by L. Timmel Duchamp
Seattle, February 2076. The Marq'ssan bring business as usual to
a screeching halt all over the world, and Professor Kay Zeldin joins
Robert Sedgewick, US Chief of Security Services, in his war against
the invaders. Soon Kay is making rather than writing history. But as
she goes head-to-head against the Marq'ssan, the long-buried secrets
of her past resurface, and her conflicts with Sedgewick and Security
Services multiply. She faces terrifying choices. Her worldview—her
very grip on reality—is turned inside out. Whose side is she really on?
And how far will she go in serving that side?
"The coupling of real thoughtfulness and rip-roaring excitement is as rare
in science fiction as in any other genre. But here, in Alanya to
Alanya, they're locked together in the most exciting—and
certainly the most intelligent!—tale of alien invasion I've read in
decades. Because it is believable, it's fascinating. And, in the years that
have seen Margaret Thatcher go and Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice
arrive, Kay Zeldin is an extraordinarily effective portrait of a political
—Samuel R. Delany, author of Dhalgren
"The intersection of science fiction and politics has always served an
important critical function, from George Orwell's dystopian 1984 and
Ursula Le Guin's The Dispossessed and The Left Hand of
Darkness to Robert Heinlein's ultra-nationalist Starship
Troopers, but until now they have always served as a means of analyzing
political structures. With L. Timmel Duchamp's million-word Marq'ssan novel
(broken into five books), anarchy is extrapolated. This is not anarchy in
its popular sense, but in its truest sense. It is also feminism at its most
fundamental level, and neither can be un-twined from the other."
read the whole review)
—Sean Melican, Ideomancer, March 2007
"Alanya to Alanya does just what a political sf novel should do:
it leavens its political message with first-rate futuristic extrapolation,
chilling dystopianism and a breathless adventure story that keeps you
turning the pages. It was a refreshing read and a rare example of deft
—Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing, July 2006 (read the whole review)
"Not an easy or comfortable book, but one that rewards a thoughtful reader
who is willing to give up simple action plots for a close consideration of
political and social ideas. In fact, the closest comparison one might give
is to some of Le Guin’s later work—no small
recommendation. Worth looking for." (read the whole
—Peter Heck, Asimov's, June 2006
"Readers who still appreciate the anger and surety of those early works can
take heart at the publication of L. Timmel Duchamp's Alanya to
Alanya...[T]hose with a serious interest in dystopias and particularly
the feminist version thereof should find L. Timmel Duchamp's Marq'ssan
Cycle a rewarding experience."
—Michael Levy, New York Review of Science Fiction, December 2005
"Politically savvy and philosophically relevant, this title puts a human
face on today's problems."
—Library Journal, June 15, 2005
"Alanya to Alanya is an intriguing mixture of SF genres and styles:
It has utopian and dystopian elements, a strong splash of the political
thriller, a good mystery subplot in Kay's amnesia, a hint of the sense of
discovery that imbues first-contact novels and plenty to say about the
current state of the real world." (read the whole
—Science Fiction Weekly, June 27, 2005
"Alanya to Alanya is SF on a broader scale, with The War of
Worlds as one inspiration, but its metaphors apply to a very human
tangle of loyalty and betrayal, politics and idealism—Wells and
Orwell updated for the end of the 20th century."
—Locus, June 2005
"[Duchamp's] political world building has a level of detail and
believability that rivals Bruce Sterling at his best, and her pacing is
much better than most other books driven so heavily by political concepts,
such as Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged or Sheri S. Tepper's The Gate
to Women's Country."
—Strange Horizons, November 30, 2005 (read the whole review)
"This is the first of a five novel series which mixes politics, aliens, and
a variety of feminist and political issues which might easily have become
unreadably polemic and convoluted, but which is surprisingly readable and
entertaining despite its heavy load of subtext."
—Don d'Ammassa, Chronicle, September 2005
"Alanya to Alanya is not so much an exploration of the way humanity
responds to an alien presence as an illustration of how a world under siege
from its own governments finally revolts; the invaders are simply the
catalyst for change."
—Seattle Times, July 3, 2005 (read the whole review)
"My 'discovery' of the work of L. Timmel Duchamp was, as usual, pure
serendipity...her intellectual grounding and her political activism
both contribute to create a novel that is highly readable and as
politically relevant as any novel I can recall."
—Ritch Calvin, The SFRA Review, Jan./Feb./March 2006