“Humans have settled on a distant planet, Tofarn, choosing to co-exist with the original inhabitants, the Tofa. Significant differences between the two civilisations inevitably result in misunderstandings and unrest. In an attempt to breach the cultural divide and open a working dialogue between the two species Dr Cadell proposes a unique and controversial project: to engineer the birth of fraternal Human-Tofa twins. It’s hoped that the bond between such ‘Twin-Bred’ will be enough to overcome communicative and cultural issues between species forming a group of ‘paired’ ambassadors that will work towards securing a stable future for all.”
Genre: Science Fiction
One of my favourite science fiction authors is Ursula Le Guin, someone who is known for exploring cultural differences in an extra-terrestrial setting (think The Dispossessed and The Left Hand of Darkness). What I liked most about Twin-Bred is the detail with which ‘differences’ between species was explored and how this naturally unfolded throughout the story. It may have also helped that the fairly controversial ‘Project’ is an attention grabber. Would it work? Or could it be considered going a step too far?
The only snag lay in the scope and timescale of the novel in that it was set over decades, meaning that it was difficult to get emotionally involved with many of the characters aside from the main protagonist, Mara. That said, it was an incredible story was well-written if perhaps in a semi-clinical tone (that I felt suited it well) and had me genuinely hooked. If you’re looking for a new Sci-Fi book to try I’d definitely recommend this one.