Saturday, June 30

Being a Green Mother – Piers Antony

From a young age, Orb Kaftan could see sprites and hear the ethereal music of the Song of the Morning. Encouraged by her loving father Pacian, and with nothing for her at home after her virtual sister (technically aunt but also cousin) Luna and her father left for America, Orb set out to discover the Llano, legendary Song of Songs. She started travelling with Gypsies, picking up stories about and fragments of the Llano, and then joined a travelling show where she met a stuttering juggler named Mym. They fell in love, but were parted when soldiers took him back to his palace to be the next ruler. Neither of them knew she was pregnant until later. Unable to care for her daughter, Orb asked a Gypsy friend to place her with an American couple who would be able to give Orlene a good home.
Guided by Thanatos, Orb joined a music group, The Livin’ Sludge and, accompanied by Jezebel, a demoness cursed to transform into an insatiable succubus during the night, and by Lou-Mae, a choir singer, they began touring in Jonah, the fish cursed by God to swim for eternity but never through water.
Along the way Orb met a beautiful man, her equal in singing ability, and possessor of parts of the Llano. Natasha (whose parents had wanted a girl) was truly the ideal man for her, and as she got to know Nat better, she fell a little more in love with him. But then her mother, an aspect of the Incarnation Fate, told Orb she was destined to become Nature. Warned by several of the Incarnations, for Orb was prophesied as a child that she may marry Evil, she challenged to prove he was not a servant of Satan – he was able to speak words forbidden to His creations (‘God’, ‘good’, ‘heaven’) and touch a cross, then left in anger and disappointment that she doubted him.
Filled with remorse, Orb begged Natasha to return, for she was falling ever deeper in love with him. But was he really good?
Being a Green Mother was originally supposed to be the final instalment of the Incarnations series, and it certainly ends with a bang, rounding out many story lines raised in previous books. But Anthony says, in his expansive and trademark author’s notes, that there were still stories to tell. The connections between the Incarnations’ mortal and immortal lives are strengthened, and it’s satisfying to see pieces they were previously unaware of join up. Though, were this real, conspiracy theorists would have a field day – forget the secret cabal of alien/human crossbreeds that run the International Monetary Fund, the UK royal family and the US presidency! - Alex

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