Cover image for Acorna's world
Title:
Acorna's world
Author:
McCaffrey, Anne.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : EOS, [2000]

©2000
Physical Description:
306 pages ; 25 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780061050954
Format :
Book

Available:*

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Status
Central Library X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

Acorna the "unicorn girl" -- found as a baby years ago, abandoned and floating alone in an escape pod at the far end of the galaxy -- has made peace with her past, her Linyaari heritage, and with the powerful "differences" that set her apart from the loving humans who raised her. But only in the deep reaches of limitless space can she truly feel at home.

Now, aboard the interplanetary salvage vessel Condor, Acorna is free once more, traveling through space in the company of her good friend, ship's commander Captain Jonas Becker, his gargantuan feline "first mate" Roadkill, and Aari, a proud Linyaari survivor of torture at the hands of the savage, bug-like Khleevi. But the journey is interrupted when a transmitted distress call -- faint but undeniable -- draws Acorna and her companions down to the surface of a nearby planet.

What awaits them is a world of wonders, shrouded in an atmosphere of strange, intoxicating perfumes. Intelligent, sentiment plants help guide Acorna, Becker, Aari, and RK to the source of the SOS. But a broken, burned out -- alien ship is all they find, the pitiful remnants of a relentlessly brutal yet carefully coordinated assault. To Acorna, the signs are unmistakable.

This is the grim handiwork of the cold-blooded species that seeks the complete eradication of all human and Linyaari life from the galaxy...the Khleevi!

And suddenly all that Acrona holds dear is in grave peril. Because the devastation that was wrought here was no isolated occurence, but the opening move in a planned onslaught that will decimate the two races to whom Acorna is culturally, emotionally, and genetically tied. A worlds-shattering catastrophe is in the making -- unless one courageous and beautiful young woman with remarkable healing powers and her small, motley group of friends can go the unthinkable: discover the fearsome insectile enemy's greatest weakness...and strike first.


Author Notes

Anne McCaffrey was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts on April 1, 1926. She received a degree in Slavonic languages from Radcliffe College. She worked in advertising for Helena Rubenstein from 1947 to 1952.

Her first publication was a short story in Science Fiction Magazine, and her first novel, Restoree, was published in 1967. She is a well-known author of over 100 books, mostly science fiction, including the Dragonriders of Pern series, the Crystal Singer series, Acorna's Children series, The Twins of Petaybee series, and Barque Cats series. She won numerous awards including the Hugo Award for Best Novella for the short story Weyr Search in 1968 and the Nebula Award for Best Novella for Dragonrider in 1969. In 2006, she was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. She has also written books under the pseudonym Jody Lynn. She died of a stroke on November 21, 2011 at the age of 85.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

In the fourth book about the unicorn girl Acorna, whose people were discovered in Acorna's People (1999), she finds herself unable to adjust to her native culture because of her upbringing by her human "uncles" and her involvement in so many space adventures. So she ships out with the salvager Becker; his ship's cat, Roadkill; and Aari, a young man of Acorna's race whose torture at the hands of the vicious, buglike aliens, the Khleevi, has left him hornless and vulnerable. The space opera aspects of the series continue in the ongoing battle against the Khleevi, but Aari's recovery of his courage, which makes him very useful in scoping out the Khleevi, and the growing love between him and Acorna add some dimension to the proceedings. Veteran fans will enjoy these further adventures, but this book isn't the place for newcomers to start with the series. --Sally Estes


Publisher's Weekly Review

Gentle Unicorn Girl Acorna makes her fourth appearance in this galaxy-spanning successor to Acorna's Quest. Her shy, empathetic race, the pacific Linyaari, are still menaced by the horrid insectoid Khleevi, whose cannibalistic Young feast on their own elders as well as on other races they torture and destroy. Acorna, aboard the Condor, a spacegoing salvage ship captained by her friend Jonas Becker and accompanied by the vile-tempered Makahomian Temple Cat Road Kill and her Linyaari friend, Aari, who was previously maimed by the Khleevi, answers a distress call that leads her to a planet of sticky-veined sentient vines holding the secret to sapping the Khleevi and saving the Linyaari from extermination. Along the way, Acorna and Aari fall in love, a giant new Moon of Opportunity marketing venture (MOO) opens up for Acorna's adopted neo-Bedouin Uncle Hafiz, and the former slave children Acorna rescued earlier enjoy suitable education, gainful employment and a future of endless Happy Meals. Predictably strong on sweetness and light, noble self-sacrifice and plenty of teeny-bopper growing-up pangsÄthough correspondingly superficial in characterizations and future scientific wondersÄthis latest chapter in Acorna's adventures also offers (especially toward its close) some wry social commentary on capitalistic machinations and elder-eating younger generations: harmless good spacefaring fun. The novel includes a glossary of terms and proper names and "Brief Notes on the Linyaari Language." (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Returning to deep space after coming to terms with her lost heritage, the unicorn-like woman known as Acorna answers a distress signal that leads her to a new planet threatened by an old and vicious enemy. The fourth installment in this popular adventure series (Acorna, Acorna's People) demonstrates the storytelling expertise of coauthors McCaffrey and Scarborough. Old and new characters, exotic alien races, and unique methods of problem-solving make this a good choice for sf collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Acorna's World Chapter One Roughly six weeks after she had joined the crew of the Condor, flagship of Becker Interplanetary Recycling and Salvage Enterprises, Ltd., Acorna sat on "salvage watch" at the helm of the ship, surrounded by the softly glowing console lights in the cockpit and the billions of stars beyond. She felt contented, almost as if she were once more home -- back in the first home she could really remember, the mining ship she had shared with her adopted uncles. Behind her for the moment were the intricacies of Linyaari society and culture. Before her instead were the intricacies of the universe as recorded in the notes, tapes, and files of Captain Jonas Becker and his illustrious parent, astrophysicist and salvage magnate Theophilus Becker. To give herself something to do during the long watch, she was charting those notations methodically so that the planets, moons, wormholes, black holes, "pleated" space, "black water" space, and other locations visited by the Beckers could be easily relocated, and the sites where they had once been could be revisited if the need arose. Becker had grumbled at first when she started this chore. Since the death of his adoptive father, Theophilus Becker, from whom he had inherited both the Condor and the salvage business, Jonas Becker had been lord and master of the Condor, with only Roadkill -- or RK for short -- the huge Makahomian Temple Cat he had rescued from a wreck, for company. Becker didn't like his belongings tampered with or moved. But Acorna had found plenty of evidence that RK periodically made nests out of the hard copies of the notes, often shredded them when he felt the urge, and, in a few sorry instances, had added his own personal -- and remarkably pungent contributions to them when he was displeased with the state of his shipboard toilet. Though she could easily eradicate the odor and the stains, nothing could make the shredded notes legible again. It was high time someone charted the notes before RK had his way with the lot of them. After a few "reasonable discussions," Jonas had stopped grumbling and let Acorna get on with her task. At first RK had stayed at the helm to assist Acorna with her job, but later had wandered off in search of food or a sleeping companion, probably Aari, the only crew member other than Becker currently aboard. Like Acorna, Aari was Linyaari, a race of humanoid people with equine and alicorn characteristics -including a flowing, curly mane and feathery hair from ankle to knee, feet with two hard toes each, and three-fingered hands with one knuckle on each digit instead of two. The most striking characteristic of the Linyaari, to humans anyway, was the shining spiral horn located in the center of their foreheads. But in Aari's case, the horn had been forcibly removed during tortures he'd suffered while he was a prisoner of voracious bug-like aliens-the Khleevi. While Aari's other wounds had been healed on narhiiVh1liinyar, the world to which the Linyaari had fled when the Khleevi had invaded their original homeworld Vhiliinyar, Aari's horn had not regenerated. This was an appalling wound for a Linyaari. A Linyaari's horn had amazing -- almost magical, even -- properties. The horns had the ability to purify anything -- including air and water and food, to heal the sick, and also acted to some extent as an antenna for psychic communications among the Linyaari. Acorna had learned a great deal more about the powers of her horn and about her people when she had returned with a Linyaari delegation to narhii-Vhiliinyar. Unfortunately, once she had arrived, her aunt and two other shipmates had been dispatched into space again to deal with an emergency, and Acorna had been left among strangers to try to adjust to her native culture, a culture she'd left behind while she was still a baby. Her only two real friends on narhii-Vhiliinyar had been the eldest elder of the Linyaari people, Grandam Naadiina, and Maati, a little girl who was the Vüzaar's messenger and the orphaned younger sister of Aari. When Becker had made his unauthorized landing on narhii-Vhiliinyar to return Aari and all the bones from the Linyaari graveyard to the new Linyaari home planet, Acorna, Grandam, and Maati had been in the greeting committee. Aari at that time had still been terribly deformed from his ordeal with the Khleevi, and the vüzaar Liriili and some of the less sensitive and compassionate Linyaari had not made his return easy. Acorna, perhaps because her own loneliness had helped her identify with his, had been drawn to Aari. When an emergency signal had called Becker away from narhii-Vhiliinyar, Acorna and Aari had shipped out with him. They had been able to help in a crisis that had threatened some of Acorna's human friends as well as the Linyaari. As a result of their intervention, a branch of a Federation-wide criminal organization had been destroyed and many off-planet Linyaari, including Acorna's beloved aunt, had been rescued, along with all the other captives of the criminals. Acorna, Becker, Aari, and Acorna's Uncle Hafiz, who had also been on hand for the rescue, were now in great favor among her people. Acorna could have stayed comfortably on narhii-Vhiliinyar once her aunt and the other ship-bred and ship-chosen Linyaari returned to the planet. But she had decided instead to leave with Becker and Aari. She wasn't sorry. She might have been born on a peaceful planet populated by beings who had the ability to understand one another telepathically, but her upbringing had made her different, and that was sometimes a problem both for her and for her people. Space was familiar to her, and its diversity of races, species, and personalities stimulated her. Of course, right now, just being here, quietly charting coordinates, resting her eyes by watching the stars, wasn't very stimulating, but... Acorna's World . Copyright © by Anne McCaffrey. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Acorna's World by Anne McCaffrey, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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