SKY MAN ON THE TOTEM POLE? by Christie Harris


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Despite the opening focus on a seething, rebellious individual, young ""Prince Filthy"" is soon disposed of and this turns out to be the history of a people -- or, rather, two peoples: a tribe of Northwest Coast Indians whose growing arrogance, stemming from their belief in the divinity of a skyman ancestor, brings disaster; and the mechanized, technologically advanced population of a distant planet whose greenery is dying because, heretics whisper, the people do not talk to plants or recognize their spirits. The novel (?) is based on an Indian legend about a Man-from-the-Sky who carried off an Indian princess and returned her to earth years later with six grown children; Harris, who suggests that the skyman could have been a real man from space, retells the tribe's story in terms of Velikovsky's Worlds in Collision, Von Daniken's Chariots of the Gods? and Tompkins and Bird's The Secret Life of Plants. (We can't help wondering how long this last will keep its following now that the authors have decided that not only plants but yogurt as well has emotions) The problem is that Harris takes these pseudoscientific sources as literally and as grimly as her inevitable muttering elders take the endless portents of delayed disaster -- omens which become, here, less effective in sustaining tension the more frequently they are evoked.

Pub Date: March 12th, 1975
Page count: 167pp
Publisher: Atheneum