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The Leaves of October was a finalist for the 1988 Comptom Crook Award for best first SF novel of the year.


The Leaves of October

A Novel of the Scattered Worlds

ISBN: 0-9716147-4-1
300 pages

The Hlutr . . .

Immensely old, terribly wise . . . and utterly alien. Long before life crawled from the oceans of Earth, the forests of the Hlutr stood on a million worlds. Their soundless songs filled space, and their mastery of evolution had brought peace to countless planets.

When Mankind went out into the stars . . .

He found the Hlutr waiting for him. Waiting to observe, to converse, to help. Waiting to judge . . . and, if necessary, to destroy. Humans were savage, uncontrolled, aggressive and unpredictable. Should the Hlutr encourage them -- or exterminate them?

The Cult Classic
Back in print after a decade and a half

Parts One and Two of this book, originally published as Analog novelettes, each appeared in The World's Best SF anthologies for their respective years. The novel was a finalist for the Compton Crook Award. Wavelengths Online calls it "an underrated SF gem." Speed-of-C Productions is proud to bring The Leaves of October back into print with a brand-new epilogue written just for this edition.

Stardancer calls The Leaves of October "profoundly beautiful." Read her review here.

Rambles says:

The Leaves of October was first published in 1988 and I wish I had read it then. It uses a series of short stories, following two different time lines, to unfold the relationship between man and Hlutr.

The stories focus on the interactions between individuals as they tie into the relationship between species. Sometimes they are adversaries, often they are friends, but they change those directly involved and the world around them.

The one thread focuses on the relationship between one man as he grows up and a Hlutr. These tales are brief moments, showing the changes he goes through, the important moments of his life as he shares those moments with the Hlutr. It eventually ties in to the other thread near the end of the book.

The second thread travels through time to show how the relationship between man and Hlutr grew. Each story is told by a Hlutr as they try to understand man, sometimes amazed and sometimes shocked by what we do. At times they struggle with what to do with us, whether they should save or destroy a species that is capable of so much good and so much that is ill. The answers never come easy and as in all things the past influences the present.

Not only are the stories well written, the characters are real. At times you can see the edges of what could have been if they had chosen differently. You also see parts of why they chose to do what they did.

And their choices stem from who they are and what has gone before. There is always a reason, and the reasons make sense. The only flaw in the book is the number of spelling errors in one of the stories. Don Sakers has woven a wonderful tapestry of tales together into a greater whole with The Leaves of October . Take the time to listen to the tales with heart and mind, to see what they have to show.

- Rambles
written by Paul de Bruijn
published 9 August 2003

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