A Funeral for the Eyes of Fire
by Michael Bishop (Published by Ballantine)
Nominated for Best Novel in 1975
Seth Latimer, a human member of a family of clones representing a far-future interstellar commercial combine, finds himself marooned on Gla Taus with no way home unless he joins a mission to a neighboring world to negotiate the transfer of a minority population from one planet to the other. The lure of trade expansion versus the grip of local custom and belief sets the story in motion. Secrets and treacherous intentions boil to the surface as diplomacy devolves into brutal expediency against a background of complex gender and religious polarization. The colorful details of alien settings and cultures are lovingly woven into this story of passionate individuals caught up in the sweep of history toward tragedy, change, and eventual renewal.