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Mutagenesis

Mutagenesis

(1993)
A novel by

 
BookList - Marie Kuda
A twenty-seventh-century scientific expedition lands on Anu, a desolate planet deemed ideal for farming grasses long extinct on Earth. It finds a people whose women all seem to have reached maturity with the mental powers and demeanors of stunted children. These people of the Plain are controlled by those of Anu's Eastcountry, who offer the expedition's men their technology and super-virility if they will confine the expedition's two women to the ship. Geneticist Mattie Manan escapes and joins two rebel Plains women in traveling to the Eastcountry to rescue a friend. Perceived alternately as doctor or witch, Mattie unravels the secret of the Eastcountry's manipulation of the planet's gene pool, the ultimate goal of which is asexual reproduction. Although they add up to a book that lopes on too long, the three women's adventures are numerous and readable enough. They conclude with a standoff between Mattie and Eastcountry leader Gabriel, whose scheme she threatens with genetic virus time bombs she promises to control only if he leaves her and the band of followers she has attracted in peace.

Kirkus Reviews
In the 27th century, after devastating wars, Earth is rediscovering its long-lost, far-flung star colonies. The most remote of these, planet Anu, may be the repository of food grasses long extinct on Earth. But when an Earth expedition arrives, geneticist Mattie Manan encounters a culture so severely patriarchal that it refuses to negotiate at all if she is allowed off the ship. Though apparently primitive, this same culture employs "losos," speechless, upright human-animal hybrids, to do the work and tend the repressed womenfolk. Suspecting matters even more seriously amiss, Mattie escapes from the ship, then heads for the mysterious Eastcountry accompanied by inhibited natives Elizabeth, a gifted artist, and Erin, a mechanical-mathematical genius, whose talents gradually blossom now that their "fathers" are no longer present. After various adventures, Mattie is captured by the Eastcountry geneticist-whiz "elves," who plan to eliminate the female sex altogether, leaving only male genetic supermen. Moreover, their leader, Gabriel, is plotting with men scientists from the ship, offering a spurious immortality in exchange for the ship itself. And, while compelling Mattie to work for him, Gabriel comes to admire her scientific and intellectual qualities, and so will force upon her the honor of treatments that will turn her into an elf. Admittedly, the premise is skewed, and it's far from certain whether the plot adds up; yet, despite the flaws, Collins's debut is a well-thought-out, powerful, and often devastating feminist polemic.

 
Used availability for Helen Collins's Mutagenesis


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Hardback Editions

January 1993 : USA Hardback
Title: Mutagenesis
Author(s): Helen Collins
ISBN: 0-312-85387-4 / 978-0-312-85387-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Tor Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

May 2011 : USA Paperback
Title: MutaGenesis
Author(s): Helen Collins
ISBN: 0-615-47508-6 / 978-0-615-47508-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Niantic Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

January 1994 : USA Paperback
Title: Mutagenesis
Author(s): Helen Collins
ISBN: 0-8125-2163-3 / 978-0-8125-2163-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: Tor Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

March 2014 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition
Title: MutaGenesis
Author(s): Helen Collins
Publisher: Niantic Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   



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