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28 April 2013

H(elen) M(ary) Hoover was born on April 5th 1935. Both of her parents were teachers and she says that they instilled in her a love of books, a respect for nature, and a fear for the future of our planet. Themes that show in her writing. She held a number of jobs until deciding that what she really wanted to do was write books, and gave herself four years in which to accomplish this and sell a book. She only just made it but her first book was accepted and appeared in 1973. Unfortunately – so far as I am aware – she wrote no further books after 1995, although a short story collectionThe Whole Truth – And Other Myths: Retelling Ancient Tales, appeared in 1996.

My connection with her work began at the same time as she was published. I ran across an excellent book that appeared to be classified as YA solely on the grounds that the two main characters were children. I read it, liked it, and it was added to the ‘keeper’ section of my library. I subsequently found four more books by this author and still have the five which I re-read regularly. All feature children as at least one of the main characters but the themes are anything but childish. Children of Morrow is set in a world long after civilization was strangled by polution. Telepathy has become a growing factor, but where Tia and Rabbit live on what was originally an army base, they are ruled by The Major in a society that has become severely and unpleasantly patriarchial. Elsewhere a different group has retained a higher and more equitable level of civilization and now they are searching for Tia and Rabbit. If they find them before The Major does, the children may survive and much of the book concerns the children’s efforts to escape and reach safety with those who want to be their friends.

In The Delikon, an alien race came to earth generations ago to bring a unified civilization and have long been under the impression that they succeeded. However a number of Terrans don’t want the form of civilization that’s been imposed upon them and an alien child and two Terran children are caught up in the subsequent rebellion. Nor is this all talk, there is savagery, retaliation, the death of friends, and a loss of innocense. While in The Rains of Eridan, (my favourite) scientists at several bases which are conducting experiments and investigations on that planet, mutiny and the twelve-year-old girl who is the main character is dumped in mountains by night while her parents are murdered in front of her. She is found by a scientist working alone and together they discover what is causing most of the madness, but Karen’s parents are no less dead for all her subsequent discoveries. The Lost Star is a study of how people tend to make assumptions and how even scientists can be corrupted by the possibility of great wealth to be found on an alien world, this seen through the eyes of sixteen-year-old Lian Webster. While Return to Earth, mostly set on Earth of 3307 looks at how corporations have become the new governments, and equally how dangeous manufactured religions and those who use them for power can prove to both ordinary citizens and rulers alike. All five of the H.M.Hoover books I own are excellent work, and perfectly suitable as adult reading. I just wish that at the time I’d known this author had written 10 other books I’d never seen so I could have acquired them then.  Below is her bibliography. At least two of the titles listed are historical rather than genre.

Children of Morrow (1973)

Treasures of Morrow (1976)

The Delikon (1977)

The Rains of Eridan (1977)

The Lost Star (1979)

This Time of Darkness (1980)\

Return to Earth (1980)\

Another Heaven, Another Earth (1981)

The Bell Tree (1982)

The Shepherd Moon (1984)

Orvis (1987)

The Dawn Palace: The Story of Medea (1988)

Away Is a Strange Place to Be (1990)

Only Child (1992)

The Winds of Mars (1995)

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