A stand-alone thoughtful science fiction novel.

Publication year: 2018
Format: ebook
Publisher: Oblique Angles Press

The book is set in an alien planet without any humans. The planet has a couple of sentient species, the Vushla (singular Vushlu) and the Weesah. Physically, they’re very different from each other. The Vushla are depicted in the cover; they’re centaur-like beings but smaller than the Weesah who are more human-like with two legs and arms. The Vushla use cycles to move around. The cycles can be pedaled but they also have motors for rougher terrain. The Weesah use beast-drawn wagons to get around.

Terrill is a young Vushlu male who lives in a town. His father is seriously ill and, according to Vushla traditions, he makes his final journey to the sea where he dissolves into the waves. A group of friends and relatives escort him, Terrill among them. During the return journey, they meet a Weesah peddler Kititit. Terrill sees that a young Vushlu is hiding in the peddler’s wagon and becomes really curious. But before the group returns home, Terrill’s aunt becomes so ill that they must go back to the sea. Terrill can’t face that again and instead he decides to join Kititit in his travels, to see more of the world.

Honnu is a young Vushlu male who lives in a fishing village by the sea. He’s listened to the Weesah peddler Kititit tell about the wider world and he yearns to see it for himself. One night, when Kititit is getting ready to leave again, Honnu leaves a note to his family and hides himself in the peddler’s wagon.

Kititit is a Weesah peddler. He’s an older male who has travelled far and seen many things, some which he must keep a secret. When he sees that Honnu has hidden himself in the wagon, he knows that the young male wants to see more of the world and silently agrees to take him. When Terrill asks to come with him, he agrees to that as well.

He puts both boys to work. But the boys witness something unexpected which doesn’t agree with their worldview. They start to question the most fundamental aspects of what the Vushla believe about death. Both are scared but they want to know more.

This is an exploration science fiction. There’s some adventure, as well, when the boys explore the world around them and meet new people.

The story explores what happens when a race’s fundamental beliefs are brought into question, especially when it concerns your own family members. Honnu and Terrill are at first eager to know more but then start to question what they should do with their knowledge and how the larger community would react.

Despite the fact the two species aren’t human, they behave in a very human-like way. They live in houses, travel to trade or sell goods, and they live in monogamous, hetero nuclear families. Of course, making them very different from humans would have taken center stage and taken the reader’s interest away from the story itself.

Terrill and Honnu are young and curious boys in culture which doesn’t encourage exploration or curiosity, at least when it takes people away from their families. Kititit has traveled around and has already grown children. He encourages the boys to explore and supports them in various ways. They’re all very relatable characters, despite not being human.

Water to Water doesn’t have violence, which makes it quite refreshingly different from most science fiction.

Preorder links:
Amazon: http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B07HM67TSW
–Other online retailers (including Nook, Kobo, and Apple): https://www.books2read.com/u/m2vaXd