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4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  69 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Rupetta is a sewn hardback of 352 pages, printed lithographically, with silk ribbon marker, head and tailbands, and d/w.

Four hundred years ago, in a small town in rural France, a young woman creates the future in the shape of Rupetta. Part mechanical, part human, Rupetta’s consciousness is tied to the women who wind her. In the years that follow she is bought and sold, bor
Hardcover, First Edition, 352 pages
Published February 9th 2013 by Tartarus Press (first published January 1st 2013)
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What a strange, lovely book. Rupetta follows an object — a thinking, feeling mechanical human — through time and meditates upon the stories we tell and the stories we don't: her stories, histories. This story begins in seventeenth-century France, travelling to hauntingly familiar places and emerging in a time not quite our own. It describes the genesis of a religion and the lies that lure followers. "We planted a seedling and buried a poem at its roots."

Rupetta recounts her own narrative in alte
I have such a bundle of feelings about this book. As others have said, some of the writing is liquidly delicious; descriptions of feelings and thoughts, in particular, are like pieces of glass tumbled by the ocean, precious and beautiful to touch. The idea is ambitious and grand, and the world Sulway creates is brilliantly imagined and purely itself. The chapter on the City of Bridges was my clear favourite, and was almost a story in itself: a sharply realised, lyrical place with details that we ...more
Emeraldia Ayakashi
A 17th century cyborg Tale .

Four hundred years ago, in a small town in rural France, a young woman creates the future in the shape of Rupetta. Part mechanical, part human, Rupetta’s consciousness is tied to the women who wind her. In the years that follow she is bought and sold, borrowed, forgotten and revered.
By the twentieth century, the Rupettan four-fold law rules everyone’s lives, but Rupetta—the immortal being on whose existence and history those laws are based—is the keeper of a secret t
Randolph Carter
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Susan Kornfeld
I want to give this book a 3.5. It's an imaginative steam-punkish novel with wonderful world building and lush language. It seemed like it would be a great book, but I found it ultimately unsatisfying. The author is too lavish with imagery and simile; beautiful as it all is, at times I longed for the clarity of plot exposition. I read for a while each night. I often found myself lost as the plot meandered through the centuries. I was often a bit annoyed at some unexplained but important aspect – ...more
Rupetta is a conscious mechanical woman with a heart that needs to be wound up regularly. She shares a special relation with the wynder and one plotline tells her story from 400 years ago until the present day. In the second plotline we follow Henri as she starts her studies in history.

The strongest point of the novel is its beautiful language. Whenever I had the feeling that it became a bit slow and boring I stumbled upon phrases and descriptions that truly touched me. The author has a remarkab
Rupetta is an exquisite mystery, delving into the complexities of history, memory and the concept of created humanity. Rupetta, the protagonist, is an automaton, and the story is narrated from her perspective through history, at the same time as Henri, a historian delves through the Rupettan history in the present day.

Past and present move towards each other in this detailed world. Nike Sulway has created an original concept with the Wynders - women who are destined to wind Rupetta's mechanical
Ian Mond
Rupetta won the 2013 Tiptree award and was nominated for an Aurealis in the science fiction category. You only need to read the first few pages of the book to understand why it gained critical attention. Beginning with the Foreword, Rupetta – who shares the book’s narrative with the historian Henri – tells us that:

"I have known loss for centuries. I have borne the deaths of each of my companions, both dear and tolerated. I have lost families, loves, houses, villages. Whole cities, whole nations,
God this is gorgeous. So gorgeous. I should say more about it, talk about the ways in which it explores humanity and gender and relationships, talk about the glorious libraryporn, talk about how the words and the ideas and the characters moved me so much. But I'm still basking in the afterglow so that shall have to wait for another time.
This novel. Wow. There's just so much going on I don't know where to start. Spanning hundreds of years it is the story of Rupetta. A mechanical woman, made not born, but with a consciousness. With a conscience. With a heart. It is also the story of the lies that grow around her. It is about the fictions that grow in the spaces left by the absence of a single, simple truth. Because there's never any such thing as a single, simple truth. Life isn't like that. It is about blind faith and horror and ...more
I really liked this ... I don't read much speculative fiction so have no idea how it compares within the genre but I kept being reminded of Margaret Atwood's work whilst reading it. There were so many little details that I liked - the clockwork bird, the conversation cafe, what happens in a culture that cuts out its heart in order to live forever, ... - and sure, at times I was a bit overwhelmed by the detail but it's SO beautifully written and realised. My #2 favourite book this year - just pip ...more
This is a beautifully written fantastical fiction. There were moments when I stopped to read her sentences over and over again. An epic tale of love, the fight for humanity and how power and greed can re-interpret a miracle for their own ends. The ending chapters are however confused and somewhat trite. I would have loved the book to stay with its theme of the question of humanity both literal and figurative.
Julia Dvorin
Rupetta is the story of a centuries-old clockwork automaton whose mechanical heart must be “wound” through the touch and the psychic bond of a “Wynder”, ideally (but not always) a female descendant of the original maker. Her existence, and more specifically her immortality, sparks a religious and political movement in which she is elevated to a deity, and which is expressed by its followers in the “Rupettan four-fold law” (which reminded me somewhat of Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics). Rupetta’s ...more
I have some mixed feelings about this one.

It was inventive and unusual, and it had diverse and interesting female characters. The sections with Henri were my favourite, and I absolutely loved the romance that developed between her and Miri. Their love was really at the heart of the book for me.

I also enjoyed the writing style. It was quite beautiful, and some of it was very poetic. One particular part which stood out for me was a page describing Henri's feelings towards Miri, and it's a clash of
Angel S
I'm uncertain how I feel about this book. I really enjoyed reading it, but the ending felt anticlimactic, and left me feeling little hope for humanity. Like all people do, or at least people in power do, is ruin things. But I still enjoyed it.
A beautifully written epic of literary fantasy that explores the outer limits of the genre while still celebrating its tropes with honesty and knowledge and love.
This seriously brilliant. Rich, textured, adult and full of unexpected but logical things. Wow!
A beautifully written book. We follow the main character of Rupetta, part human, part clockwork, from her creation to her deification over five centuries. An alternative history sf fantasy, reminiscent of 'His Dark Materials' in it's attack on religious fundamentalism. The main fault for me was the transformation of Rupetta to a goddess was unconvincing.

Katharine (Ventureadlaxre)
Katharine is a judge for the Aurealis Awards. This review is the personal opinion of Katharine herself, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of any judging panel, the judging coordinator or the Aurealis Awards management team.
Jake Casella
Love the writing and a lot of the ideas here. An alternate history following a mechanical woman created in the 1600s and the technological, religious, and political changes that result, with lots of concern for construction of History; the writing is often sensuous, with a wonderful level of detail and texture, alternating with lyric/mythic chapters.

The novel as a whole feels rough though, as though it didn't go through enough of a revision/editing process. Strange changes in tone and level of r
i liked the themes this story explored - fear of mortality, female relationships in various configurations, sentience & artificial life, the unreliability of history. the writing was more lush & romantic than i typically enjoy, and i found myself getting impatient with the meandering timeline.
Bethwyn (Butterfly Elephant Books)
Jan 07, 2014 Bethwyn (Butterfly Elephant Books) marked it as aurealis-awards-2013-done
Aurealis Awards 2013 nomination.
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Hi! I am an Australian writer who enjoys reading as much as (perhaps even more than) writing.

In 2000, I won the Queensland Premier's Literary Award for Best Emerging Queensland Author for my novel The Bone Flute (under the author name N A Bourke) which was released by UQP in 2001 and subsequently shortlisted in the Commonwealth Writers Awards. My children’s picture book, What the Sky Knows (Ill
More about Nike Sulway...
Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine (Issue 54) Fantasy Magazine, December 2011

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