"In the single-novelette chapbook Mere (Golden Gryphon), Robert Reed revisits the universe of the Great Ship (previously encountered in the novel Marrow and in several stories) to fabulous effect. Mere is the tale of a practically immortal woman lost in a universe she knows nothing about. Harrowing, evocative, and deeply moving, Mere shows Reed to be in top form as one of SF's most startling and original voices. Reed fans should also enjoy Reed's chatty essay, included here, on writing the Great Ship stories."
— Claude Lalumière, The Best SF and Fantasy Books of 2004, Locus online, February 2, 2005
"Reed invests this miniature epic of solitude with such empathy, such remorseless elegiac fury, that reading Mere is like purgation by fire. It is far-future anthropological SF of the highest order."
— Nick Gevers, Locus, October 2004
"I’ve said it before and I’m going to have to say it again. Robert Reed does not do things by halves. I mean, anyone can write a story about a young girl who is the only survivor of a spaceship accident and crash lands on an alien planet. Only Robert Reed would have the girl be the product of a massively advanced civilization, making her virtually immortal, and therefore a genuine case for being worshipped as a goddess. And only Robert Reed would have the story last for many millennia in the space of a novelette."
— Cheryl Morgan, Emerald City, November 2004
"The story is thought-provoking in the best sense of the term, and Reed has the high-octane imagination and solid writing style to keep readers returning [to] this very strange universe of his making."
— Tom Piccirilli, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of A Choir of Ill Children
She was born as the sole passenger onboard a battered starship. Physically and mentally stunted, the immortal woman had no name. For ten thousand years nothing about her life changed. Then the double suns appeared before her and, without warning, her ship crash-landed on an alien world. The Tila found her. They naturally assumed she was a god, but she didn't grow much or show any godly power besides immortality. Because she wasn't much of a god, they named her "Mere." And for the next several thousand years, Mere lived among the Tila, playing a role in the rise of the Tilan civilization, all while serving as the sole witness in their struggle to survive as their great Tilan world began to die.
Mere, a 13,300-word novelette, takes place in Robert Reed's "Marrow" universe, along with such notable new stories as "River of the Queen" and "Night of Time." The character "Mere" plays a pivotal role in Reed's forthcoming "Marrow" novel, The Well of Stars. The author has also included a 5,000-word Afterword in which he details the history of his "Marrow" universe, including all the stories that comprise this future history.
With wraparound cover art by Bob Eggleton.
Praise for the author's first Golden Gryphon Press collection, The Dragons of Springplace:
"In these carefully structured stories, sadness, deceit, revenge, pettiness, and beauty all intermingle to create unexpected emotions and surprising scenarios. Their potent interlocking juxtaposition of speculative setting, scientific extrapolation, exuberant imagination, and human drama exemplify what science fiction does better than anything else — and what Robert Reed pulls off with artful finesse."
— Claude Lalumière, January Magazine
And more praise:
"Reed has one of the truly original imaginations among the newer generation of SF writers, and his unique vision is often expressed more powerfully in his short fiction . . . What is rapidly becoming a trademark setting for Reed’s best short fiction is the planet-sized, ancient, multicultural generation starship [Marrow] that shows up in stories like "The Remoras," "Chrysalis," and "Aeon’s Child," and very nearly steals the show every time."
— Gary K. Wolfe, Locus
Limited Trade Paperbound Edition of 500 Signed and Numbered Copies
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Read Nick Gevers's review in Locus magazine
Read Cheryl Morgan's review on Emerald City
Read Rick Kleffel's commentary in The Agony Column for 10-11-2004
Read the Rocky Mountain News review
Read SFSite reviewer Steven H. Silver's review
Read Locus reviewer Jonathan Strahan's comments on his blog "Notes from Coode Street"
View the wraparound dust jacket art by Bob Eggleton