Long ago I read a book that coined the terms 'slelling' (illegally sampling someone else's DNA) and 'karking' (altering DNA).

I reckon we're gonna need these verbs in general conversation real soon now :-\

For the life of me I can't remember the book or author; I do remember that the protagonists were at college in a city with streets of ice and skated everywhere.

Anyone know the book?

  • How long is long ago? Do you remember anything about the book length? (was it a stand-alone novel, part of an anthology, or a short story). These details will help in narrowing it down – The Fallen Apr 23 '13 at 0:40
  • probable duplicate of scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/17631/… – Otis Nov 14 '16 at 4:32

This is David Zindell's Neverness, which was set in a city of the same name.

I can't find my copy at the moment, so details are hazy in my memory, but the story involves a student at the university named Mallory Ringess. The one thing I do remember is that there were Neanderthals living near the city, and Mallory, his parents and his roommate (who may have been called Bardo) transformed themselves into Neanderthal form and went to live with them for a time.

If I remember right, the people who stole others' DNA were called "slell-neckers".

There was also a trilogy of sequels, The Broken God, The Wild and War in Heaven, collectively know as A Requiem for Home Sapiens.


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