Monday, March 27, 2017

"Check Out Bishop's 'Others'" | @ the Library Article

Anne Bishop began writing as a child, according to her website, until she thought her writing wasn't good enough.  So she left off writing to make a living doing other unspecified things.  Then she got an idea for a short story which she wrote and published in 1989.  Then another, and another, etc., until she got the idea for a novel.  That novel was Daughter of the Blood the first book in the Black Jewels trilogy.  The 'trilogy" now includes nine titles and Bishop has moved on to create other worlds.

Written in Red, the first title in Bishop's "The Others" series, is a re-imagined world in which humans are a minority.  The majority are the Terra Indigene known disparagingly to most humans as "the Others."  Ultimate predators, many of whom are shapeshifters, they have an uneasy relationship with the humans.  They want the things the human manufacture, so the Others rent the humans land to farm and live on and allow some hunting but they don't trust humans to keep their word.

They do trust humans to cause trouble, and to mob and kill the Others when the humans forget the consequences of such an act.  These vary from higher fees for water to eviction to the destruction of the town (depending on how upset the Terra Indigene are or how severe the infraction).  Elementals may cause the destruction, so a human town may end by flooding, blizzard, or drought.  Of course, the Terra Indigene might just eat all the humans...

Written in Red finds a runaway freezing in a snowstorm.  She sees a lighted doorway and hopes to be able to go in long enough to thaw her feet.  When she gets to the door she finds that it's only the security light.  By the light she can see a Help Wanted sign and decides to take a chance and apply for the job around the corner at Howling Good Reads (as the sign instructs).

Busy closing his bookstore for the night, Simon Wolfgard sees a human obviously not dressed for the weather.  He asks what she wants and when she says she "saw the sign about the job" Simon decides to give her a chance.  He dislikes the only other applicant for the job.  Those who apply for the job of Human Liaison are either trying to take advantage of the Others or are running from something or someone.  But there's something different about this obviously runaway human and it isn't the awful smelling red hair dye job.

Simon finds Meg confusing, and Simon's nephew responds to her as he hasn't responded to anyone since his mother was killed.  Meg knows when she sees Simon that her death will happen sometime soon, because she had a vision.  However, visions are open to interpretation.  Meg survives and keeps the job.

She also survives Murder of Crows, in which she sees visions of the deaths of many Others and prevents them.  One other thing settled is the matter of Meg's previous "owner" and the future of many of the other Blood Prophets like Meg.

Book three, A Vision in Silver, and book four, Marked in Flesh, relate the worsening tension between Others and Humans despite what Meg, the female pack (her friends) and the local police can do.  A radical human group causes trouble and misdirection for Cel-Romano's war.  Finally it comes to a head and the Terra Indigene Elders take a hand and a bite out of many humans.

We'll see how Meg and her human pack does in her latest, Etched in Bone, brand new at all library locations.  Check them out at the Abilene Public Library. 

Article by Marie Skufca, Information Services Librarian at the Main Branch Location

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