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Sheri S. Tepper is an author, born in Colorado, America. She writes primarily sci-fi and fantasy; and also has a couple of horror and mystery titles, written under various pseudonyms.
Works by Sheri S. Tepper with their own trope pages include:
Other works by Sheri S. Tepper provide examples of:
- Alliterative Name: The Marianne trilogy is one doozy of an example: Marianne, the Magus and the Manticore, then Marianne, the Madame, and the Momentary Gods, and finally Marianne, the Matchbox, and the Malachite Mouse.
- Anti-Magic: The 'muties' in The True Game series suppress the gifts of all nearby Gamesmen.
- Anvilicious: Tepper's works are loaded with rather less than subtle commentary on feminist philosophy and religion; particularly The Gate to Women's Country and The Revenants.
- Author Tract
- Bad Powers, Bad People: In The True Game series, with lampshade-hanging from a scholar who remarks that in every case he's aware of, the unpleasant powers always go to unpleasant people who actually enjoy having them.
- Body Horror: It's found in spades in Tepper's novels. In Shadow's End, in exchange for humans being permitted to live on the planet Dinadh, when a woman experiences her first pregnancy she is then gang-raped by a native race called the Kachis. Several Kachis grow in her womb, eating the human foetus for sustenance. When the woman goes into labour, if there isn't a special container to restrain the Kachis when they are born, they will proceed to attack the woman. In Gibbon's Decline and Fall the main villain envisions a world where women exist in mindless suspended animation, the only part of their body utilised is the womb in order to create more men for his "perfect reality." It seems that Tepper's pre-author career working for Planned Parenthood gave her plenty of personal Nightmare Fuel. See also the novel Sideshow for dinka-jins.
- Call a Smeerp a Rabbit: In the novel Grass there is a native breed of animal specifically called the Hippae, but those who live on the planet of Grass commonly refer to them as horses and ride them in their fox hunt. Due to some miscommunication, offplanet equestrians arrive to join in the hunt and encounter what can only be classed as Nightmare Fuel - the Hippae are three times as large as horses, their neck is covered in spiny barbs, and with their vicious intelligence they control the hunt and those who ride upon them. Tepper initially leaves the reader just as much in the dark as to the nature of the Hippae as she does the offplanet tourists.
- Also the "Hounds" and "Foxen" (archaic plural of "fox").
- City Planet: Tepper has a novel called Beauty, in which the Earth has had all its wilderness wiped out, followed by any and all crop growing facilities. And in Shadow's End, the governing planet of an entire solar system is a City Planet.
- Conjoined Twins: in Sideshow, also a major plot point in the Margarets
- Contemplate Our Navels: In Grass the hyper-intelligent Foxen are being killed off by the less intelligent, but more ambitious, Hippae; because they have degenerated into passive navel-gazers.
- Culture Justifies Anything: Sideshow is set on a planet obsessed with preserving cultural diversity, to the point that there are Enforcers whose job is to prevent its various subcultures imposing their values on each other -- even values like "sacrificing infants to stone idols is bad".
- Day of the Week Name: In Raising the Stones siblings were named after days of the week. They didn't know what the words meant - their parents took them from an old list in an obsolete language, and thought they'd make good names.
- Fractured Fairy Tale: In Beauty, based on the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale, Beauty tricks her half sister into being pricked by the magical spindle. Once escaping the sleeping curse, Beauty travels through different eras in history and unwittingly causes other fairy tales to happen.
- Future Food Is Artificial: In the section of Beauty set in the future, the population produces only one type of food. It is small, squarish, and cracker-like. The artificial colours indicate what vitamins each cracker provides. They are largely tasteless and textureless (although one of the blues has a slight flavour).
- Functional Magic: The True Game series has not one but two detailed and structured systems of magic. One is described rather better than the other.
- Gaia's Lament: In Beauty. In the section of the book set in the future, the wilderness and all its animal species are wiped out (even the oceans) to make way for crop growing facilities and housing for the rapidly growing population. People live packed on top of each other in tiny appartment 'boxes' and eat artificial food.
- Genius Loci: In The True Game series, there are several examples of Genius Loci such as forests, roads, and pools. It is revealed in the final trilogy that the planet it self also is sentient, and contemplating committing suicide.
- Heir Club for Men: Played with.
- In Six Moon Dance the founding mothers of the planet Newholme create an artificial scarcity of female babies, and a dominant ideology that females are the stronger sex and males are the weaker, leading to the population desiring female heirs.
- In Raising the Stones the power derived by males from their heirs is eradicated by legally denying the father-child relationship. Heirs are are only accepted through the maternal line, and any male claiming fathership is frowned upon.
- Lady Land: Is used in Six Moon Dance and The Gate to Women's Country.
- Mister Seahorse: Found in Tepper's The Fresco.
- No Woman's Land: For examples just close one's eyes and point at any random Tepper book.
- Persecution Flip: Six Moon Dance is about a repressive matriarchal society. Tepper has a very feminist message in a lot of her work, so this is sort of like "examining demographics that would lead to men being oppressed in the same way as women".
- Planetary Romance: In The True Game series
- Prophecy Twist: In The Revenants, the protagonist sets out to fulfill a prophecy, not knowing that it's actually a distorted transcription-from-memory of the real prophecy. By the end of the book, both versions of the prophecy have come true.
- Religion Is Magic: In Beauty, Christian miracles are unconsciously drawn from the same magical energy that pagan magicians and fairies consciously work with.
- Robotic Torture Device: In Six Moon Dance there's a sexual bondage device which is set to inflict sadistic pleasure at first...before it just gets sadistic. And deadly.
- Shapeshifter Baggage: In the "Mavin Manyshaped" trilogy shapeshifters can increase their mass by incorporating additional organic material (Mavin uses a sack of grain at one point), but decreasing their mass (beyond discarding the additional material) is not directly addressed.
- This troper remembers a conversation between Peter and Maven implying that shifter simply consolidate their neural net when forming smaller shapes.
- And this troper remembers in a subsequent scene that Mavin made soup out of the "discard". But it is the only time this problem and solution is mentioned.
- Sliding Scale of Gender Inequality: Ranges from Level 6 in Grass, to level 9 in The Gate to Women's Country.
- Starfish Alien: Many, but especially the rather strange life-cycle in Grass. Spoilered, as it's a major plot point. All three are stages in the Foxen lifecycle which runs from eggs; to unintelligent slug-like Peepers; to Hounds, a semi-intelligent and vicious predator; to intelligent, but malignant, Hippae; to hyper-intelligent, but navel-gazing, Foxen.
- The Greatest Story Never Told: In Tepper's The Fresco
- Tomato Surprise: In The Family Tree, the story is told from two disconnected points of view through most of the novel, until it is revealed when the two groups meet that the second set of characters are all talking animals. Then shortly thereafter we find out that the talking animals' dumb beasts of burden are actually human beings.
- To Serve Man: In The Awakeners, humans are allowed to immigrate to the planet Northshore after the government essentially makes a Deal with the Devil with a native species (that resemble human sized, talking birds). When a person dies they are fed a liquid, The Tears of Viranel, which "supposedly" helps them on into the afterlife. In reality this liquid turns them into walking zombies, and tenderises their flesh so the native species can eat them. Um, yeah...
- Tongue-Tied: In The True Games series a character is unable to speak about certain information, but is able to write it down. Even further, any character who reads this information will then find themselves unable to speak the same information.
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