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Remnant Population

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  1,936 ratings  ·  169 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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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
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
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
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!
‘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
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.

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
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
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
Sheryl Winters
This is one of my *go-to* books. The one I read when I want a good story well written, well crafted. The characterization is awesome. I *believed in grumpy but kind heart-ed Ofelia. The plot is simple. The colony is "taken" to another planet. Ofelia, an abused elderly lady, despite her son's determination, decides not to go. She hides in the forest and when everyone has left she returns.

She meets aliens and helps them solve the problems of meeting the human race. Simple enough isn't this?

A lot of work went into writing this book in which an elderly lady stays behind on her planet when her colony goes bust and leaves. However, after a golden period in which she subsists on her own, she discovers she is not alone. A new race of intelligent life makes contact with her and she wakes to a new sense of responsibility.
A really good science fiction novel of first contact that features a rather unlikely heroine. Ofelia is an older woman who, when her space colony fails, decides to stay on the planet by herself. Both thought provoking and entertaining, I listened to the audio version which was read by the very capable Vanessa Hart.
This is a slow, meditative novel, with echoes of A Handmaid's Tale and My Side of the Mountain. Ofelia, who at the start of the novel is in her 70s, has obeyed others her whole life, and so chooses to stay behind alone when the colony she inhabits is evacuated. She then encounters the planet's native inhabitants, and a new group of humans that come to the planet. Things wrap up a bit tidily, but overall I found it a satisfying read. (I've been caught up a lot recently in issues of racism, and se ...more
A good book, that would be good for discussion in a classroom setting or a book club. This book is not an action packed adventure science fiction book, it is a "thinking" kind of book. The main character is an older woman who has been marginalized by her own society. They leave the planet and she stays behind; where being alone allows her to start to find herself again. She then meets up with the planet's native population species, and as they learn about humans, they teach her about themselves, ...more
I enjoyed the novel overall, especially the character development of the protagonist. It should be noted that I started this novel after my grandmother passed away, so I enjoyed reading about a feisty woman who would not succumb to age or societal pressures. I listened to the audio version, which may have contributed to the very slow pacing of the novel. While all the details and character developments were logical and interesting, the novel dragged on at several points, thus the three stars rat ...more
The most unlikely heroine ever - in her seventies, she decides not to be taken off the planet she was sent to inhabit. Wanting her own life returned to her after raising ungrateful children and losing her husband, she finds peace in her garden amidst the high technology - food grown in dirt versus food replicators. The colonists leave and she comes out of her hiding place to enjoy the peace and quiet. She finds joy in making her own clothes with beads and feathers - she grows her tomatoes and co ...more
Edward Hoornaert
It's very hard to write something--anything!--that virtually no one else has done, but Elizabeth Moon succeeds brilliantly in Remnant Population. For most of the book, there is only one character, which is hard to do; even harder when that one character is an old woman. Old people are hardly ever the protagonists of any books, and even less frequently in science fiction, yet in Remnant Population we have an old woman of no particular distinction, neither well educated nor 'kick-ass'--and yet she ...more
I have to say that I was enchanted by the main character, Ofelia. I'm not quite as old as she is but can certainly identify with a lot of her feelings about life and a body's maladies as it ages. It's probably just my own limitations but I could not for the life of me visualize what the People would look like. I appreciated when Ofelia would translate what they were saying so I could understand it. Again probably my fault, but I generally couldn't discern what they were saying if it wasn't expla ...more
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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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