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In this lush interplanetary tale, Novic is an immortal Sayneth priest who flouts the conventions of a matriarchal society by choosing a name for his child. This act initiates chaos that splits the boy in two, unleashing a Jekyll-and-Hyde child upon the universe. Named T-Mo by his mother and Odysseus by his father, the story spans the boy’s lifetime — from his early years with his mother Silhouette on planet Grovea to his travels to Earth where he meets and marries Salem, and together they bear a hybrid named Myra. The story unfolds through the eyes of these three distinctive women: Silhouette, Salem and Myra. As they confront their fears and navigate the treacherous paths to love and accept T-Mo/Odysseus and themselves, the darkness in Odysseus urges them to unbearable choices that threaten their very existence.
- Julian Novitz (novelist, shortlisted Commonwealth Short Story prize 2014) – “A highly imaginative and well written novel with some highly evocative scenes and well realised characters, it uses the conventions of its genre to explore sophisticated themes.”
- Nike Sulway (author,winner Queensland Premier’s Literary Award 2000) – “The voice is particular and energetic: by far the strongest element of the work. The sentences have a bridling, writhing energy that, at its best, carries the reader forward at a blistering pace. The style is reminiscent of Toni Morrison, particularly in works like The Bluest Eye, where she experiments with non-standard English, but is far more playful. The combination of voice infused with the playful energy of a form of Standard Black English, combined with a story of quests and magic produces a unique work.”
- Prof. Kevin Brophy (poet, novelist, short fiction writer and essayist, joint winner Calibre prize 2009) – “It is not easy to make a work of fiction keep to its genre boundaries and still be an original work. Eugen Bacon’s novel is ambitious and skillful enough to pull this off. This is a novel with several types of magic in it, the magic of beautiful prose, the magic we expect of these characters, and a magically large heart within the telling.”
- George Green (author) – “Worlds are described, like those from Calvino’s Imaginary Cities, held up for the reader to admire, and then disappear to invite extrapolation . . . There is magic and magical powers, all described with a delight which is convincing and controlled. There is also realism, of a sort; places where the concerns and actions of the characters are similar to our own . . . The world described here is strange and yet familiar; more importantly, the worlds are fully imagined and fully realised. We are placed into it confidently and with assurance, and allowed to make our own way.”
- Dominique Hecq (award-winning poet, novelist, short story writer) – “The first thing that strikes me about the novel is how efficiently the mood is set, and how effectively it draws the reader in by way of identification at a deep level. Striking are how efficiently the plot is set in motion and how effectively the cast of characters are drawn in the story. The use of language—the breadth of vocabulary and the attention to detail are absolutely engrossing.”