FLOATING WORLDS by Cecelia Holland


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To keep track of the floating worlds, not to mention the drifting attributes, of Paula Men. doza--cool interplanetary diplomat and inexhaustible victim--one needs several floating heads. It all seems to begin when Paula, resident of a far, far distant future Earth with its anarchist society, takes on a job with a vaguely defined ""Committee"" which hopes to keep peace among extraterrestrial factions. Because she speaks Styth, the language of a savage mutant race which hails from somewhere near Uranus, Paula is off on a career of life-among-the-Styths, as they finally conquer a fascist Mars, wipe out Earth and some points in between. As for Paula, she's alternately a nervy adventuress with the bite of a snapping turtle and a shivering timorous beastie amongst the virile Styths: to one she bears a son; to another, who has the ability to glide in and out of bodies, she's first a foil, and finally a challenge. There are routes and ruts (the Styths resemble Holland's Mongols in Until the Sun Falls, 1968, although they smell of copper instead of goat hide), as well as messy futuristic hardware. Too swampy for the crisp demands of sf; too packed for fast-moving adventure; but Holland's fans--who can recognize the author's competent but ever-randy heroines in or out of farthingales--will probably persevere.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1976
ISBN: 0759286132
Publisher: Knopf