I read this book about 28-Aug-2001. I've read this book before. The book is copyright 1991. This note was last modified Saturday, 19-Aug-2006 10:44:12 PDT.
This note does not contain major spoilers for the book.
Mirabile is one of the great treasures of recent SF. The biological setup is strange, perhaps nonsensical, but isn't used for magic to make the stories work. The characters are first-rate; I want to meet all of them. And that's nearly always what makes a book for me.
It's actually a collection of short stories, set on the same world and with common characters. There's a tiny wave at a framing device, but it doesn't take up much space or cause much annoyance. Short stories may be the perfect length for science fiction.
What I really like about this is the mature romantic relationship between Leo and Annie, and the way the children are handled. The idea of having kids raised by people who like to raise kids has a certain charm, too.
All in all, it looks like a colony world I wouldn't mind living on.