I would like to thank DAW books for enabling my nostalgia kick rereading of books I read in high school.
I got this for The Gameplayers of Zan
, which I remember liking a whole lot. The other two books were written earlier and are trivial.
The Gameplayers of Zan takes place on Earth, where human overpopulation has resulted in an regimented, hierarchical, and homogenous society. The ler number in the thousands, I think, and live on a reservation, with a low population density and a deliberately primitive lifestyle. The exploration of the ler culture is the best part.
The book opens with the thirty-page interior monologue (indirect discourse, not first person) of a woman in a sensory deprivation chamber, meditating on space, history, order, chance, the evolution of human societies, and adolescent sexual experiences. No wonder it reminded me of C.J. Cherryh. But god is Foster verbose. The bit about a ler woman teaching humans and then going home on a monorail through the woods isn't any less slow, self-reflective, and expository than the bits in the sensory deprivation chamber. There are footnotes, although given the amount of information Foster was willing to put into narrative exposition, I'm not sure why he needed them. I was thinking about trying some of Foster's later books, but I'm not sure I can get through the prose without the ameliorating effects of nostalgia.