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Xenowealth: A Collection

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High concept, adventurous science fiction stories featuring the beloved characters and settings from Tobias S. Buckell’s popular Xenowealth novels.

Enjoy this fast-paced ride through a universe that has been many years in the making, accessible to both fans of Buckell’s Crystal Rain, Ragamuffin and Sly Mongoose novels as well as first time readers. Xenowealth: A Collection includes stories like:

The Fish Merchant: a glimpse at what first contact might be like from the perspective of those who will be battered by the fallout and geopolitical posturing. First published in one of science fiction’s largest magazines and translated into multiple languages.

Resistance: what happens when we hand over all our decision-making to algorithms and artificial intelligence? Can we let them vote for us? Should we?

Necahual: an invading empire finds that not all is as it seems when it lands and gets a lesson about what both past and current occupation means.

And including Ratcatcher, an all-new Xenowealth story written just for this collection.

202 pages, Paperback

Published October 9, 2015

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About the author

Tobias S. Buckell

194 books398 followers
Born in the Caribbean, Tobias S. Buckell is a New York Times Bestselling author. His novels and over 50 short stories have been translated into 17 languages and he has been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula, Prometheus and John W. Campbell Award for Best New Science Fiction Author. He currently lives in Ohio.

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5 stars
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18 (56%)
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Displaying 1 - 10 of 10 reviews
Profile Image for Craig.
4,984 reviews116 followers
November 15, 2021
This is a very nice collection of nine stories set in the same universe as the four novels in the series that began with Ragamuffin. The character Pepper appears in all of the stories, and it's quite interesting to see how he changes, both physically and mentally, as the worlds around him evolve. (I'd like to see a timeline incorporating the novels and stories that shows the major events and the amount of time that elapses between them.) There are a couple of stories that have odd second-person or present-tense narration that make them hard to follow, but overall I enjoyed the book very much. The Fish Merchant introduces Pepper and his world, and the changes to him and to human civilization over the course to Ratcatcher, my favorite in the book, are quite fascinating. It's science fiction world building at its best.
Profile Image for MadProfessah.
367 reviews163 followers
April 30, 2016
Great to spend more time in the Xenowealth universe!!

This is a very fun and reasonably fast read. If you have not read any of the Xenowealth books, what are you waiting for? They are exciting, action-packed space opera featuring a diverse cast of black and brown characters where the main hero is a dread-locked super-powerful basically indestructible morally flexible big black dude named Pepper!

Even without reading the four Xenowealth books (Crystal Rain, Ragamuffin, Sly Mongoose, Apocalypse Ocean) you will still enjoy the stories in this Xenowealth Collection.

The highlights for me were (the very first story) "The Fish Merchant," (Pepper's origin story) "Manumission," (the extended excerpt from "Apocalypse Ocean") "Placa del Fuego" and (the very last story) "Ratcatcher." But, happily there is no bad story in the bunch, these I mentioned are just the standouts!

Read it for yourself!
Profile Image for Wealhtheow.
2,431 reviews543 followers
September 26, 2018
In a universe where humans are very much the low man on the totem pole, there are few who can go toe-to-toe with alien overlords and win. Pepper is one such a man. Assassin, mercenary, adventurer, as much tech as human--he lives centuries and is instrumental in the destruction of empires. This is a collection of short stories featuring him.

"The Fish Merchant." A common fish merchant gets caught up in one of Pepper's missions, complete with poison, aliens, and murder. It's gutsy to start a short story collection with one that doesn't portray Pepper in particularly heroic light. In this, he's just the outsider who brings terrible tragedy.

"Manumission." Set way back before Pepper was vaulting around alien planets putting fear into the hearts of the Satrapy. He has no memories, no last name, and is owned body and soul by a multinational corporation. This is solid cyberpunk noir; fans of Gibson or Richard K Morgan will probably appreciate this one.

"Resistance." Pepper is brought in to take down an AI tyrannically ruling a space station.

"A Cold Heart." Still on the hunt for his stolen memories, Pepper is hired to aid in a fight between a satrap and the hope of a free humanity. Contains one of those moments that remind me why I love this guy so much:

"The Loa." Pepper hires street kids to track down a Teotl.

"Necahual." League soldiers drop down onto New Anegada to liberate the humans from the Azteca, but it turns out they're not as powerful as they think.

"Placa del Fuego." Pepper's daughter goes on a hunt for him, and in the process fights an alien that has a goddamn wormhole for a mouth.

"The Rydr Express." Pepper teams up with an agent sworn to protect the neutrality of the train lines between worlds. In this one Pepper literally throws someone off the train to perfectly land on a goddamn spaceship, godDAMN.

"Ratcatcher." The greatest bounty hunter/investigator in the galaxy goes up against Pepper. This was easily my favorite of the collection. Yamaxtli is a great character, the plot is twisty and sharp, and the action is top notch.
Profile Image for Clay Kallam.
869 reviews23 followers
May 9, 2017

The brave new world of publishing can affect even successful authors, as even Tobias Buckell – who has written the successful Xenowealth and Artic Rising books – must resort to crowdfunding to get all of his works into print.

“Xenowealth” (Xenowealth Books, $14.95, 193 pages) is a collection of short stories that center around the very violent Pepper, who battles aliens that dominate humans, and some humans as well, on and off Earth. Not surprisingly, the collection expands on the three-book series of the same name that begins with “Crystal Rain,” but there are no spoilers, and “Xenowealth” can stand alone. Still, if you like the stories, definitely read the series, as Buckell is a talented author who doesn’t overwrite, either in style or in length.
21 reviews
January 25, 2021
I bought Crystal Rain years ago

So I decided to give this collection a shot as pandemic reading. I'm glad I did! The characters, the World building, the development of the universe over the stories was really good. I hope someday some wise Publishing Company picks this idea up again for other novels
Profile Image for [ J o ].
1,938 reviews428 followers
Shelved as 'never-read'
November 7, 2022
[ read the first book in the series, 'Crystal Rain', and did not enjoy, therefore will not be continuing with the series ]
Profile Image for Alex Telander.
Author 16 books152 followers
July 25, 2017
Bestselling author Tobias S. Buckell has penned a number of novels in his Xenowealth universe, such as Crystal Rain, Ragamuffin and Sly Mongoose. In Xenowealth: A Collection, Buckell collects all of the short stories he has written over the years and published in magazines and anthologies, bringing them together in this self-published volume. Here readers get to see the beginning stories of the unlikely, mechanized hero Pepper as he goes around looking to make enough money to survive and get by, but also to help those in need as much as he can. At first he seems like a tough-as-nails mercenary only looking to help out himself, but readers soon learn there is more to this man than his mechanically enhanced exterior.

Pepper makes an appearance in each of the stories in this collection, but the rest of characters – some readers will recognize from Buckell’s Xenowealth novels – are developed, fascinating people of color that readers soon care for and want to do well. But in this tough world, it is often hard to get by.

Xenowealth: A Collection is a great diving board for new readers to delve into this world and quickly get hooked. Buckell self-published the collection through a Kickstarter campaign wanting to give readers – fans old and new – a chance to read these thrilling stories.

Originally written on March 3, 2016 ©Alex C. Telander.

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Profile Image for E.L. Hine.
Author 3 books9 followers
July 11, 2016
Excellent stuff! I truly enjoyed reading the stories that filled in the blanks in Pepper's background, which I have been hoping for since reading "Crystal Rain" back in 2009. It isn't a long book but it's full of action, and includes such gems as "The Fish Merchant" - the first published Pepper story, and two stories that are either new to this collection "Manumission" and "A Cold Heart" - or were published in periodicals and not as stand-alone available stories. Definitely worth the modest price.
Profile Image for Barbara.
1,112 reviews5 followers
January 25, 2016
A fascinating collection of stories. They chronicle the "birth" of Pepper and his evolution, and through him the evolution of the Satrapy, the settlement of Nanagada and the Xenowealth. Exciting, moving and thought provoking.
Displaying 1 - 10 of 10 reviews

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