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The Stars Change

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  259 ratings  ·  63 reviews
The Stars Change: an erotic science fiction novel-in-stories. On a South Asian-settled university planet, tensions are rising, and as they reach the brink of interstellar war, life (and sex) continues. Humans, aliens, and modified humans gather at the University of All Worlds in search of knowledge... and self-knowledge... but the first bomb has fallen and the fate of this ...more
Published November 5th 2013 by Circlet Press (first published November 1st 2013)
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3.68  · 
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 ·  259 ratings  ·  63 reviews

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Tori (InToriLex)
Sep 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Find this and other Reviews at InToriLex

This was a book club read with Boston Radical Women of Color Book Club. I couldn't make the actual book club to discuss it, so I can't speak to what others thought. This was a unique read with a under developed plot, but the colorful characters and different alien species more then made up for that. Kimsriyalani, Amara, Narita, Gaurav, and Chieri, were beings thrust into difficult situations while in turmoil within their personal life. As this peaceful ac
Elf M.
Nov 21, 2013 rated it liked it
I liked The Stars Change a lot, but I wanted to love it. There's a large cast of characters-- Kimsrialyani, Narita, Guarav, Rajiv, Amara-- and they're all ordinarily decent people thrust into indecent situations which have nothing to do with sex. If anything, their sex lives are among the most decent aspects about them. They find themselves in the midst of chaos tasked with stopping it from getting even worse.

The beautiful parts of this book come from Mohanraj's willingness to share with us what
Jean Roberta
Jul 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
This fast-paced short novel about a crisis in an inter-species nation is deeply academic – not in the sense of being hard to understand, but in the sense that it advocates formal knowledge as a basis for universal peace. Latin sayings, each the slogan of an actual university somewhere in the world, serve as chapter headings.

In the first scene, a lonely female graduate student in weapons technology propositions a human male who teaches English literature. She has fur and claws, but he finds her a
Amun (Mohamed Elbadwihi)
3.5/5. Sci-Fi with a touch of erotica. A little lazy to review this one, though. It's worth noting that it was funded on Kickstarter, which is awesome!

"The stars change but the mind remains the same."

"Retract, retract, that was the rule, and she could manage it, almost—oh, there was a small scrape, and on one level she was sorry, but on another level she was a nova, and the nova had a name, and it was Kimsriyalani! and she would never ever ever be fucking Kimmie again."
Oct 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
I can't help but really like this book. This is a book for a progressive reader. It connects racism with speciesm. It challenges normal ideas of gender and sexuality.

The characters and love stories are awesome as well. Narita and Amara <3

I also enjoyed the Southeast Asian descriptions and culture. Very interesting read!
Mar 06, 2019 rated it liked it
I.....liked this? It was short. It was like a short story told by six other short stories that hand off to each other but come back around and connect. Which I liked.

The writing was well done and I enjoyed the characters and setting. The plot wasn't anything special or new, but I feel like the plot wasn't the point at all.

What keeps this from 4 stars for me is the shortness. I would have liked it to have been more in depth on everything. There are some great characters here and I feel like we on
3.5 - "The Stars Change" impressively tackles forbidden love, grief, racism and terrorism with few pages and a surprising amount of emotional depth. The story feels like two disparate parts: the first half smut, the second a grassroots effort to curb violence in war. There were hinted-at romances I was disappointed did not come to fruition. Overall very enjoyable, and I look forward to reading this author again.
Nov 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: I was a Kickstarter backer of this project and a friend of the author. This eBook was provided to me as one of my backer rewards.

Perhaps you are familiar with the author Mary Anne Mohanraj from her work as an editor on the erotica e-magazine Clean Sheets or the speculative fiction e-magazine Strange Horizons, but didn't know she was also a writer. Or Perhaps you are a fan of her work from her wonderfully poignant and moving Bodies in Motion: Stories and are coming here looking for so
This was a fairly interesting but very short novel — a fiction experiment of sorts, mashing together erotica with science fiction.

The plot (a community of intellectuals rallies in the aftermath of a terrorist attack) and the setting (a university town on a planet populated by humans and aliens) were great; but they played second fiddle to the exploration of a spectrum of sexual and romantic relationships. This book had a lot of sex: between humans and humans, and far more interestingly, between
Besides a few (moderately explicit) sex scenes and frank discussion of sex from nearly all the characters, this didn't seem like an "erotic SF novel" to me. Sex was something that impacted the characters' storylines and development, certainly. But it was a character-driven book, not an erotica-driven one, imo... a reader in search of titillation would be pretty disappointed on that front. On the other hand, a reader in search of a desifuturist, character-driven, sex-positive narrative with a lik ...more
Brianne Reeves
Aug 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
This wasn't what I thought it was going to be. The plot was weak.
Aug 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Hot alien sex + serious contemplation of prejudice + propulsive mystery and wonderful storytelling throughout.
Check out this review and more on my blog!

I can’t remember where I first encountered this novella, but I know that once I saw it I immediately went out and bought it.

As much as I love SFF I don’t read science fiction very often, and this novella had the potential to be the kind of sci-fi I love. I love quiet, character-focused sci-fi, such as The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet , so a story about a multicultural, multispecies university in which the characters seek comfort in one another on t
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This little book is big on universe-building despite coming in at under 150 pages. The universe it builds is galactic, multi-species, sex-positive, intimate, and really engaging. I would compare it favorably with Becky Chambers' The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. That book can tell a deeper, more-episodic story because it is much longer, but Mohanraj's little illustrated sci-fi book gives you the same diverse, troubled ensemble cast to fall in love with.

The story itself: a university town b
Christopher Gerrib
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I honestly can't remember how I came to have a copy of Mary Anne Mohanraj's novel The Stars Change. It's been sitting on my to-be-read pile for a long time, and I finally took it off. I'm glad I did.

This novella is set on a human-colonized world, but focuses on the world's university, which is host to a number of alien species. These species and the humans, unmodified and otherwise, are interacting and having sex with each other, as one does. But there's also a war brewing - a war in which some
Mar 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: queer, sci-fi, fiction
The plot was...weak. The characters were semi-interesting, but the plot just served to get the characters together to have sex, which was OK I guess? I appreciate the exploration of genders and sexualities but it felt kind of clumsy, like the plot was just connecting the dots between "character A and B have sex," "character A and C have sex," "character B and C have sex" etc. I guess if interspecies/furry sex is compelling to you, the book will draw you in, but I was looking for more of a story. ...more
Feb 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbt, 1-3, short-fiction
It felt like the story was perpetually on the brink of being really great, instead of just good. Maybe it was an issue of scope vs. narrative focus?

It's essentially a condensed space opera, and I'm not sure how well that works in spite of the elegant writing and world-building. For something this compact it has a lot of characters, and unfortunately the two main ones, thorough virtue (or fault?) of predictability, aren't as compelling as some of the supporting (although they're compelling enough
Ry Herman
This book begins promisingly enough, with a wide cast of characters reacting in personal ways to a terrorist attack that follows a declaration of war. However, it goes off the rails about halfway through when the plot of the book finally takes shape; the events are wildly implausible in both major and minor ways -- ranging from a completely ridiculous overall plan of action to defeat the remaining terrorists, to a policeman who casually reveals nonpublic information to a few random civilians, to ...more
Joshua Zucker
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
A good solid story and characters that seems to ask for sequels chronicling the war to come, probably with some different characters leading the way.

Some nice erotic bits (apparently this publisher specializes in F/SF erotica?). Overall a story more about character than about sex or about the plot. I would have liked more time with a lot of the characters, and with the world/universe that the author created.
Jun 03, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the beginning of the story, where it switched characters. I think I would have liked that mechanic to carry through to the rest of the story. The second half of the story felt a bit thin on action and suspense, especially since they are trying to save a city from destruction. This book is all about the 'feels'.
Matt Weber
Dec 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
A complex, thoughtful treatment of a terrorist attack in a college town of the future. It's nice to see sf on the small scale like this: No massive clashes of galactic empires, no threat to human life on all the planets, just a few people in a very different future trying to make their lives work in the face of loss, fear, and pain.
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Not sure when I started this, but it was months ago. I've been working through my "half-read" pile, and this was near the top.

This was fun, but (obviously) I didn't find it terribly compelling. A little too much in all the character' heads for my tastes. More action, less rationalization would have made for a better book, I think. Still, I liked it well enough.
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbt
Indian society in space. Specieism. #diversityftw
Good thing I ignored the "erotic" in the synopsis.
Not quite as sexy as the description led me to believe, but engaging nonetheless. I liked the way it at first felt like connected short stories and then built into a longer arc.
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, audible
4.5 I really really really enjoyed this.
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
A story of a crisis, told from ever changing perspectives, following the narrative. A little trite at time in its handling of racial power differentials, a nonetheless engaging book.
Jan 12, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ten pounds of ideas crammed into five pounds of book. Multiple species come together to stop a xenophobic attack in a University town. Characters either learn about themselves or die in the attempt.
feux d'artifice
Jul 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: poc-author, spec
hmm I liked a lot of elements of this but am iffy on the book as a whole?
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a sci fi book with a south Asian flare and with queer and poly characters. I wish that this book had been longer and more flushed out. I loved the focus on community.
Zachary Carey
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a short novella that has a wonderful, well realized future that includes aliens and is as much about human relationship with the alien as anything. It is a short read, but intense.
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