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Remnant Population

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  2,078 ratings  ·  188 reviews
For forty years, Colony 3245.12 has been Ofelia’s home. On this planet far away in space and time from the world of her youth, she has lived and loved, weathered the death of her husband, raised her one surviving child, lovingly tended her garden, and grown placidly old. And it is here that she fully expects to finish out her days–until the shifting corporate fortunes of t ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published September 30th 2003 by Del Rey (first published 1996)
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mark monday
old woman, tired of people, tired of the way people treat her, decides to stay behind when the rest of her fellow colonists are uprooted by their corporate bosses and sent to another planet. old woman, once surrounded by demanding and unloving voices, finds she loves being alone, no more annoying voices bossing her around, the only voices the ones in her head, now she has all the time in the world to garden and do beadwork and just do what she wants to do, alone. finally alone! but it turns out ...more
Remnant Population is the kind of book that made me fall in love with science fiction in the first place. It's thoughtful, has great characterizations, a plausible future, and humans coming to understand aliens. This is the third book I've read by Elizabeth Moon and she's now on my list of favorite authors. She is an amazing storyteller. She is a master at revealing rather than disclosing. She never over-explains and her characters behave exactly like real people would.

I love the Moon uses older
Electric Landlady
There are not enough novels with awesome old ladies as their protagonists. Speaking as someone who wishes to be an awesome old lady some day, I consider this a gap in the market. At the start of Remnant Population, the members of a failed colony have been ordered to pack up and leave the planet that has become their home. Widowed Ofelia decides the hell with it, she's staying put; her grown son doesn't need her, her daughter-in-law can't stand her (it's mutual), and she's fed up with living her ...more
Remnant Population is a quiet sort of SF book. It’s more along the lines of, say, Ursula Le Guin than Lois McMaster Bujold or David Weber: at least, there’s very little by the way of epic space fights, and much more about people. Mostly just one person, alone. I loved that the protagonist is an old woman; the ending, with the recruitment of old ladies, seemed like a bit of a joke even so, but I liked that this is very much a defence of the worth and importance of the elderly, and particularly el ...more
Julie H.
I had a tough time getting into this book--really tough--but once we finally met the indigenous population of the planet (N.B.: humans are the aliens, here), things got really interesting. The main character is a 70-something woman named Ofelia, who declines to leave with the mining company settlers when they abandon the planet for greener pastures elsewhere. (The fact that she feels the company will likely tamper with her cryo unit so that she "accidentally" dies in transport speaks to the fact ...more
I just loved the book. I thought it was near perfect in every way. The alien race was sufficiently unique, which in a way, made the novel - to have a race that appeared more primitive, only to have them demonstrate an intelligence and capacity to learn that far outstripped that of humans was inspired. And of course we have Ofelia herself who has to be in my top five list of heroines now, what a woman!
Lis Carey
A failing colony is removed from an alien world by the company that owns it, but one old woman, tired of having others run her life, hides in the forest until everyone is safely gone. The abandoned equipment and supplies enable her to survive, and she settles into a routine. Months later, on the communications equipment in the colony Center, she listens to the landing of another colony on another part of the planet - and its immediate destruction by natives whose presence no one had suspected. T ...more
I must tell you about one of my very best dearest friend, sorry book. Meet Ofelia, she is a mature woman past childbearing who never got a chance to make something of herself. The scene is the one town on a company owned colony planet. She lives with her obnoxious son Barto and his wife Rosara in town when we learn that the company lost the franchise to the planet. All colonists have to leave.

Ofelia has had enough and decides to stay when the others leave. I love to listen to Ofelia’s thoughts a
‘Restos de población’ es una novela de primer contacto, en la que la protagonista absoluta es Ofelia, una anciana que se rebela ante la vida que está llevando. Ofelia y su familia viven junto a otros colonos en un planeta perteneciente a una compañía, hasta que ésta decide que ha dejado de ser productivo y opta por reubicar a la población. Pero Ofelia, harta de la vida que estaba llevando hasta este momento, ve en esto una oportunidad, una especie de retiro para los años que le quedan, y decide ...more
When the rest of the colony that Ofelia has been a part of for over 40 years are leaving the planet they've called home for the same amount of time Ofelia makes the decision to stay behind. She's old, and wants to live her last years in peace without interference from anyone else. But of course, she's not as alone as she hoped she would be..

I found this book really hard to rate because it left me with mixed feelings. Because some parts of the book deserve more than 3 stars...

But I have to admit
Maggie K
Wow...I have been reading so many good books this year, I sometimes wonder if I am on some kind of weird mental plateau of book-loving! But I think I have just learned what I like, and this book hit a lot of my sweet spots. :)

Here we have an elderly female protagonist, who grudgingly ends up being a first-contact ambassador to some aliens indigenous to the planet she is on. A great idea, a great character, a wonderful story, and spot on writing. My only quip would be that things worked out a lit
I enjoyed the first part of this the most, just because it was fun to think about surviving alone on an alien world. At the end (view spoiler)
This was awesome: an old woman decides she doesn't want to leave when her planet is evacuated, so she hides from the shuttles. She loves her new life and her freedom and the silence, and being away from nagging voices telling her what to do. She eventually realizes that there is other life - intelligent life - on the planet as well. The character of Ofelia is so well-done and has a fantastic voice! I really like the reveal of the indigenous culture as well. Good fun and a quick read.
Fascinatingly rendered with one of the most unusual and empathetic protagonists in any novel I have read. The exploration of a new culture sheds so much light on our own. Amazing. I want to read it over again.
Beth Cato
For over forty years, Ofelia has been a colonist on a remote planet. Now the company that sponsored the effort has given up on the project. Ofelia and the others are to be put in cryogenics and shipped to another settlement--and at her age, Ofelia may not survive the freezing. The old woman embarks on an unusual rebellion: she hides, and the rest of the settlement leaves without her. She's the last human. However, she has everything she needs to get by: her beloved gardens are thriving, she can ...more
Burgandy Ice
My Rating: 3.5 Worth the Time

Elizabeth Moon really dove into the depths of age in the character of Ofelia. I enjoyed her depth of experience and wisdom. I love the way Ofelia grew & adapted to accept herself and fulfill her own wishes and dreams. Ofelia is a great person. Someone I could look up to, honor. Moon changes age from being something horrible or fearful into something satisfying.

The planet is amazing. The difference between Terra-forming ground the colonists cultivated and the loca
Apr 09, 2013 J. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
I have several Elizabeth Moon books in my to-read list, but this is the first of her books I've gotten around to reading. I greatly enjoyed the book. I loved the main character, definitely a kindred spirit. This was a good first contact story, but a far better human story.

My only real annoyance with the main character, which was really the author bleeding through, was when she went on and on and on about the killing of wild animals for food. She had stated that she liked meat, but not the killin
Katherine Cowley
I admit it: this is the first book I have ever read that has a 70 year old lady as the protagonist.

In Remnant Population, Colony 3245.12 is abandoned because it is not profitable, but Ofelia, at 70, does not want to move to another world, so she stays, the sole human resident of a planet. Later, more humans decide to colonize thousands of miles from Ofelia, but they are slaughtered by aliens Ofelia didn't know existed--now it's up to Ofelia to save the alien species from the wrath of Earth.

Ofelia is elderly - she's sometimes forgets things and she's tired of wearing shoes. She is one of the original colonists to this alien world. Her husband and all her children save one are dead. She and her daughter-in-law don't like each other and she finds her son too much like her husband. So when the "company" loses its contract for the world and has to remove its colonists in 30 days, she hides and her shuttle leaves without her. She is quite content to be on her own - to not have to wear s ...more
Kim Falconer
Nov 09, 2011 Kim Falconer rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kim by: Miriam
Shelves: sf, technology, planets
Elizabeth Moon is a wonderful writer. She's created a unique protagonist in Ofelia and made some important observations about class, gender biases and aging in 'our' cultural paradigm. Very important. The authenticity of her settings, from the behavior of the sheep and cattle to the weather, gardens and technology says Moon has lived a diverse life and/or knows how to research. Her creation of an 'alien' species was fabulous.

More important than that, I fell into the story as it carried me into
This is one of the first books I have read that has an old, uneducated woman as the protagonist. This fact alone makes this book out of the ordinary. Add to that the woman deliberately decides to stay behind as the rest of her colony leaves the planet they have lived on for 40-odd years makes this a book with a very interesting premise. Then add that she makes first contact with the non-human race on the planet and all the ingredients are there for a fascinating story with great warmth and human ...more
This was an amusing enough entertainment. She has constructed some interesting aliens, but unfortunately her humans are all rather two-dimensional.
I found this story captivating. I loved 75 year old Ofelia who chooses to hide out while her colony planet is vacating so that she can be alone to do what she pleases. The family she has takes her for granted and opposes their will on her and she revels in the freedom once she's all alone..... but SHE'S NOT ALONE AFTER ALL. I don't want to spoil but Ofelia goes on a splendid journey of self discovery and gaining self worth. Finding more purpose with the aliens than she ever did with her fellow c ...more
Shultonus shultonus
4.5 stars would be a better rating, but it was still a top notch read. The beef I have with the story isn't the writing, it's the large in-debtness to previous writing in the genre. The author, Moon credits Ursala Le Guin in the front material, so this debt is acknowleged, at least. If you like the strong, independent women of Le Guin, and her anti-regime writings, you will love this book. The main character leaps off the page. And the alien culture, while heavily borrowed, still is interesting ...more
Absolutely loved this book. Wonderfully written. It made me think about how we see other people and how I'd like to live my life. I know that's a strange thing to say about a sci fi/fantasy story, but there you are.

Ofelia is in her seventies and does not want to evacuate with the rest of the colonists on the planet. She wants to be free of the constraints that living with others places on her, and doesn't mind being alone. So she hides and stays and loves it. Then she finds out that she is not a
I enjoyed this middle aged female empowerment book. Ofelia is poor, old, and living with her annoying son and his annoying wife in what used to be her home on a planet colonized by their Company. The Company decides the colony is a failure and, in what might be her first act of defiance, Ofelia hides when they come to take the colonists to a new planet (she knows it's likely she'd die in cold sleep anyhow). After reveling in being alone for a while, she finds out that she is no longer alone. On ...more
Sterling Walker
I love Elizabeth Moon's work, but Remnant Population is by far my favorite. It's so refreshing to have an unusual protagonist, an old woman, with an independent, no-nonsense attitude you can't help but admire. The story and setting are superbly crafted. It's exciting, and the story, though about an alien race, is very human in its complexities. It's a powerful modern-day moral message wrapped into an exciting SF adventure. Even if SF isn't your 'cup of tea,' I think you would enjoy Remnant Popul ...more
I kind of loved this book, unabashedly. Ofelia is a beautifully drawn character; we seldom see love for older people in fiction, much less scifi, but she's wonderful. The aliens are fantastic as well, and though the other humans that show up are pretty much caricatures, Ofelia sees that, and treats them as such.

I loved watching her sort of say "Fuck you, society. I am now my own society and I will creep around wearing whatever the hell pleases me now that everyone has fucked off and left me alo
Remnant Population by Elizabeth Moon is not what I would call a "Hard Science" Fiction novel, even though it is listed as such. It is the story of Ofelia, a woman part of an off-world colony, who after 40 years working to colonize an unnamed planet, are told by their corporation that they are being moved off world to try to another planet. At it's heart, this novel is the classical struggle of Technology vs. Traditions, a thematic vision that science fiction writers have been discussing almost s ...more
Elizabeth Moon mainly writes adventurous fantasy (Paksenarrion series) and military space opera (Vatta's War series and Serrano Legacy series). However, Remnant Population is something quite different.
The main protagonist, Ofelia, is an old woman. When the company loses the franchise to colonize the planet she lives on, everyone is ordered to pack up for evacuation. Ofelia decides she doesn't want to go. Basically, the hell with it; she feels she is too old to start a new life in a new colony. A
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Sci Fi Aficionados: * Elizabeth Moon: Remnant Population 29 41 Apr 12, 2015 08:16AM  
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Elizabeth Moon was born March 7, 1945, and grew up in McAllen, Texas, graduating from McAllen High School in 1963. She has a B.A. in History from Rice University (1968) and another in Biology from the University of Texas at Austin (1975) with graduate work in Biology at the University of Texas, San Antonio.

She served in the USMC from 1968 to 1971, first at MCB Quantico and then at HQMC. She marrie
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