Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Treecat Wars: Compelling YA science fiction

Cover art: "Treecat Wars" by David Weber and Jane Kindskold
Treecat Wars by David Weber and Jane Lindskold is a Young Adult science fiction novel that will be published this October by Baen Books.

Treecat Wars is the continuation of a story that began with A Beautiful Friendship and continued in Fire Season. The series tells the story of first contact between a young girl, Stephanie Harrington, and a race of beings called Treecats on the planet Sphinx.

Harrington and a treecat, Climbs Quickly, formed a telepathic bond and, as Treecat Wars opens, Harrington has been offered an opportunity to go off-world for special training.

Back on Sphinx, a treecat clan whose territory was destroyed during the recent fire season is bereft of land and faces starvation if it cannot find a new territory.

As a backdrop to the story’s central drama of the homeless treecat clan, human xeno-anthropologists are trying to determine the treecats’ level of intelligence. Humans -- even those in bonded relationships -- are limited by what the telepathic and telempathic treecats refer to as “mind-blindness.”

Treecat Wars is a compelling story that raises important parallels with humanity’s past injustices and failures in the area of race. Political factions advocate placing treecats on “reservations,” supposedly to protect them from “contamination” by human influence. In reality these factions hope to benefit human land-holding interests on the planet Sphinx.

Some issues addressed in Treecat Wars are unresolved at story’s end, leaving this reader hopeful for further volumes in the series.

My thanks to Corinda Carfora, sales and marketing, and Toni Weisskopf, publisher at Baen Books, who shared new and upcoming titles during a recent Booklist webinar.

Stephanie Harrington is the ancestor of Weber’s character Honor Harrington, an officer in the Royal Manticoran Navy who has a telepathic bond with a treecat named Laughs Brightly.

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