Aspect, Sep 2004, 14.95, 389 pp.
In the distant future, mankind has colonized many planets, but it is the Nine Families of Vanar who control the worms, artifacts made and abandoned by an ancient race that enables female pilots to fly to three hundred systems reducing interstellar distances. The Vanar take other ships with them as they traverse the universe with their monopoly. On the planet itself the women citizens are the ruling class while the men are slaves needed to help produce the next generation females.
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Ambitious AI botanist Nathan Crewe convinces a space pilot to take him to Vanar where he plans to pick specimens to prove a theory. The authorities catch him within an hour of landing and inform him he will never leave. Nathan is adopted by one of the powerful Nine Families and is forced to marry into one of the Nine Families. Although he is less than chattel, Nathan feels Vanar is home and begins a legal fight to make changes to the social caste system.
MASTER OF NONE is an in depth look at a society in which women hold all power while men need permission to simply leave the house, are unable to attend university, or hold a job beyond breeder. Nathan coming from the outside thinks initially the planet is backwoods, but begins to change his mind as he gets to know people. Could he be suffering from the Stockholm syndrome or just believe that Vanar is home? He wants to make change so that his gender has rights paralleling much of the civil rights movement. This is a masterful science fiction tale that cleverly spotlights social inequities.
The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner