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On a Red Station, Drifting

af Aliette de Bodard

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Serier: Xuya Universe (short story), Xuya Universe, chronological (22nd century)

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2242290,175 (3.65)24
On Propser Station, the AI that keeps the inhabitants alive is breaking downNits mind is being slowly eaten by an unknown disease. Their lives hang on the outcome of two warring families.



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» Se også 24 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 22 (næste | vis alle)
Lȇ Thi Linh is a scholar, a lady of some rank, and the magistrate of a district on the Twenty-third planet. Or rather, she was. She sent a blunt letter to the Emperor concerning his purely defensive conduct of the war, protecting mainly the more central planets of the empire, leaving more remote planets, like her own, at risk. This led to her need to depart her district and the planet, and take refuge among rather distant relatives on the space station of Prosper.

Lȇ Thi Quyen is the administrator of Prost per Station. She's less educated than Linh, and feels her lower rank, but the station is her responsibility. Many of the higher-ranked husbands and wives on the station are away, fighting the war, and Quyen is struggling to control the deteriorating situation on Prosper, both within her family and in the station generally. Supplies are hard to come by because the rebellion--two separate factions--has been seizing merchant ship cargoes, and stress within the family risks destabilizing Quyen's control. In addition, though Quyen is only starting to realize it, the Honored Ancestress, the Mind that maintains the basic functions of the station, is deteriorating. Part machine, part human, born of a human mother generations ago, she's now suffering a disease that is degrading her ability to maintain the station. And while there's a cure possible, it's a drastic one.

Linh, meanwhile, is worried about the people she left behind, because the Twenty-third planet fell to the rebels after she left.

Quyen and Linh take each other in immediate dislike, which is both natural, and unwise. They each take actions that fuels the conflict and undermine each other when they'd both benefit from cooperation.

It's an interesting and compelling story. Both women are hard to like, but both are also trying to do the right thing (except with regard to each other) as far as they can see to do it.


I bought this audiobook. ( )
  LisCarey | Feb 17, 2021 |
Ignore the cover art, this work is a lot better than that.
This was an engrossing novella where you are basically just thrown in to a culture without familiar reference points, haunted by ancestors whose personalities are stored on chips, with some sort of complicated and deadly political struggle going on as a backdrop. The author does not pull punches when it comes to her two strong-willed female protagonists and the way their clash is dictated by their very different situations. The supporting characters are finely drawn as individuals as well including the one which serves as the nervous system of Prosper Station itself whose hidden weakness becomes manifested at the worst and the best of times.1 ( )
  rmagahiz | Jul 9, 2020 |
An excellent sci-fi story that gets its interest from the setting - a space station held by a clan, under a space empire founded by the Dai Viet dynasty ( of Vietnam beginning in the 9th century CE ). the power of the the tale comes from the way de Bodard uses this not just for cultural colour, but the very basis of the characters and their interactions.

The main protagonist are Quyen, the 'minor partner' of a marriage left in charge of running the station when her husband has gone away, and Linh, a former planetary magistrate fleeing from an insurgency, or likely a civil war. The author wonderfully shows the stilted interactions these women are allowed, and the pride and loneliness in each that builds an animosity and comes to threaten disaster for the Prosper station and everyone who lives there. I especially likes that the station AI was known as Honoured Ancestress, as she was the ancient matriarch who looked after them all, and the parallel between the threat posed by the potential punishment for a crime against the state and the effects of damage to the AI.

de Bodard's writing is just as good is in the previous story I've read form her, but this longer tale is far more effective. A very slight niggle with a the occasional clumsiness of phrasing, which i put down to the writing of a non-native English speaker, and are things an editor should have corrected. ( )
  Pezski | Jun 21, 2020 |
I never thought I'd like sci-fi this much..... damn you, 2015. ( )
  allison_s | May 25, 2020 |
What struck me most about this book is the way it deals with family. Even as we dream of new and complicated technology and skyscapes, this novella shows that our struggles, how we relate to our kin, how we handle hard and moral choices--that will be what continues to define us. The world is painted beautiful, hard, just complex enough that the struggles are still real even as the environment is different. Linh (and all the characters, really) are relatable, complex, flawed while seeking change against a backdrop of war and violence. An imagined future that reminds me of what we fight for in the present. ( )
  schufman | Jul 20, 2019 |
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Xuya Universe (short story)
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Oprindelig udgivelsesdato
Vigtige steder
Vigtige begivenheder
Beslægtede film
Priser og hædersbevisninger
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To the women of my family, who held everything together in the midst of the storms.
Første ord
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Lin arrived on Prosper Station blown by the winds of war, amidst a ship full of refugees who huddled together, speaking fearfully of the invading armies: the war between the rebel lords and the Empire had escalated, and their war-kites had laid waste to entire planets.
Sidste ord
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On Propser Station, the AI that keeps the inhabitants alive is breaking downNits mind is being slowly eaten by an unknown disease. Their lives hang on the outcome of two warring families.

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