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Memory

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3.83  ·  Rating details ·  420 ratings  ·  74 reviews
A quest, a puzzle, and multiple lives: On an artificial world with a forgotten past, floods of "silver" rise in the night like fog, rewriting the landscape and consuming those caught in its cold mists. Seventeen-year-old Jubilee knows that no one ever returns from the silver--but then a forbidding stranger appears, asking after her beloved brother, lost long ago to a silve ...more
Paperback, 396 pages
Published February 1st 2013 by Mythic Island Press LLC (first published 2003)
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Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  420 ratings  ·  74 reviews


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Sarah
Nov 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book had such a complex world that I was not only fascinated but I never really knew what was coming.

But if a child should ask, What is the silver?the answer might take many forms:

"It is a fog of glowing particles that arises at night to rebuild the world."
"It is the memory of the world."
"It is the dreaming mind of the wounded goddess and you must never go near her!"


The silver in this book is entirely different from what we would call silver. Silver rises at night to varying levels and it
...more
Nick Borrelli
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love Linda Nagata's books and this one was no different. Mind-blowing ideas and incredible SF world-building. One of the best female writers in the genre hands down.
Rachel Brown
Jubilee lives in a strikingly bizarre world, in which silver mist arises from the earth to kill living beings, remake non-living matter, and bring random buildings and even entire empty cities back from the past. Because the “silver” tends to destroy written records, the people are very vague and confused about their history, though they have a high degree of poorly-understood technology. They also have some extremely odd customs regarding sex and love – people can only marry (or, apparently, ha ...more
Micah Sisk
Dec 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was the first book I've read by Linda Nagata (purchased in a book bundle) and it's very impressive. It's a real sleeper, a book that deserves far more attention and awareness than it has/gets.

Memory is a top notch effort of creative world design. Original and logically consistent, it successfully merges fantastical ideas with just enough science to make the fantasy-like elements seem rooted in the real world--without any technological geek-outs to bore those disinterested in hard science.

T
...more
Bryan Alexander
Mar 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
I've long thought Linda Nagata a hidden gem in modern sf. Her first novels delighted me, especially the inventive Vast.

Memory is a fine example of Nagata's skills. It offers rich and surprising world-building along with empathetic and fiercely challenged characters. It's accessible yet never easy, and ultimately moving and memorable.

The plot - well, without spoilers, I can say that it involves a quest to understand a peculiar world. Our heroine is born on a ringworld of sorts, where a terrifying
...more
Emily Crow
It seemed to take me forever to finish reading this book. I don't know why, exactly, as the story was pretty interesting. Maybe I'm just distracted due to all the world events or maybe it was the writing style.

But, on the plus side:
* Interesting and original world building
* There was a dog!

On the minus side:
* I didn't really connect to any of the characters besides the dog
* Dry writing style
Peter Tillman
OK, the world-building is pretty cool. The setting is a ringworld-orbital where things have gone Terribly Wrong. A long-ago war damaged the habitat, and the construction and maintenance nanoassembler-fogs (the silver), have become a menace to the players, their 'mechanics' (cool hi-tech machines) and their homes. The only safe places to live are temple-complexes around kobold wells -- the temple kobolds, small programmable mechanics, exude a sweet-smelling silver-repellent.

It's a pretty neat set
...more
Justin Howe
Aug 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
You know I'll probably bump this down to 4-stars after the rush of reading it fades, but until then holy crap was this a great book!

Young Jubilee lives in a world where floods of "silver" (malfunctioning nanotech) reshape the world every night. Stability can only be found on hill top settlements. When a silver flood claims her brother, she assumes he is lost forever, but then, seven years later, a stranger arrives searching for him.

If you like your SF to take you to strange and weird worlds, t
...more
Clyde
Sep 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is basically a quest story. But the nature of the quest morphs as the story moves along. At first young Jubilee sets out to recover a lost brother. However, as she learns more about the 'Silver', she finds that she, her brother, her 'lover', and a few other 'players' have a seemingly impossible task. They in fact must try to save their world. It is a tough road for a 17 year old.
The world of Memory seems infused with magic. However, as the story progresses, it becomes apparent that it is 'm
...more
Sarah
Aug 11, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The only thing keeping me from choosing 4 instead of a 3 was the ending--too abrupt, even with a short epilogue. Otherwise I thoroughly enjoyed the story.

The concept of the silver is what intrigued me to pick this up used at a March of Dimes fundraiser and I was happily surprised by how quickly it sucked me in.

The world Jubilee lives in is inhabited by human-like "players" who share their ring-shaped world with a strange substance called "silver" which some believe to be the leftover remnants of
...more
Kenya Starflight
Seldom has a book left me equally intrigued and frustrated as "Memory" has. It's full of lovely writing and bold, imaginative concepts, giving us a strange and fascinating world to explore. And I was hoping some of the mysteries sparked by this book would be answered along the way. Sadly, it feels like so much attention went into weaving a weird and unique world that things like plot and character development fell completely by the wayside.

Jubilee lives on a strange ringworld where, at night, a
...more
Lisa Grabenstetter
Feb 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
In the end, the big reveal was perhaps a little less revealing than I would've liked. But again, it worked plot-wise, and it probably would've seemed extremely forced to reveal everything—there's no way the characters would have understood any of it, their paradigm is so much different, and there are a number of things I feel I can safely infer from my standpoint that the main character has no basis for. It's essentially an SF secret to a fantasy world, which I can certainly appreciate.

The cove
...more
Mathew Walls
Dec 29, 2015 rated it did not like it
When I was a teenager I'd read whatever sci-fi or fantasy I could find at the library, so long as it wasn't the middle of a series they only had part of, so I've read plenty of books where every other noun is a made-up word or a normal word used to mean something totally different to its real definition, but I just don't have the patience for that kind of bullshit any more. This book isn't the worst example of that, but if I get to the end of the first chapter and don't understand the basics of ...more
BobA707
Jun 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Summary: Interesting characters and the plot moves on pretty well I just found the premise a bit too peculiar, it's central to the story but just never quite worked for me.

Plotline: Moves a long nicely with some interesting diversions

Premise: A bit weird and not really thought through

Writing: Good, great characterisations

Ending: Oh yes

Pace: Never a dull moment!
Trish
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
The world building was promising, but it never went anywhere. I mean, there was no explanation of the central thing; how it works and what the mechanisms are. I kept expecting it to be a faulty video game (Why call them "players"?), or some future world with toxic waste or, well, just something. Why only one lover? Why blood poisoning? Are the characters machines or some weird mutation or completely alien? What the hell is a kobold (seems to be some sort of small computer) and how can they be cr ...more
Adrian Howard
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read a bunch of Linda Nagata's stuff last year, but this one from 2004 somehow escaped me. A really rather fun tale with a science fictional setting, but told with many of the fantasy tropes. Warring "gods", the traditional fantasy quest, a coming of age, but set on an (obvious to the reader if not the protagonists) nanotech created artificial habitat. Recommended.
Celia
Oct 09, 2015 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars, really - while I enjoyed Nagata's writing, I honestly found this too confusing to truly enjoy. There are so many bizarre and strange elements to the world Nagata has created, and I expected the story to have a bit more resolution than it does.
Jerico
Jul 16, 2019 rated it liked it
(Closer to 3.5 stars than 3)

Memory is an example of one of my favorite trope-complexes in SF/Fantasy: the not-a-fantasy novel. These are setting that are superficially fantasy-esque, often to almost parodic heights, where an underlying SF rationale for the fantastical elements is deployed. Dying Earth, Book of the New Sun, Ventus, there`s a ton of them and I love the shit out of them all.

Memory is not an exception to this rule. It`s about a world (that we quickly come to understand was colonized
...more
Shaz
Nov 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was in the Women in Science Fiction bundle. There were bits of this that I really liked. I was very intrigued by the world and wanted to figure it all out. I guess it just never went quite as far in the directions I wanted, but I still think it is an interesting story well told.

Actually it isn't entirely clear to me if this is science fiction or fantasy. Or maybe it's science fantasy? I'm never sure when that label applies. The thing is, I think in this case it matters whether I think of it
...more
Jani
Dec 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Memory is a novel that has a distinctive setting. Set in a human space colony where silver substance rises from the ground almost every night to swallow anyone and everything in its path not protected by small homunculus like creatures living in wells only to rebuild the non-human material by dawn, it has a feel of almost like story from a fantastic land, like a nanotech Arabian Nights.

Jolly and Jubilee live their childhoods quite happily in one of the compounds protected by kobolds until one ni
...more
Jeff Frane
I read this primarily as preparation for reading Silver, Linda Nagata's next novel where the characters we met in Edges next visit the constructed world in this book. And this ties the series known as the Nanotech Succession into all the strangeness in this story. It's confusing, and I suppose all I have to do is read the four remaining novels in the series before Silver comes out in the very near future. No problem.

Nagata has two universes she's probing, one in the near future that has a strong
...more
Sharon Phelps
Not really my type of book but try a sample for yourself

I had trouble getting into the feel or swing of the book. It started off interesting with the adventure of the children in the well and the taking of the brother then it sort of meandered for me. I just got lost sometimes like the sleeping goddess. I really couldn't believe that world or even the players who were copies of each other. So, I am sure others will enjoy it more but it wasn't really for me.
Jamie Rich
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Memory (Kindle Edition) by Linda Nagata

An interesting Science Fantasy tale!

Set, tangentially, in between Silver, and Edges, this is the story of our unlucky hero, and her struggle to merely survive, and also kill a goddess. Or is she supposed to kill the god instead? And her lover, for whom she is predestined, what of their struggles to get together, and stay in love?
elements of SciFi and Fantasy, and interwoven very well into a complete tapestry.
AJ Nelson
The first Nagata I've read, and don't think it's so great an intro. Very mixed feelings about it. I really enjoyed her prose and the techno-fantasy world she created. But, I was also pretty disappointed by the ending... I think it could have been amazing if she had taken the opportunity to explain the SF side of the story more.
Impishfae
Mar 26, 2018 rated it liked it
A quiet book where things are never fully explained. How would you behave in a world where you have experiences of past lives but no memories of them?

I wasn’t sure about why some characters or scenes had been added to the book but it was a pleasant and intriguing read where technology is easily mistaken for magic.
Tricia
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well-written and fun

Linda Nagata is inventive, and her writing is solid and compelling. She mixes elements of fantasy with hard sci-fi and keeps it all human. It feels more real and less forced and theoretical than so much sci-fi, even though the concept is more extreme. I enjoyed this new world a lot.
Elizabeth
May 27, 2017 rated it liked it
The author lets the story and the worldbuilding tell itself. No long expositions. The characters are interesting and the world is unique. However there were parts that were confusing and I found I didn't care enough to go back to try to understand.
Keizen Li Qian
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Tasteful scifi styling in a fantasy novel. Understated worldbuilding, fascinating tech made spicy with issues of destiny and matchmaking.
Spencer Johnson
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Refreshingly new.

As an author myself, I especially enjoy finding a gem like this one. I only wish there was more written in this story universe of Linda's.
Steve Muskie
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
I gave up at 28%; it was just tedious and seemed to be going nowhere.
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I'm a writer from Hawaii best known for my high-tech science fiction, including the near-future thriller, The Last Good Man , and the Red trilogy, an intersection of artificial intelligence and military fiction. The first book in the trilogy, The Red: First Light, was a Nebula and John W. Campbell Memorial-award finalist, and named as a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2015. My newest series is t ...more

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