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Marilee J. Layman

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04:24 pm: Carnival by Elizabeth Bear
This is entirely different from the Hammered trilogy, and appears to be a single story. In the future, Governors (AI) have been set in charge of Old Earth, keeping creative individuals, allowing little reproduction, and "assessing" the rest of the population in the name of ecology. There are some rogue planets that have not joined the Governor's Coalition and New Amazonia is one of them. Two Coalition diplomats go to negotiate New Amazonia into the Coalition, but they each have their own plans as well. New Amazonia is much like the opposite of Old Earth -- women are armed and in charge. Gay males, called "gentle" are okay, but studs are locked up and used for reproduction. They eat meat and have pets. They have their own mutinous organizations. They have unlimited power, and there starts the story.

Betrayals, unlikely alliances, and unusual beings all combine to give a complex and compelling story. Recommended.

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