SUDANNA, SUDANNA by Brian Herbert
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A tingling alien saga of rare depth and complexity--comparable to, but absorbingly different from, the intelligent, authoritative work of Brian Herbert's father, Frank. The peanut-shaped Planet Ut is home to light-bodied, bipedal, photosynthetic beings; Ut orbits the large planet Sudanna, original home of the Uttians and the subject of intense mystical associations. But, 15 million years previously, Ut was conquered by the U-Lotans. But, unaccountably disappearing, they gave the Uttians a three-part, computerized dictator system: Mamacita, an eyeball-sized computer; an endless, stringent set of Rules governing all aspects of Uttian conduct; and ""holo-cops,"" projections from Mamacita with the power of independent thought, to enforce those Rules. (Violators of the Rules face permanent brain-wiping.) So now, as various tourists roam Ut (including some from Earth), the planet is in the final throes of failing apart: Mamacita is wearing out. Still, ultra-cautious, conservative, conformist Hiley OIV is shocked when his rebellious daughter Maudrey becomes involved with dissident and ""music criminal"" Prussirian. (Prussirian likes to play the traditional stringed flute, which is against the Rules.) As the holo-cops close in, Prussirian must flee; poor abandoned Maudrey dies of grief; Hiley unexpectedly dreams about Maudrey, thereby becoming sensitized to Sudanna-influences. And, just before Prussirian is captured and brain-wiped, Ut separates into two mutually orbiting bodies as large chunks of Mamacita shut down--so, at the close, Hiley cautiously looks forward to a new, freer existence. Warmly involving, beautifully thought-out, thinking-reader's sf: the younger Herbert's impressive hard-cover debut.

Pub Date: April 12th, 1985
Publisher: Arbor House