Copyright 2000 by
I first read this in June 2000 and most recently in April 2001
Antonio is the major of Toussaint, a Caribbean-settled planet.
Discovering his wife is cheating on him, he seeks revenge
against her lover. Subsequently he flees Toussaint's implacable
computer-controlled "Nanny" justice, taking with him his seven-year old
daughter, the lovely Tan-Tan.
They escape to New Half Way Tree, the world where the bad people of
Toussaint are exiled. So much for an escape! Conditions on New Half Way
Tree are primitive and tough. This is all a little rough
on Tan-Tan who is more used to a pampered life-style than
grubbing around in the jungle. Life gets even worse for Tan-Tan until
she in turn has to flee an unforgiving justice. Living with the Douen,
the indigeneous race of New Half Way Tree, she slowly comes to adulthood
and some rapprochement with her sense of guilt.
It's a lyrical lovely story steeped in Caribbean folklore.
If you enjoy this kind of work, this book will leave you dreaming of
Tan-Tan, or yourself, as the Midnight Robber, and you'll keep the book
for your children.
For me, being of a more shallow disposition and with no knowledge of
Caribbean folklore, it was just an interesting read that missed the
mark with so many opportunities cast carelessly away: multi-dimensional
parallel universes, superb aliens, Artificial Intelligence,
nanocomputing, and the reclamation of civilisation.
Loaded on the 16th May 2001.