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reading anything and nearly everything

Review of Cary Neeper View Beyond Earth

Please note - The author kindly gave me this book in exchange for a fair review

Tandra Grey is a ‘normal’ human being who is struggling to combine a career with her role as single parent. She enjoys her life and does not hanker for adventure.  But, then she receives an invitation to a party; an invitation to meet a stranger. Reluctantly, she goes to the party.  The alien stranger that she meets there will change; her life, her views on her identity, the two species she encounters,   and our world.  This meeting will change her life forever.


The stranger invites her to be a; human ambassador, guinea pig, and scientist on his own planet/spaceship.   Tandra accepts and the alien whisks her and her child into; space, into the heart of a complex community and into a new understanding of life and identity.    She is thrust into the heart of a strange community of aliens; a community that is a synthesis of two of very different alien races: one race highly sensual; while, the other is rational and scared of touch.    Tandra must form relationships with both of these very Alien races.    She must learn to accept, and celebrate their alienness.  She must learn to see beyond her own race/species, learning to see her new friends’ uniqueness. She must learn to see them as themselves rather than a mirror of her own human identity.   She must cast aside her human-centred view of the universe.  If she is to save, both; the important new relationships she has made and humanity as a whole.


This is an important lesson for the Human Race as a whole.  We must learn how to accept and celebrate the ‘other’; seeing them, not as a mirror of our own identity, but, as beings ensconced within their own uniqueness.  This book challenges us to question the way that we treat the ‘other’; human or otherwise.   


So, this book deals with important issues but like most of the best science fiction it encases these issues in a really good story.  The main characters, human and alien, are interesting in, both their sameness and difference.  The world is excellently drawn and very believable. This book is reminiscent of classic science fiction. The type of story that, those of a certain age, read as a child.  But, this story has a modern outlook that makes this old-fashioned tale feel modern and relevant. If you are looking for a, good science fiction story, then this is a good place to land