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Mission Child (1998)

af Maureen F. McHugh

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MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
3591372,135 (3.71)11
Humanity once boldly pushed outward from the Earth to establish colonies throughout the galaxy. But humankind reached too far - overextending, faltering, and ultimately failing - leaving its distant, unremembered settlements to fend for themselves. Now, after many centuries, the progenitors have returned to reclaim their lost territories. A stunning and provocative spiritual odyssey, THE MISSION CHILD is a powerful fable, a stirring adventure and a profoundly moving portrait of a lost woman in search of an identity.… (mere)
  1. 00
    Powers af Ursula K. Le Guin (Aquila)
    Aquila: I kept thinking of the protagonist's journey in Powers as I read Mission Child, apart from being about power and loss they are really very different, though MC is reminiscent of many of Le Guins Hainish books as well.
  2. 00
    Mara og Dann : et eventyr af Doris Lessing (jollyhope)
  3. 00
    The Ragged World af Judith Moffett (aulsmith)
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» Se også 11 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 13 (næste | vis alle)
4.5 stars really. McHugh has such a gift for telling naturalistic, character-driven stories that are nevertheless intense and dramatic. Her books teach me so much about how to write SF.

Jan(na)'s story of loss and self-discovery on a colony world doesn't have a tidy plot or global stakes, but it is so memorable and rewarding—a study of character and culture in the tradition of Ursula K. Le Guin. ( )
  raschneid | Dec 19, 2023 |
Elegant. Flawed. Moving. Fun. Like a cover version of THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS, but more naturalistic and personal. A bit thin in places though, especially the latter sections. McHugh is a great writer and I wish she would publish more, but this is not her best work. It was good enough, though, to inspire me to re-read her other novels--to give you an idea of the scale I'm grading on. ( )
1 stem ralphpalm | Nov 11, 2019 |
I’m not entirely sure what to make of this novel. It had neither a plot nor did it need to be science fiction. And yet it was good. Janna is a teenage girl at an “appropriate technology mission” in the far north. Although the local culture resembles Inuit, the people of the region seem to be descended from northern Europeans. A local tribe wipes out the mission, and only a handful of people escape, including Janna and her husband. They trek to to another tribe, with whom they share kinship, but are never made entirely welcome. Then the tribe that attacked the mission attacks this other tribe, and again Janna and her husband escape. But he dies during the escape, and Janna makes it alone to a coastal city, where she is put in a refugee camp. She is mistaken for a man and chooses to impersonate that gender for reasons of safety, although later she decides she is transgender. Janna, now Jan, moves to another city and links up with another tribal person who’s a bit of wideboy, full of semi-legal schemes and deals. Jan gets a job as a technician, brings over a shaman from the refugee camp, and ends up as his helper when the wideboy is murdered after dealing in something high tech he stumbled across. Jan eventually falls out with the shaman and sets off travelling. He ends up on a tropical islands, whose inhabitants are descended from a mix of Indian and Chinese settlers, where he hires out as a bodyguard. But his employer is killed in a raid (this part of the book was originally published as a short story, I believe), and so Jan takes his employer’s daughter to her grandmother on another island, and ends up settling down there. He ends up helping offworlder medics when a plague strikes the islands as he is immune to the disease thanks to a medical implant he was given back in the first chapter. For all that the novel is about the impact of high tech offworlders on the cultures of Jan’s world, there’s no good reason I could see why the novel needed to be set on another world, or even sf. Certainly it gave McHugh free rein in envisaging cultures to make her various points, but it does all feel a bit, well, arbitrary. Which is not to say Mission Child is a bad novel. Far from it. McHugh was definitely one of US science fiction’s more interesting writers during the 1990s (she has not published anything in long-form since 2001), and I should probably give her short fiction ago (there are two collections to date, both published this century). Mission Child is a bit of a puzzler: a book that is clearly genre, but doesn’t really need to be, but works so well as genre it seems churlish to complain it didn’t have to be genre. ( )
  iansales | Mar 17, 2019 |
Stayed up way later than I should have finishing this!

It's not so much "what happened" - actually, the book is fairly low on "plot" - rather, it follows the (rather traumatic and itinerant) life of a woman from a primitive society on a colony planet, from the brink of womanhood to middle age, along the way dealing with issues of gender and sexuality, "appropriate technology," and finding a place to call home.
But the writing is just so good that it feels like a thriller!

I highly recommend it. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
I had completely forgotten that the short-story collection "Mothers and Other Monsters," which I'd read this summer, was by the same author. So it was a surprise to begin reading this and think..."Hey, this seems awfully familiar." Apparently, this book had its start in one of the short stories--though I forget the title--with only a few slight differences that I could see. It was nice, to see where this character I'd met, briefly, months ago, would go and what she would become. Though I can see, I guess, what some reviewers mean when they said it had "no plot," or something to that effect, I wasn't bothered by it. Sure, the character kind of just wandered around, with no clearly defined "goal" or anything, but honestly it wasn't like the story was pointless, just that she was searching not for a specific thing or person or place, just something less tangible. If the theme here is searching for something, then it makes sense that there would be a certain amount of confused wandering about, uncertainty, etc. Which I think is a perfectly good basis for a story. And the ending, though it wasn't exactly what or at a point that I would have thought it would be, still worked well. I wasn't like, "What...? Where'd the rest of the book go?" which has happened before and is terribly frustrating, as I'm sure anyone who reads much, or at all really, can attest to. So a book with interesting circumstances and characters, which moves along and has some meaning to it, and to wrap it all up has a satisfying ending...I enjoyed it. And though I know some reviewers had a problem with the "simple" or "awkward" prose, and I'll agree that it wasn't the greatest I'd ever seen, it told the story effectively, and also seemed to give a sense of voice, even the sense that the character telling the story came from a different place and spoke a different language--which was the case, after all.

So, not exactly epic, and not heavy sci-fi, but good in any case. ( )
  -sunny- | Jul 15, 2014 |
Viser 1-5 af 13 (næste | vis alle)
Mission Child is an example of the category of serious thoughtful SF. It’s beautifully written, like everything of McHugh’s, and it has chewy ideas rather than shiny ones.
tilføjet af Shortride | RedigerTor.com, Walton (Aug 21, 2009)
 

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Humanity once boldly pushed outward from the Earth to establish colonies throughout the galaxy. But humankind reached too far - overextending, faltering, and ultimately failing - leaving its distant, unremembered settlements to fend for themselves. Now, after many centuries, the progenitors have returned to reclaim their lost territories. A stunning and provocative spiritual odyssey, THE MISSION CHILD is a powerful fable, a stirring adventure and a profoundly moving portrait of a lost woman in search of an identity.

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