Death year plus twenty...
Imprisoned behind airwalls erected by mysterious alien benefactors called "Angelbees," small enclaves of humans have managed to survive the terrible nuclear winter. Now, two decades after Armageddon, young Isabel Garcia-Chase has finally come of age. And she burns with a dangerous, rebellious fever for knowledge, for freedom... and for the staggering truth about the enigmatic extraterrestrial creatures who may have destroyed a planet in order to save it.
The Wall Around Eden was Joan Slonczewski's third novel, published by William Morrow in hardcover in 1989 and reprinted by Avon in paperback in 1990. Although it's currently out of print, it can be found in second-hand bookstores.
"Somber, beautiful, compelling reading. I couldn't put it down."
"Slonczewski manages to bring a high degree of freshness to the material... The characters are fully realized, the aliens are compellingly strange but work under sound biological principles... This novel cements Slonczewski's reputation as an important new voice in the genre."
--San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle
"Read it, by all means!"
"A strong and gentle voice... A fine book by an up-and-coming talent."
"A thoughtful and unusual after-the-holocaust novel... Rewards the reader with beautifully developed characters and a hopeful view of humanity and its future."
"The Wall Around Eden is that rarity in SF: a book which is built around alien contact but in which human beings hold center stage. Slonczewski's characters are ordinary people, courageous and intelligent in ordinary ways, stumbling towards their separate complex truths. They are achingly real. Seldom have I read an SF book that so completely convinced me of the actuality and solidity of its created world. This is a wonderful book."
--Nancy Kress, Nebula-award winning author of An Alien Light
"Fits well with modern classics by Yolen and Le Guin... Sure to be an award contender... A work not to be missed."
"Slonczewski, a biologist, effectively describes a scary new world, filled with quaint-talking humans and primitive ways, whose fate is not resolved until a young female embarks on a quest that reveals the true nature of the aliens."
--Kevin Pritchett, Wall Street Journal
"As we have come to expect from this writer, we get a strong narrative, fascinating characters, and a good deal to think about after we set the book down.... Overall, well worthwhile and an interesting offbeat read."
--James Schellenberg, on the Challenging Destiny web site (the entire review is here)
"The Wall Around Eden deserves kudos for many reasons: for being pro-science and pro-knowledge, despite obvious temptation to stack the deck against this view; for presenting complex moral issues in a believable context; for refusing to do the reader's thinking by neatly resolving those moral issues; and for creating characters the reader is not ashamed to care about."
--Cathy Olanich, on the Linköping Science Fiction & Fantasy Archive web site
Last modified: September 7, 2000
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