Meet James Ryton. His company has been awarded NASA contracts for the building of Moonbase. He's a hard-working executive who has spent his life building his business to secure his family's financial future. The difference between him and other humans is that he is a Mutant. And this causes him and his family no end of trouble.
When he was young, James listened to his fellow Mutants, and considered speaking out, and fighting for equal rights that would allow his fellow Mutants to become active members of American society. But violence and discrimination demolished to those dreams. So he invested his life in his Mutant clan, and expected his wife and children to do likewise.
Sadly, his son Michael, whom he has groomed as his successor, insists on seeing Kelly McLeod, the daughter of one of his subcontractors. She's a nice enough girl, but James worries how Michael's deepening relationship with a Normal will affect the clan. There's the Mutant heritage and culture to preserve, as well as important abilities such as telepathy and telekinesis, which he doesn't want to see diluted through such a mixed marriage. Also there's Jena to consider. She's a pretty Mutant girl, the daughter of a friend, who adores Michael. Years earlier, he and his wife negotiated with Jena's parents for their children to marry. Yet Michael insists on marrying outside the clan, to a Normal, diluting his descendants potential abilities and culture. This would separate him from the customs and practices that have held Mutant society together for hundreds of years.
No matter what James says, no matter how logically and passionately he argues, Michael, his successor, refuses to listen. And now, as James approaches fifty, the mental flares are afflicting him. Once the flares begin, they usher in headaches, loss of emotional control, and the ability to calmly reason. He has seen many brilliant Mutants, afflicted by the flares, reduced to little more than children, incapable of caring for themselves, and not knowing who or where they are. Worse, some become mental vegetables. He wonders how long he can continue to work, to preserve his family, his clan, and everything he holds dear.
His Mutant gifts gave him superhuman abilities compared to the Normals, but now he's paying the price for them. Soon he will discover more trouble brewing in his family than his firstborn's resistance to marrying within the clan. Impotence, incapacity, and loss lie in his future...
James Ryton and his son Michael are just two of the interesting characters you will meet in Karen Haber's novel The Mutant Season. It's the first in a four book series, based on a short story written by her husband Robert Silverberg. Today, Karen Haber's birthday, seems like the perfect time for you to treat yourself by checking out her Mutant novels. If you're like me, you'll soon find yourself engrossed by her Mutant and Normal characters, and her page-turning plot. Like a fine wine, my appreciation for this series has increased with time, so I've begun the year by giving myself a special treat. The Mutant Season may number two hundred and eighty-nine pages, but I gobbled them up like ice cream, and immediately headed off to my bookshelf for Mutant Prime, the next book in the series. Reason finally took hold, and urged me to slow down, not to speed through them all at once. To savor these novels, because they're just so wonderful, and when they're over, they're over, and it will take years for these terrific memories to fade, so I can discover them anew once more.
Happy Birthday Karen Haber, and thanks for writing your four Mutant novels. Now please, get back to your computer and write some more! Please please please!!
(Or do I need to plant a subliminal suggestion in your brain that you'll find impossible to resist?)