Monday, July 2, 2007

Brenda Cooper's "The Silver Ship and the Sea"

Brenda Cooper is a technology professional, a science fiction writer, and a futurist. She’s the co-author of the novel, Building Harlequin's Moon, which she wrote with Larry Niven. Her solo and collaborative short fiction has appeared in multiple magazines, including Analog, Asimov’s, Strange Horizons, Oceans of the Mind, and The Salal Review.

She applied the "Page 99 Test" to her novel The Silver Ship and the Sea and reported the following:
Page 99 is the end of one scene, and the set up for the next. In the scene that's ending, the heroine Chelo is concerned about her friend Alicia, who has been accused of murder. Like Chelo, Alicia and four other teenagers are genetically altered, and thus stronger, faster, and more agile than others on the colony planet of Fremont. They aren't exactly well-liked. Chelo is trying to talk Sky, one of Alicia's only friends in the roving band of scientists she lives with, to come forward and speak on Alicia's behalf. This may endanger Sky. But the same forces that have converged to threaten Alicia have angered Sky, and she agrees to meet Chelo later and start a conversation with the colony's leaders.

The beginning of the next scene describes an upcoming harvest feast, but as Chelo walks through the crowd, she is worried.

Even though I can't quite jump up and proclaim page 99 as the most compelling page in the book, I'd say that the main themes – conflict between the six genetically altered children and the rest of the space colony – are plainly visible. Sky, who we are really just meeting for the second time here, turns out to have a few important supporting-cast roles in this book and the sequel.
Visit Brenda Cooper's website and her LiveJournal; read an excerpt from The Silver Ship and the Sea.

--Marshal Zeringue