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SIDESHOW [Hardcover]

Sheri S. Tepper
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 1 1992
The author of Raising the Stones tackles timeless issues on the planet of Tolerance, where the people of each province had been free to rule themselves however they chose, until some customs began to cause strife between countries. 20,000 first printing.

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Product Details

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Loosely related to her earlier books Grass and Raising the Stones, Tepper's newest big novel questions the desirability of further evolution. A sentient fungus has infested most of the galaxy, reworking the life forms it inhabits to enhance their physical and spiritual comfort. The people of the planet Elsewhere, however, see the fungus's contented hosts as slaves; to preserve free will on Elsewhere, the rulers have imposed absolute cultural relativity within which pleasant and unsavory societies coexist, their integrity rigidly maintained by Enforcers. But powers have arisen to challenge the status quo: creatures resembling dragons are reported in unexplored regions, and evil entities in the computer network are manifesting themselves in a deadly way. The planetary provost, Boarmus, sends a crew of three Enforcers with an assortment of misfits to investigate the dragons, while he tries to thwart the net-beings. The pointlessly complicated plot veers off into long digressions that add only pages to the main story, and though Tepper tries to raise the stakes with debates over current issues such as isolationism and sexism, she fails to grapple with the complex implications of these concerns. After her last book, Beauty , this one is a disappointment.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

The world of Tolerance, where each province governs itself without interference from its neighbors, suffers from a sickness at its core, and only a small group of misfits and alien travelers can find the key to the world's survival. This final volume in the triptych that includes Grass ( LJ 9/15/89) and Raising the Stones ( LJ 8/90) begins slowly, as the author painstakingly introduces her characters to the complexity of the plot, but ultimately Tepper's imaginative vision holds forth and delivers one of her most challenging works to date. Libraries interested in acquiring significant sf should consider this rewarding but difficult title.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
IT WAS A WONDERFUL STORY UNTIL A HERO, ZASPER, WAS UNNECESSARILY KILLED OFF. The loss was wholehearted and stunning. Sometimes our authors need not be so cutting and cruel to the psyches of their readers. It is just too convenient to knock off a key player. The same applies to our number one heroine. The grand finale was too much like the videos given at the end of a high school play, where too many people require the stage!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A *very* good book June 12 2004
I do not often write reviews here but this time I simply had to share. I had never heard of Sheri S. Tepper before reading this book so I started reading it without any pre-conceived notions of what to expect but already from the first page I was convinced that it was a great book - and all the rest of the book, every page of it, was just as good as the first one!
The book has just the right mix of mystery, a good action-laden plot and loads of interesting philosophical questsions all mixed together into a convincing and enjoyable package.
The plot of the book has already been described by others on this page. I'll just say that I think that the Great Question (what is the ultimate destiny of man?) is something that we DO need to answer.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Plot-heavy but fascinating Nov. 3 2002
This was my introduction to Sheri Tepper and, while I didn't understand all the references to the previous happenings in this trilogy, I couldn't tear myself away. I liked the characters a lot, I loved the world (altho it is a little similar to one of Jack Chalker's series), and I thought the overall plot was good. If you like plot-driven books (as most SF books are), you probably will enjoy this one. Plus, the sheer variety in this world is fascinating. I would probably recommend that you start off with Grass, tho it didn't hurt me to do it backwards. This book will always have a place in my heart since it introduced me to a great SF writer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Feb. 22 2002
I enjoy science fiction, especially science fiction by women. Sheri Tepper is one of the best sci-fi writers in the world and this is her best book. She creates great stories that also have relevance for life on earth today. Don't miss this one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful! Oct. 24 2001
I loved this book because of its intricate detail and the way it deals with the problems of humanity. I absolutely could not put it down. I want to run to the library now and check out everything written by her.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment to an avid Tepper fan Oct. 18 2000
By A Customer
I am a great fan of Tepper, I own and have read all of her books. Unfortunately this book struck me as repetitive in the resolution of the characters, especially Owldark. I read for pleasure as well as to learn, this book was so dark and uncomfortable that I did neither.
While the story was well crafted, I didn't like any of the characters and could not make an investment in their stories. The creativity and ingenuity of the plot may however be enough for other readers.
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