Copies of the fourth volume of the Marq’ssan Cycle, Blood in the Fruit, which will be released on January 1, have arrived at Aqueduct. As we usually do with books not in the Conversation Pieces series, we’ll be offering them for sale on our site at a one-time special price of $15 until the release date.
Blood in the Fruit opens in October 2086. After ten years’ absence, the Marq’ssan Fleet returns to Earth to determine whether humans should be quarantined, and a young alien, unprepared for the shock of human culture, becomes a dangerous loose cannon taking violent, unilateral action. In the Free Zone, a flood of renegades led by Elizabeth Weatherall establish a fortress; even Hazel Bell, Weatherall’s lover, doesn’t know what they’re up to. In the US, when the government responds to increasing dissent and civil disorder by ratcheting up its repressive tactics, brave and dedicated human rights activists like Celia Espin join forces with the Free Zones in a global challenge that threatens to undermine governments around the world. Blood in the Fruit offers a grand, sweeping story through the eyes of four individuals with markedly contrasting perspectives and experience.
So far there’ve been two reviews. Don D’Ammassa, who writes for the Science Fiction Chronicle, says “The novel - the series for that matter - is a distillation of political and ethical philosophy, a commentary on the importance and frailty of human rights, a feminist dystopia, and something of an adventure story, although most of the real conflict tends to be on the intellectual rather than physical level. This is the kind of novel which probably won't appeal to a mass audience, in part because it steps outside the usual genre rules. For those willing to invest the time to actually think about what they're reading and work out the implications, it's a treasure house.” The second reviewer (for Publishers Weekly) obviously doesn’t fall into the category of “those willing to invest the time to actually think about what they’re reading and work out the implications,” for the second review declares that my writing “exudes man-hating.” In my experience, people call someone a “man-hater” because she’s a lesbian or a feminist or both. Certainly this novel has lots of lesbian relationships and lots of feminism… You know, I’m suddenly picturing myself as an evil lunatic growing fifty feet tall, brandishing a long curved blade dripping blood, laughing maniacally. (Gee. I’ve really got to work on that laugh.)
In any case, judge for yourself. You can download the
first two chapters from Aqueduct's site.