The merro tree, when introduced on the planet Vyzania, bore no fruit for many years and was deemed useless. One season, it began to produce rare and wonderful fruit. Mikk, a young boy, is the merro tree. Raised by an abusive mother, his attention span is so short that he is deemed uneducable. But after the performance master Huud Maroc takes Mikk on as a pupil, Mikk produces rare and wonderful fruit. He becomes a performance master, able to perform the arts of any world. After he is banned by the Galactic Council of Performing Arts from performing the Somalite songdance, he is jailed when he performs the dance anyway. Mikk is jailed and tried in a galaxy-watched trial whose issue is censorship and the right and responsibility for art to be performed and seen.
The Merro Tree is a feast for the imagination. Mikk travels to many planets whose inhabitants are all unique and whose performance arts reflect their cultures. It is not a novel based on science but is, rather, a novel about the arts, politics, censorship, friendship,love, pain and courage. Katie Waitman was chosen as her publisher's "Discovery of the Year" in 1997.
Reviewed by cp, 8/99. Other reviews by cp.