What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

Wingwomen of Hera (Cosmic Botanists Trilogy, #1)
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SOLVED: Adult Fiction > SOLVED. 1980s feminist sci-fi, lesbian bird women, the term “youngling” is used. [s]

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message 1: by Ellie (last edited Dec 15, 2018 03:12PM) (new)

Ellie (baticeer) | 51 comments Okay, now that I solved my previous lost book, I’m starting another thread for this other one, haha. Trying to find an adult sci-fi book from the 80s with feminist, LGBTQ themes. It’s about a society of bird women, or bird people. I think there are no men, but maybe there are and it’s a matriarchy, or maybe gender is non-normative in some other way. I believe they are not fully aliens, but started as genetically modified humans, or were a progenitor species, or something along those lines.

There is a non-violent contact between them and normal humans from a society that is much closer to our own– perhaps time travel is involved? or it is like humanity meeting an offshoot colony for the first time since they departed? The bird people are high-tech, they live on either spaceships or some sort of unusual structure (like an asteroid belt or something?) that is not a standard planet.

I also want to say that they are all brightly rainbow colored, and that the book involves a normal human woman forming a romantic relationship with one of them, buuuut I also might be conflating it with The Long Way to A Small Angry Planet, which I read around the same time.

“Bird” or a bird species might be in the title, because I spent a minute thinking that The Sparrow by Mary Russell was this, but it’s definitely not, LOL.

The bird people call youth in their society “younglings.” I am 100% certain of this detail and also the decade of publishing, because I remember having the thought “younglings? Like in Star Wars?”, checking when the book came out and seeing it was in the 80s, and then I looked it up and learned that “youngling” is an actual archaic English word, not something invented for the Star Wars prequels.

ETA: When I did a text search for “youngling” on Google books, the only relevant non-SW result I got was the Faded Sun trilogy by C.J. Cherryh, and I was briefly excited but it's not that. It does seem like those books have a society that uses the term, but they are violent warrior aliens, not peaceful utopian bird-women.


message 3: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (baticeer) | 51 comments Not it -- none of the covers look familiar at all, they're not bird-like, and it doesn't have the space travel, first contact aspect. But that one does look interesting! It's definitely got a similar vibe.


message 4: by Rosa (last edited Dec 15, 2018 04:32PM) (new) - added it

Rosa (rosaiglarsh) | 5198 comments Enchantress from the Stars, or one of its sequels?


message 6: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (baticeer) | 51 comments Wingwomen of Hera!! That's it. I remembered it as soon as I saw the cover - and that it says it's part one of the Cosmic Botanists Trilogy! I remember thinking, heck yeah I want to read about cosmic botanists 😂

I didn't know about the text search on archive.org. That's useful. I bet I would never have found this by someone recognizing the story because it looks like it's very unknown, no reviews or synopsis on this site. I did find a synopsis on google books:

A comet falls between two planets ... lashed by its tail, both planets are thrown from their comfortable orbit, reeling crazily. Finally, they slow, stabilise, and settle into new paths of destiny. Maladar, an icebound world in which only the strictest adherance to rules protects its inhabitants from the formidable environment; and Hera, sculpted to a lush beauty from which the sensual and intelligent wingwomen, botanists by instinct live, until ... a baffling, lethal disease brings the unlikely entanglement of these two populations.


That all sounds right. The double planet thing is what I was misremembering as "unusual planet structure".


message 7: by Rosa (new) - added it

Rosa (rosaiglarsh) | 5198 comments Wonderful! I thought it sounded likely, that’s why I put it first. It sounds very interesting.


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