One of the joys of SciFiMonth is a big buddy read. For our classic read-along, I’d like to introduce you to Golden Witchbreed, an epic of knife-edge (and knifepoint) diplomacy, beguiling world-building and cultural tension as humanity tries to persuade the post-apocalyptic world of Orthe to open its doors to the galaxy.
I didn’t mean to read this, but I’m ever so glad I did – it’s an excellent book and a great introduction to Mary Gentle.
Earth has mastered FTL travel, and sent diplomats and xeno-teams all over the galaxy to establish relations with our alien neighbours. Relatively inexperienced Lynne Christie is sent to the enigmatic world of Orthe / Carrick V when the previous envoy dies – in part, she soon realises, because she is expendable.