Juniper Time

Juniper Time
Author: 
Language: 
ISBN10: 
0671436848
ISBN13: 
9780671436841
Pages: 
280
Published: 
April 3rd 1981 by Pocket Books (NY)
Rating: 
3.62

Juniper Time is a 1st-rate sf novel. Kate Wilhelm has done her usual excellent job of weaving an intricate plot & sympathetically portraying believable & complex characters in settings that are described with force & clarity. This '79 novel is set in the not-too-distant future, when a devastating drought in the American West & much of the rest of the world has caused economic & social collapse. The story alternates between the viewpoints of Cluny, a scientist dedicated to the construction & operation of a space station, & Jean, who was Cluny's childhood friend but has now gone her separate way & become a linguist, naturalist & photographer. Wilhelm's most powerful & engrossing writing, it seems to me, is in her descriptions of the natural world & of the vastly different ways that people relate to it. Jean's experiences on the Oregon coast are beautifully described, as is her life on the high desert of Oregon with the Wasco Indians. (Wilhelm & husband Damon Knight live in Bend) Jean gradually comes to understand the way of life of the Wasco people & her spiritual growth is described very effectively. Cluny & Jean are reunited when they become part of a project intended to discover if contact with an alien civilization has occurred. Their decision may determine whether a nuclear war between the USA & the USSR can be avoided. The climax of the novel is unexpected but believable. I recommend this book very highly.--Michael J. Keyes

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