A novel by Sheri S. Tepper
, third in the loosely knit Marjorie Westriding trilogy. Sideshow follows the investigation by Fringe Owldark and Danivon Luze, council enforcers on the planet Elsewhere, of mysterious reports of dragons in the province of central Panubi. Elsewhere is an experiment in diversity, where each province is left absolutely alone, whether they like it or not, whether they commit crimes against humanity or not. Elsewhere has no concept of absolute morality - everything except diversity is relative. It was establish by people fleeing the Hobbs Land Gods - a botanical virus that links people telepathically, which you may recognize from Raising the Stones
. Convinced that this telepathy
, Elsewhere was established to discover Man's destiny, as only pure humankind could. In their search, it becomes terrifyingly clear that there are not only dragons but gods, gods that have become malevolent and real - and maybe the Hobbs Land Gods too. With her bizarre companions Nela and Bertrand the 20th century siamese twins
and Jory and Asner, mysterious and ancient travellers, Fringe
struggles to discover what is going on - and to resolve her inner turmoil as she begins to question the morality of the absolute diversity she is sworn to protect.
A beautiful fascinating book. A little bit preachy, but always tongue in cheek.