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Louise Lawrence (1) (1943–2013)

Forfatter af Støvets børn

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21+ Works 831 Members 29 Reviews


Værker af Louise Lawrence

Støvets børn (1985) 287 eksemplarer
The Earth Witch (1981) 71 eksemplarer
Månevind (1986) 55 eksemplarer
Andra (1971) 54 eksemplarer
Dreamweaver (1996) 52 eksemplarer
Star Lord (1978) 52 eksemplarer
The Warriors of Taan (1986) 46 eksemplarer
Calling B for Butterfly (1982) 42 eksemplarer
Keeper of the Universe (1992) 27 eksemplarer
The Power of Stars (1972) 25 eksemplarer
The Patchwork People (1994) 21 eksemplarer
Journey Through Llandor (1995) 20 eksemplarer
The Crowlings (1995) 15 eksemplarer
The Dram Road (1983) 4 eksemplarer
Cat Call (1980) 3 eksemplarer
Sing and scatter daisies (1977) 2 eksemplarer
The Witch and the Weather Mage (2013) 1 eksemplar

Associated Works

The Young Oxford Book of Timewarp Stories (Young Oxford Books) (2001) — Bidragyder — 35 eksemplarer
Out of Time (1984) — Bidragyder — 18 eksemplarer

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Originally read this as a teen and the ending and the cover stuck with me, as an unusually bleak ending for a YA book of the time (though it was issued when the YA category didn't even exist in publishing and was just shelved in the children's library at my local library). Saw a secondhand copy of this original first edition hardbook a while back - with the abstract painting of Andra with her long hair shown here, totally unlike the paperback cover. Re-read it in one sitting, it is an easy read, and could now see all the flaws not apparent when younger. Won't include spoilers here but one quite unbelievable scene is where they see a film of a distant planet they want to colonise, and the vegetation is identical to earth down to all the various fruits and grains etc. There are quite a few other 'clangers' from a science fiction viewpoint. I agree with other reviews that Andra's character is rather 'fey' and erratic to a rather annoying degree and that the story is very much from various male viewpoints, odd for a book with a central female character. But it also illustrates that the dystopia genre in YA is a lot older than Hunger Games.… (mere)
kitsune_reader | 2 andre anmeldelser | Nov 23, 2023 |
This is Louise Lawrence's second novel, another story for young adults (or at the time of publication, older children, as there was no YA category in the UK in the early 70s). As with her first, the science fiction elements are weak but this novel's human relationships are better. The relationship of the two 17 year boys and 16 year old girl come across as convincingly oblique and edgy, given the tension between the two boys - Jimmy, who has known Jane since their childhood and regards her as part of the furniture, until she acquires a guardian who buys her nice clothes so that she doesn't have to wear school uniform all the time, and Alan the newly arrived boy from a wealthier background who has his own car and treats Jane as an individual from the start. Jane is bitten by a rabbit that appears to give her a 'contamination' from space and soon Jane cannot stand machinery and is able to explode it - with fatal results. Only Jimmy believes this, whereas Alan is falling for Jane and cannot let himself believe until brought face to face with incontrovertible proof. So ironically it is Jimmy who accepts Jane until the end although he is the one trying to stop what she is doing.

This book is a little more 'mature' than her first novel, where the girl protagonist was a perfect beautiful character whom everyone except the evil villain loved, and who shared a room with two young men without any attraction emerging between any of them. In The Power of Stars, there is some innocuous 'romance' in that Jimmy invites Jane to the school dance once he realises that she is a girl, and Alan is falling for Jane, although the only oblique reference to sex is when Alan is accused of bringing Jane back to his parents' house after she turns up at her guardian's place at four in the morning, and indignantly denies he would do such a heinous act, and that he took her home at midnight.

Without giving away spoilers, the science fictional aspects although weak are not such a stumbling block as they were in Andra where they were central to the story because this book is fantastical: for example, if the energy of stars is sufficient to allow Jane to blow things up, wouldn't the sun's rays be even more efficacious? Yet it is the stars alone that do it. This does allow Lawrence to write some evocative scenes of darkness, stars, and people wandering around at night, so for her it has to be the stars rather than the prosaic scenes that occur in daytime. The SF is really a spurious explanation for what could be a psychic ability in another novel. The original edition's cover blurb admits that, saying that the novel "combined a compelling story of supernatural powers with a deep and sympathetic understanding of young people and their emotional relationships".

Some of the aspects of the book truly belong to the 60s or the early 70s when it was published: for example, Jane's guardian, an eccentric female scientist, initially keeps bats locked up - when bats have been protected in the UK for years and couldn't be treated like this legally - and later keeps Jane locked up at night for Jane's and everyone else's own good as she sneaks out to stare at the stars otherwise and charges her machine-destroying batteries, when imprisoning her in this way would be treated as child abuse these days.

The only adults featured in the novel are the scientist and Alan's stepfather, also a scientist/doctor: otherwise, the story is rather lacking in adults, as Alan's mother, although referred to, never appears, Jimmy's parents likewise do not appear and Jane is already an orphan living with her grandmother when the story starts.

In common with Andra, the viewpoints are really those of the young men, Jimmy and Alan, and Jane is fairly passive though far less irritating than Andra - really because she does far less, just moons around when not blowing things up. In view of the more convincing setup of this book compared to Andra, and the evocation of the setting and mood, I am rating it an additional star, but it is going to frustrate anyone who wants real science fiction.
… (mere)
kitsune_reader | Nov 23, 2023 |
An interesting YA read, which centres around the question of free will and whether or not it is better to have responsibility for your own actions and end in disaster, or be sheltered from them but be stultified and robbed of creativity and a spiritual dimension to life.

Christopher is flying to Greece to take on a menial job as an escape from the life mapped out for him - University, a money earning high flying job - which he dreads, when the plane explodes and he is the sole survivor. He finds himself in the castle of Ben-Harran, one of the Galactic Controllers who are meant to be responsible for all intelligent life forms within his particular domain, which turns out to be the galaxy in which Earth is situated. However, unlike his fellow Controllers, Ben-Harran believes that such life forms must be able to evolve and learn from their mistakes rather than having satellites positioned around their worlds beaming controlling rays at them which prevent aggression but which don't allow the inhabitants to develop self control.

Ben-Harran has brought Christopher, and representatives of two other planets - Mahri, a barbarian queen, savage and tyrannical to her former people, and Kysha, a young woman from one of the planets which are controlled - to his domain, a 'castle' which is created by a form of psychic technology. Kysha has been used to learning everything by rote, including the Life Laws, rules that prevent killing of life forms and meat eating, and has severe problems adapting when she suddenly experiences negative emotions which she has never had to learn to control. Christopher meanwhile struggles to understand whether Ben-Harran is a monster or a good man. One of the planets in the Milky Way galaxy has recently been destroyed by nuclear war, which Ben-Harran could have prevented if he had been willing to suppress the aggression of its people as the rest of his colleagues are doing in their own galaxies. Now he is being summoned to the alternative dimension called Atui where his colleagues rule, to face trial and banishment to a remote world. His only possible defenders are the three people he has kidnapped and who have had to wrestle with the issue of free will for themselves.

The rulers in Atui have, in effect, appropriated the role of God and robbed their subjects of faith, as the same rays they use to keep aggression from appearing also rob people of imaginative abilities and spiritual yearnings. The central question of the novel is whether it is better to live in the safety of a predictable existence which lacks religious belief, or any true art or music, or to have the possibility of creative and spiritual evolution and fulfilment in a world where war, famine and other attrocities are permitted to exist.
… (mere)
kitsune_reader | Nov 23, 2023 |
This struck me at first as having a very similar set up to Alan Garner's famous 'The Owl Service'. Rural Wales, a poor Welsh boy and a well off English girl and boy whose father now owns the land, instead of the original Welsh, in a valley where an old Welsh myth appears to be playing itself out. Except here we have a woman who transforms between beautiful young maiden and hideous old crone, and requires the sacrifice of a young man to maintain her fertility and that of the land.

Owen is the young Welshman who starts off open hearted and friendly, and helps the forbidding woman who has moved into an old cottage belonging to a deceased member of her family, an old crone whom no-one liked. Gradually, she thaws in her attitude towards him and he spends more and more time there, restoring her garden and doing up the house.

At first Owen, who was raised by his Aunt Glad and Uncle Ivor because he is illegitimate and her mother left when he was a baby, is looking for a mother figure, but the relationship develops beyond that as Bronwyn seems to grow younger and more beautiful. Soon they are scandalising the neighbourhood, this story being published in the early 1980s and set in a more conservative place than a big city in any case.

The relationship has an unhealthy undertone as Owen moves further away from everyone he previously held dear. He can't even eat the food prepared by normal people. And there are sour notes in the presence of a vicious dog kept by Bronwyn but mistreated by her, and an equally savage pig. Plus she gives him quite frequent lectures about how women are mistreated and done down by men, but with a mythical slant, as she identifies with the land and speaks of herself as if she has lived as the female characters of Welsh mythology, goddesses and other semi supernatural beings. Ultimately, as summer winds to an end and October sets in, she will require a sacrifice and even if Owen does not succumb, he will never be the same again, and elements of Bronwyn will be reborn in the English girl who is his friend and perhaps wants to be more.

One oddity in this book given its Welsh setting is the occasional jarring usage of American terms for things, e.g. closet and candy. Plus there are rather a lot of references to a 'math' book and 'math' homework in one section, whereas the British term is maths. So that tends to bump the British reader out of the story when it occurs. Otherwise, it is a dark story with a lot of atmosphere and evocative description of the Welsh landscape and seasons, and definitely the best of the six books by Louise Lawrence that I have read so far.
… (mere)
kitsune_reader | 1 anden anmeldelse | Nov 23, 2023 |



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