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Remnant Population

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  2,866 Ratings  ·  281 Reviews
People had always told Ofelia what to do; for once she was going to do what she wanted. She refused to get on the cryo ships, refused to leave the only world she could call home. And when they finally came for her, she hid, not that the authorities looked all that hard for one crazy old woman. Now Ofelia is alone, content to live with no more demands on her self or her tim ...more
Hardcover, 339 pages
Published May 1st 1996 by Baen Books (first published 1996)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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mark monday
Mar 26, 2015 mark monday rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: futuristik
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
Sandi
Dec 30, 2009 Sandi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
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
Nikki
Jan 05, 2013 Nikki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Laura (Kyahgirl)
4/5; 4 stars ; A-

Some might find the pacing of this book a bit ponderous but I really enjoyed the slow unfolding of the story. This was one of those old fashioned style sci-fi books where the human race and humanity are put under a microscope wielded by a human who has broken out of the mold, and an interesting gang of aliens.

Vanessa Hart did a great job as the narrator. I really take my hat off to her for interpreting the sounds and words of the aliens in a believable and even comprehensible m
...more
Lis Carey
May 27, 2011 Lis Carey rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: f-sf
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
Megan Baxter
I suppose it might not be the biggest draw in the world to have a cover that showed an old woman mostly nude, wearing only a few things she'd made herself, completely unconcerned about covering anything in particular or anything more than being comfortable and wearing things that she enjoys. But did they have to go with such stereotypical ragged old woman clothes? It's such a big part of the book, the time Ofelia has to herself to figure out who she is without society breathing down her neck, an ...more
Olga Godim
Aug 22, 2015 Olga Godim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-scifi
What a charming book. Its heroine is rare in fiction – a 70+ peasant woman Ofelia. Such a protagonist is even rarer in science fiction. Actually, I think she is unique in the genre. In all my reading, I’ve never heard of another old woman who would make a science fiction protagonist. Fantasy – yes, but science fiction – I don’t think so.
Ofelia doesn’t have any education. She has been living in an agrarian colony on an otherwise uninhabited planet for over 40 years, raising her children, working
...more
Julie H.
Apr 04, 2009 Julie H. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Maggie K
Jun 27, 2014 Maggie K rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Kelly
Dec 02, 2009 Kelly rated it it was amazing
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!
Ove
Mar 05, 2010 Ove rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Niina
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
...more
Oscar
‘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
Timothy
Sep 02, 2015 Timothy rated it really liked it
An original and well-done soft sci-fi. Not a fast paced read whatsoever but still intriguing. I can relate to Ofelia and her attitude toward others. The elderly protagonist stays behind after her colony is forced off the planet and comes in contact with an intelligent species. Communication and trust are the key themes.
Carolyn F.
Super slow beginning. If this were a physical book I don't know if I would have hung in there. But then, there were visitors and changes and more visitors and more changes and then the ending was just wonderful. Great book even with the slow beginning.
Badseedgirl
Dec 30, 2014 Badseedgirl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-read-in
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
Diane
Mar 24, 2014 Diane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, 5-stars
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
MB (What she read)
8/20/09 1st read 4 stars:
Okay, I'm now fully convinced that an aging grandmother--a wise Latina, no less--is indeed the best first contact/ambassador to alien populations.

8/31/16 Reread once again.
I do love the unusual point of view in this science fiction classic. I wish I could find more of this type because I so enjoy the humanness of Ofelia's pov along with the first contact plot and the anthropological/xenological slant. I struggle to find science fiction to my taste as silly space battles
...more
Kirsten
Jun 15, 2009 Kirsten rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Victoria
Mar 08, 2012 Victoria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Suzanne
Apr 13, 2015 Suzanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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)
Alexa
Apr 01, 2015 Alexa rated it it was ok
Shelves: fab-15
This was an amusing enough entertainment. She has constructed some interesting aliens, but unfortunately her humans are all rather two-dimensional.
Shaz
Mar 21, 2017 Shaz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is somewhere between three and four stars. It's a quiet kind of science fiction story. It unfolds very slowly and its point of view, that of an old woman, is a very rare one. It does what it does quite well.
Beth Cato
May 23, 2014 Beth Cato rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, science
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
Janice
May 03, 2015 Janice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reread, 2015
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
...more
K.
I love that this book's protagonist is mature woman. Because Ofelia shows a lot of wisdom and resilience, she is an admirable role model for aging women. This is a sci-fi / fantasy book about a woman left behind when a colony decides to pull camp and leave after a few decades of setting up a civilization. Ofelia doesn't want to leave, so she hides. She is well equipped to survive on her own, but then she meets other inhabitants and things get a lot more complicated. Her decades worth of experien ...more
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.

This
...more
J.
Mar 20, 2013 J. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...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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“Free of the demands, the judgments, and the petty tyrannies of others.” 1 likes
“She did not want to be Bilong’s mother, or her grandmother. She had done with these roles, with being a good child, a good wife, a good mother. She had put seventy-odd years into it; she had worked hard at it; now she wanted to be that Ofelia who painted and carved and sang in an old cracked voice with strange creatures and their stranger music. The” 0 likes
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