This will probably be my last instalment of Science Fiction Saturday, because my library didn’t start off with having a lot of SF in it, and I think that I have shown you most of what I have been picking up in the last few months since I fell down the rabbit hole of second-hand book shopping.
The Tower and Hive series by Anne McCaffrey is one that I started reading back in the late 90s, but I have never finished it. Not because I wasn’t enjoying it, but first because my library didn’t have the next book and then because life. Recently, I’ve managed to pick up all four books for when I’m finally ready to finish the series. Yes, my copies are terribly mismatched, but hey, at least I got ones from the save cover set even if they are small and large paperbacks and hard cover.
In this series, we have people with telepathic ability that are key to the wide spread human civilisation – being key in both communications and transporting goods between planets. There are different levels of ability, with the primes being the highest. These primes live in towers where they are ultimately responsible for this talent within their posting. At the beginning of the series, a little girl with off the charts telepathic ability is the sole survivor of a tragedy in a mining settlement. The book largely follows her experience from there through to becoming prime, and beyond. There is some romance as she meets another prime (though outside of the official network) from a far flung planet that isn’t supposed to have primes yet, struggling with a serious virus circulating. I don’t think the Hive is introduced until the second book, which is centred around The Rowan’s daughter Damia. The Hive is an alien race that is coming with malicious intent and the primes have to band together to assist in the defence of the outer planet(s) and generally their whole civilisation in general. I can’t remember what happens beyond that but I did enjoy what I read of it and definitely want to continue and would recommend. If you don’t like to have any romance in your science fiction, you might want to give it a miss though as there is some.
Here’s the blurb on my copy of book one, The Rowan.
The Talents were the elite of the Nine Star League. Their gifts were many and varied, ranging from the gently telepathic, to the rare and extremely valued Primes. On the Primes rested the entire economic wealth and communications systems of the civilised worlds. But Primes were scarce – only very rarely was a new one born.
And now, on the planet Altair, in a small mining colony on the western mountain range, a new Prime existed, a three-year-old girl – trapped in a giant mud slide that had wiped out the rest of the Rowan mining community. Every Altarian who was even mildly talented could ‘hear’ the child crying for help, but no one knew exactly where she was buried.
Every resource on the planet was centred into finding ‘The Rowan’ – the new Prime, the first ever to be born on Altair, an exceptionally unique Prime, more talented, more powerful, more agoraphobic, more lonely, than any other Prime yet known in the Nine Star League.