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Recommended by lots of people, I thoroughly enjoyed this myself, and will read a companion. There were one or two moments when I was annoyed with what Chambers did with a particular bit of the story, but she ties them all up into the end in a very satisfactory fashion and she's entitled to do what she wants to with her own story. Quite minded to put it on my Hugo Nominations list.

Brief thoughts:

Squarely traditional YA SF: another take on the small, useful space ships dotting around a galaxy inhabited by multiple species. I'm thinking (don't shout at me for getting these wrong after many years) of Norton (Solar Queen stories, perhaps, or any of the ones with Zacathans), and Cherryh (Merchanter's Luck). Perhaps the people are nicer than Cherryh's, and better personalised than Norton's. Isn't it interesting that SF has another space opera phase going on?

This time round spaceships have proper gardens. Good!

Although I'm happy to suspend my critical faculties for the sake of a good story, Vernor Vinge's take on starships ("10,000 trades to support a starship") is far, far, more credible than little family-sized runarounds, however appealing the family.

Was Chambers thinking of Syria when she wrote the Toremi? If so, isn't her civilisation lucky they the Toremi are a long way away and not minded to talk to it so that they have a get-out-of-responsibility free clause and no need to worry about refugees.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
19th Feb, 2016 19:58 (UTC)
I don't think it's eligible for a Hugo (or rather, it was only eligible last year), having been self-published in 2014 before getting professional publication in 2015. I expect a resolution extending its eligibility on the grounds of limited distribution in 2014 could have been got through the Sasquan business meeting, but no one actually did so.
19th Feb, 2016 20:59 (UTC)
That's a shame. Thanks for letting me know.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


Caroline M

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