Tor, Oct 2001, 26.95, 366 pp.
Having recently moved to the Canada Great Plains to escape from recent tragedies and feeling alone, Morgan Shelby decides to open her inherited mansion to a bunch of oddball outcasts. Though her boarders are an eccentric group, one particular individual stands out among the crowd.
After an interview and studying her résumé filled with work involving handicapped children, the Canadian government hires Morgan to raise an alien infant Blue. Now one must understand that alien does not mean an immigrant from another country for in Blue's case alien denotes another world. Even more shocking is that Morgan's band of misfits are used to mistreatment and even taunting from an ultra-conservative nation. People find it difficult to accept the androgynous off-world creature. Morgan learns more than her blank slate ET as Blue begins to fill her soul with caring and nurturing even as the government and her other guests see Blue much differently.
A PARADIGM OF EARTH is an exciting character study of the human condition through the interaction of an extraterrestrial being. The story line is incredibly insightful especially when those who have suffered abuse turn abusive. The evolution of Morgan from a vacuous person into a tender and affectionate individual mirrors the development of Blue, which in turn augments the deep look inside the souls of the earthling and her alien guest. Candas Jane Dorsey is quite a talent as she provides science fiction readers with a strong tale, but those fans that need testosterone running amuck need to skip this relationship tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner