Book summary: Star-Anchored, Star-Angered

1979 BY SUZETTE HADEN ELGIN

Our hero, the lackluster and cardboard "Coyote Jones" is yet another in a long long line of mildly bumbling interstellar secret agents who get bussed in to Planetoid X to solve massive social problem Y to save the federation of humans and humans with funny hats, by mostly doing jack squat. This particular one, as you can see in the plot synopsis above, has to do with religion.

So, our hero has to disguise himself as a grad student as cover. Which seems surprisingly reasonable, except, there is only one university with a thousand students in the whole federation of humans and humans with funny hats, these said students like to cover themselves with flowery tattoos and prance around nekkid, and are sort of mysterious celebrities and the source of all learning or something. Yes, this makes no sense, but let it go. So our tattooed bespangled hero gets shipped to the planetoid, which has two societies, a technologically advanced but distinctly medieval one who has a religion very strongly exactly similar to catholism, and then the the other one where people hang out in trees and dance in circles and live in a hippy pagan paradise Somewhere in there it feels like there once was some pop-feminist message, that kind of got lost on the editing room floor.

Of course, there is the standard political intrigue, our hero abandons his mission, and the standard plot devices are paraded out.

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