths. The males are encouraged and expected to leave after puberty, where they live in the wild , hunting alone, herding animals, guarding territories if strong , and waiting spring to mate.
The males are think as ill tempered and intolerant of other males or people in general; are solitary. The weak males are pushed far , and the old are tolerated in the fringe of villages until their dead or going crazy running into the wild.
There are no wars, no homicide, no crime.
They exchange gifts , crafted jewelry, knives, embroidered clothes (the males do that craft btw), or food. Or stories.
The myths of the world are narrated in the book, interesting tales of creation, spirits, demons and cautionary tales.
All the above are the best of the book. The alien characters are complex and rich, specially Nia. 'Normal' seems elusive for this smith. As hapiness for all the 'perverts' that divert for the rules of normality.
“Women never quarrel with strangers?” I asked.
“Once in a while. Hakht did. She is a bad person.” Nia said this firmly with conviction. “And Inahooli did. She was crazy.[...] But ordinary women, women with self-respect, never quarrel except with people they know. Kinfolk and close neighbors. That is the right way to have an argument.” Nia ate more fruit. “There is no way to be certain who a stranger is or what will happen if you give her trouble."
Where the book gets heavy, fortunately near the final quarter of the book, it is with all the blabla of the human crew - old school socialist marxist . The Russian and Chinese characters are like cartoons.
Remember the theory of Jiang, the plumber. It's our revolutionary duty to rescue these unfortunate people from stagnation."
With the exception of Lixia, the hawaiian anthropologist She is the main protagonist, a sort of chronicler or observer in the planet. Empathic and naive too, she is the only whom seems fall in love with the planet or maybe is just the 'inmersion' period. In another hand, Derek , the other researcher, is an annoying arquetipe of californian male whom all-in-life-is-easier, the contrast is hard. As character Derek is obnoxious in great part of the story.
The debate about the human intervention is moot, it's the thing 'you observe - you change' thingy , to me.
Conoci a esta autora por Círculo de Espadas, el cual parece encontrarse bastante en el futuro de este primer encuentro.
Lo raro/extraño: Todo ese concepto de socialismo soviético de los años 1970s es tan extraño metido en una expedición científica , es como una vieja serie de tv con camaradas y eso. Muy cliche. Y la mera idea de que solamente los paises capitalistas son los responsables de la contaminación del planeta ... no, eso NO es cierto. Y, la verdad es que suena tan extraño ser salvados de la extinción por una utopia socialista.
Ara made the gesture of agreement. “You are right about that. Look at the Trickster. He thinks he is so clever. He runs around setting traps and telling lies. And what happens? He falls into his own traps half the time, and his lies get so complicated that he can't keep track of them. That isn't clever. It's stupid-smart.” He paused. “What is the name of your people?"
Finally everything became so bad that no one could come up with anything comforting to say. Then the people said, ‘Change is impossible. It's already too late. Anyway, we don't really mind the way things are.'” I paused. “Those are the four kinds of lie the people told. ‘We are making things better.’ ‘There is no problem.’ ‘There are no real gifts.’ ‘It is too late to change.’”