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This Alien Shore
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This page will attempt to provide you with information on This Alien Shore. There are lots of spoilers in the Hints and Reader comments section, so if you haven't read the book, you may want to avoid that area.

  • Her editor and agent both say TAS is one of the biggest, most exciting, most important SF books to have been published in years.
  • Buy your copy now at Amazon.com! Also on sale at Barnes & Noble.

    What's Available

    All Things TAS
    Excerpts from the manuscript Cover Concepts from Michael Whelan Final Cover Art for This Alien Shore Hints, Comments, Interviews, Q&A

    All Things TAS

    Hints from CSF:
    Before the novel came out, I asked Ms. Friedman if she'd be willing to offer up some clues as to what this novel would be about. Below are copies of the replies I received via email.

    "As you all seem to have noticed, my works grow out of themes as much as plots - and the themes in this one are human madness, obsession, and a true interface between mind and machine (I find most cyberpunk treatments of this theme sadly lacking, myself). When insanity is the key to ftl travel, what does that make of the universe?"

    "Not trying to imitate ICB in the new book, only capture some of the elements that made it successful -- a high tech, highly fragmented society with intensely competitive elements, dark and violent angst, an exploration of the limits of the human mind...it is, in fact, the only thing I have worked on thus far that could actually have a sequel, as the world is really complicated enough to support that."

    "The toughest part of TAS is that one of my main characters is an adult autistic. Such people may function well in many areas, but are insensitive to many of subtle emotional signals that accompany human interaction. Any sections from his POV therefore cannot use the kind of information that is an author's stock-in-trade, that is, insightful observation of other characters' mood and motivation."

    These are some of the original excerpts that were forwarded to me prior to the novel being published. It's interesting to read them now and compare them to the finished passages.

    There are some serious spoilers in the interview transcripts that I've received permission to post. Please don't continue unless you've read the book, or if you do then please don't complain if anything was spoiled (hey, you were warned).

    The interviews I've posted so far are:

    1. A transcript from an email exchange between Ms. Friedman and Bill Egan. It was forwarded on to me by her and printed with both parties' permission.

    2. A transcript from an email exchange between Ms. Friedman and Phil Fraering. It was forwarded on to me by her and printed with her permission.

    3. A transcript from an email exchange between Ms. Friedman and myself, focusing on what inspired her to write this novel and some of her sources of background information. It was printed with her permission.
    Like the interviews there are many spoilers to be found, so please don't follow the link unless you've read the book.

    The FAQ page contains singleton questions or smaller exchanges than the longer threads posted to the interviews page. Please feel free to email questions to either myself at webmaster@merentha.org, the Merentha Discission Listserv, or CSF herself.

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