2 Scifi books: alien horses and human pets

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2 Scifi books: alien horses and human pets

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Nov 22, 2011, 6:19 pm

I have two different books that I've been looking for and you guys have been so helpful in the past I need to engage your aid again!

I'm pretty sure they're both adult fiction, but can't rule out YA.
Both are scifi.

The first is about people who go to a different planet, the protagonist is a female and I'm pretty sure they're starting a new colony there or something. Anyway, what really sticks out in my mind about this book was that they had horse-like creatures to ride, but in place of their manes there were sharp blades that would maim/kill the rider if they came to a sudden stop. Uh...I really don't remember much more about this plot. I remember the cover of the book being green, it was hardcover and read sometime in the early 2000s (1999-2002 is the most likely date range).

The second one, could have been either a stand alone book or part of a short story collection. There is a group of people that are being kept as pets by aliens, but I don't remember if they were kidnapped, or started out that way. I do remember that at the end (spoiler!) they find out the aliens are actually other human people that don elaborate machine costumes to pretend to be aliens whenever they interacted with them. I don't remember why though.
I have no other info on this and do not remember when I read it, other than it was before 2004.

So sorry to have such vague details!
Thanks for any help you can give me!

Nov 23, 2011, 7:57 am

I think your first book is Grass by Sheri S Tepper. Envoys from Earth are sent to the planet Grass, whose dominant culture is based around hunting on alien horse-like creatures. The envoys are famous show jumpers on earth, which is why they were chosen to go to Grass. The alien horses are terrifying and definitely have the spikes you mention. It's one of my favourite books, not as polemical as some of her later work.

Nov 23, 2011, 11:45 am

Hi Sakerfalcon, yes that is the book! Thank you so much. The title was very familiar and when I went to your touchstone the cover jumped out at me, it was definately what I remembered about it! Thanks for your help!

Nov 23, 2011, 12:06 pm

Excellent, glad to have helped! Hope you enjoy it upon rereading.

Dez 3, 2011, 6:12 pm

Galax-Arena is a YA science fiction book which seems to fit what you have mentioned about the second book you're looking for. It involves humans being the pets of aliens (SPOILER: but the aliens are actually humans), although the 'pet' part is not a major section of the story...

Dez 16, 2011, 10:08 am

SPOILER for Galax-Arena, in case it helps you confirm that this is your lost book:

The main character figures out that she never left planet earth because she spots a fly in the arena that lands on the alien. This leads to the realization that she can't be on another planet if there's terran insect life around. She then pulls off the skin on the alien's hand, revealing, IIRC, an elderly lady's wrinkled hand underneath.