FLOWERDUST by Gwyneth Jones


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A companion volume, rather than a sequel, to Divine Endurance (1987), set in a farfuture Southeast Asian peninsula ruled by the Koperaci -- troops recruited by the decadent and highly secretive Rulers who live offshore. Ages ago, a Ruler toy factory created several immortal organic robots, among them Divine Endurance the cat, and a girl doll, Cho. The cat hates humans and does as she pleases; Cho is programmed to give her human companions what they want. This time, flowerdust -- a drug that affects fertile women in inimical and unpredictable ways -- is being distributed on the island Ranganar; and Cho's human, Derveet, a revolutionary forever suspicious of the Rulers and their occupying army, decides to investigate. With her companions -- the bookkeeper Cycler Jhonni, the Prince Atoon, and the treacherous, abused scholar Endang -- Derveet focuses on a former companion and wannabe warlord, Jeeby Ilamzah. But Jeeby turns out to be a woman, now hopelessly addicted to flowerdust. She leads Derveet and the others into the jungle, where a hidden camp confines people afflicted with all manner of infectious diseases. The Rulers' intent was to release the camp's inmates and thus wipe out the inhabitants of the peninsula. Unfortunately for the Rulers, the magic of the all-woman dapur councils prevents the spread of infectious diseases. So, the second phase of the Rulers' plan will go into effect: to destabilize the peninsula by causing a flood of refugees. Discomfiting, like its predecessor, and imaginatively bold -- but badly in need of some new plot ideas.

Pub Date: July 1st, 1995
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Tor