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The Book of the River
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The Book of the River

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Author: Ian Watson
Publisher: DAW Books, 1986
Gollancz, 1984
Series: Black Current: Book 1

1. The Book of the River
2. The Book of the Stars
3. The Book of Being

Book Type: Novel
Genre: Science-Fiction
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Synopsis

Yaleen always wanted to join the boating guild and become a riverwoman. It was the most important role for a woman in her world. The boats sailed up and down the eastern shore, from Tambimatu in the south (where the river emerged from the base of the unclimbable Far Precipices) to the sea in the north. Only women could travel the river. A man was allowed on trip, with his wife-to-be, but if he dared set foot on a boat again the black current would call him to his death. It was the black current, too, which made the river impossible to cross. It ran the whole length of the waterway - gelatinous, mysterious, and alive. On the western bank lived other people who could sometimes be seen through telescopes, but they appeared to be male-dominated savages. When she was accepted in the Guild, Yaleen little suspected that she was embarking upon a course which before long would take her across to the western shore, and into the heart of the black current itself.

Ian Watson's novel is perhaps the most colourful and enjoyable he has written. Set on a strange distant planet, it offers a feast of mystery and dramatic incident.


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