In a semi-tropical London, surrounded by paddy-fields, the people feed off the sun like plants, the young are raised in Child Gardens and educated by viruses, and the Consensus oversees the country, ‘treating’ non-conformism. Information, culture, law and politics are biological functions. But Milena is different: she is resistant to viruses and an incredible musician, one of the most extraordinary women of her age. This is her story and that of her friends, like Lucy the immortal tumour and Joseph the Postman whose mind is an information storehouse for others, and Rolfa, genetically engineered as a Polar Bear, whose beautiful singing voice first awakens Milena to the power of music.
Margaret St Clair is best known for her shorter science fiction and fantasy, much of the latter written under the pen name of Idris Seabright. She has a remarkably ironic sense of humor, and many of her stories have social or philosophical themes. Contents: Idris’ Pig (1964) The Gardener (1949) Child of Void (1949) Hathor’s Pets (1950) The Pillows (1950) The Listening Child (1950) Brightness Falls from the Air (1951) The Man Who Sold Rope to the Gnoles (1951) The Causes (1952) An Egg a Month from All Over (1952) Prott (1953) New Ritual (1953) Brenda (1954) Short in the Chest (1954) Horrer Howce (1956) The Wines of Earth (1957) The Invested Libido (1958) The Nuse Man (1960) An Old-Fashioned Bird Christmas (1961) Wryneck, Draw Me (1980)