Yaleen, the river-woman, has always been involved with "the black current," a strip of black running along the center of the river that separates the eastern bank from the mysterious western side. No one is really sure what the black current is, but the people sense that it is alive and powerful, as it allows only women into the river and brings madness and death to men who enter more than once. Longing to experience that freedom, Yaleen drinks of the black current and joins the River Guild. But when her brother Capsi discovers a way to cross to the forbidden western side, Yaleen is caught in the middle of a battle that could end the world.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.22" Width: 5.52" Height: 1.13" Weight: 1.38 lbs.
Release Date Apr 1, 2004
Publisher Benbella Books
ISBN 1932100245 ISBN13 9781932100242
Availability 0 units.
More About Ian Watson
Ian Watson is one of Britain's greatest science fiction writers. His books include "Chaos Child," "Deathhunter," "The Embedding," "The Great Escape," "Miracle Visitors," and "Mockymen,"
This book really started out pretty good, nicely paced to our dawning understanding of an extraterrestrial colony and how their society developed, but then devolves into a shuddering mass of pseudo-cosmic poop at the end (actually, like the whole final third). It's very unsatisfying when an author schemes up a story that culminates in situations-that-cannot-be-described, and we the readers are left holding the bag of whatever-it-is. Fortunately Watson's "Mockymen" is much more even.
Garrison Keiller is an Ian Watson fan and so am I! Apr 23, 2004
Here's what Keiller had to say about Watson on April 20, 2004:
"It's the birthday of science fiction writer Ian Watson, born in St. Albans, England (1943). He grew up in England in the 1950s, at a time when realistic fiction about working-class British was becoming all the rage. Watson read novels by writers like Kingsley Amis, Alan Sillitoe, and Colin Wilson, but he grew tired of reading about depressed people living in bleak towns. He started reading science fiction novels, and a few years later he started writing them.
His novel God's World (1979) is about a group of astronauts who set out to find heaven in a distant solar system. In The Jonah Kit (1975), the universe is discovered to be just a few microseconds old, and a whale is given the soul of a human. Watson's most popular books are those that comprise the Black River/Yaleen trilogy: The Book of the River (1984), The Book of the Stars (1985) and The Book of Being (1985). In these books, a river divides two societies, one female-dominated and one male-dominated. Men from the male-dominated society who try to cross the river are driven insane."
You can find this at http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/docs/04_04_19.htm and scroll down to April 20th, and get the audio.
I'll add my two cents:
Yaleen is a brilliant work that shouldn't be possible because it succeeds on so many levels at once - it's deeply thoughtful while being filled with action, it's profoundly feminist while deeply honest and fair, it's a true classic while being enormously fun to read.