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Extracurricular Activities (The Machineries of Empire)
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Extracurricular Activities (The Machineries of Empire)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  580 Ratings  ·  107 Reviews
When Shuos Jedao walked into his temporary quarters on Station Muru 5 and spotted the box, he assumed someone was attempting to assassinate him. It had happened before. Considering his first career, there was even a certain justice to it.
55 pages
Published February 2017 by Tor (first published 2017)
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Wealhtheow I think you'd appreciate it either way. The nice thing about reading it before Ninefox Gambit is it'll give you a little extra background on the…moreI think you'd appreciate it either way. The nice thing about reading it before Ninefox Gambit is it'll give you a little extra background on the society they work in, which is crazy complicated. The nice thing about reading it after is you'll already know where the short story's main character goes in his career, which adds some depth to seeing his past.(less)

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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Free online short story here at, which I'd only really recommend if you like at least two of these three: space opera, alternative sexuality and sex jokes. Review first posted at Fantasy Literature:

“Extracurricular Activities” is a prequel short story that’s part of Yoon Ha Lee’s THE MACHINERIES OF EMPIRE series, which begins with the novel Ninefox Gambit. In this space opera caper-type adventure, we follow one of the early exploits of Shuos Jedao, a character from Ninefox Gambit, while
Mar 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Excellent, complexly-grounded short story.

But what WAS wrong with our protagonist's hair that made everyone stare at him?! Frustrating to never know.
Reread at June 17th, 2018.
I am still high on Machineries of Empire. Moreover, it so happens that I have a buddy read on all Hugo nominated novelettes with two groups (yay) so I have a perfect excuse to play with Jedao again.

Now that's a fun story. Even for a reread. Set in the same 'verse of the Machineries of Empire series, this one is about Shuos Jedao in his younger days. Pure adventure with some hilarious undercover moments and banters. In a space station whose people duel using pathogens.
Rachel (Kalanadi)
Feb 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-fiction
A must read if you love Ninefox Gambit. A little bit of a caper, funny, and all about Jedao.
Adventures of Jedao when he was cool secret agent man.
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
Delightful. It must have been a joy to write: it felt like it was, anyway.

The small cultural details, the goose fat, Jedao's mother, everything. I laughed out loud more than once. It felt quite Bujold-esque (the pathogen duels reminded me of Cetaganda - the place more than the novel) but with a twist.
Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Jedao had a standard method for dealing with new commanders, which was to research them as if he planned to assassinate them. Needless to say, he never expressed it in those terms to his comrades.

I couldn't stop laughing.
Aug 08, 2017 rated it liked it
This didn't grab me as much as the description did. I liked Yoon Ha Lee's style though- I'm going to try Ninefox Gambit next!
Apr 12, 2018 rated it did not like it
“Join the Shuos for an exciting future as a secret agent, assuming your classmates don’t kill you before you graduate.”

This was nominated for a Hugo? Perhaps a parody of space operas, but too many gaps and too much stilted syntax and punctuation to make easy reading. When the reader must stop and re-read every third sentence, something’s wrong.

“Wars come and go, but graffiti is forever.”

Oversexed special agents are de rigueur of more than just space opera, but the protagonist was unconvincing an
Oleksandr Zholud
May 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
This novelette was nominated for Hugo in 2018
The story is set in the same universe as Ninefox Gambit novel, which was nominated for Hugo last year. I’ve read it and wasn’t impressed. While it can be read as a stand-alone, knowing the backstory definitely helps.
Shuos Jedao, spy/assassin of heptarchy (civilization obsessed with order and numerology) is sent on a mission to rescue his old friend from the outpost of another civilization, masked as a merchant. The story is easy to read and full of a
Allison Hurd
As I read Ninefox, I thought there must be a nice stack of fan fic for Jedao and his hosts or other trysts. Conveniently, the author provided us with one! A cute story, simple plot, lots of good background on the most interesting space assassin and, well, some serious shipping on this ship. Fun read!
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
It’s intriguing seeing Shuos Jedao in his early days working for the heptarchate. Definitely dangerous, but at the same time, I found Jedao funny. The story’s fairly quick, and has whetted my appetite for books 2 and 3.
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Yoon Ha Lee could probably write a shopping list and it would be one of the best things I've read all year. A short story about Jedao is just a bonus as far as I'm concerned.
Peter Tillman
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very entertaining new short story in the Ninefox Gambit Universe. The lighter, younger side of Jedao, the Legendary Undead General. Goose fat is involved. Read it!

Now a nominee for the 2018 Hugo Award for Best Novelette. Here are links for all the 2018 Hugo nominees:
May 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was wonderful. Everything I never knew I wanted from this universe. Definitely give it a go if you enjoyed Ninefox Gambit or even if you didn’t. Funny, witty, light hearted, but with the same intelligence of the books.
Heni Purwati Akbar
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
“You’d be surprised at the things I know how to do,” Jedao said.

Allah, this man is so hard to resist *melted*
Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
HIGHLY enjoyable and highly recommended. Dastardly spies in space.
Oct 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Long before Shuos Jedao was the most infamous strategist in the hexarchy, he was just an extraordinarily talented soldier. In this short story, he's sent on a mission to retrieve a lost crew of spies, one of whom is his old friend from Shuos Academy. It's kinda painful to read about him at this stage, knowing what he'll become.

If you enjoyed the early Miles Vorkosigan or Ender's Game books, you might very well like this adventure.
Jun 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
This short story (which, fyi is free online at completely took me by surprise.

I only recently became aware of Yoon Ha Lee's Machineries of Empire series but wasn't sure if it would "be my thing" or not. I don't really like spacey sci fi, I said. These things never really make sense to me. So, rather than investing all that time and energy in a long novel, I instead decided to start with this just to get a feel for what I'd be in for. And this shit was downright hilarious.

I ador
Madeline O'Rourke
It somehow completely missed my notice that Extracurricular Activities is a companion novella to The Machineries of Empire, but (luckily) it can be read independently.

Extracurricular Activities throws one right into the deep end of world building, but somehow it all works. I think it's largely just because, for all the people and places and things mentioned, a solid understanding of all of it isn't necessary. Ultimately, Extracurricular Activities is just supposed to be a fun side story, and it
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Decent introduction the the character who's going to be more important in Raven Stratagem.
Jun 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Ninefox Gambit'i okuduysanız aynı evrende geçmesi açısından güzel, yoksa tek başına pek de anlamı yok.
May 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: diversiverse, lgbtqia
This is a fun short set in Shuos Jedao's early career: as a junior Kel officer with Shuos background, he's asked to lead a rescue mission when a vessel is captured by the neighbouring Gwa An Reality.

As a sort-of precursor to Ninefox, it's not a brilliant introduction to the series or Jedao himself; as a companion short, it's an entertaining-to-silly spy caper with a raucous sense of humour and a lot of flirting and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Full review
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Ah, Jedao. <3 I wouldn't mind an entire collection of young Jedao adventures as a hotshot young agent.
2018 Hugo Finalist for Best Novelette

“Extracurricular Activities,” by Yoon Ha Lee (, February 15, 2017) ... Always fun to read Yoon Ha Lee. Like it. (3.5 stars, read 4/16-17/2018)
Antonio Diaz
Mar 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Relato protagonizado por Shuos Jedao, "uno" de los protagonistas de la novela Ninefox Gambit del mismo autor. No está mal, y tiene partes divertidas. Se echa en falta un poco del "calendrical warfare" que vemos en la novela.
Lana Hart
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic sci-fi adventure with pirates and betrayals and a diverse cast of LGBT characters? More of this, please.
May 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: hugos-2018
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
4.5/5 Stars

Yoon Ha Lee has masterfully pulled off some literary sorcery to make me feel SO MUCH for a complex defector/assassin/eventually-unhinged conductor of massacre in such a short heist story. Loved getting to see Shuos Jedao in action before the events of Ninefox. He's an incredible character whose thought processes, charisma, and beautifully unerring ability to be confident in himself sheds so much light on his humanity. You can't write him off as a villainous, bloodthirsty character whe
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Yoon Ha Lee is an American science fiction writer born on January 26, 1979 in Houston, Texas. His first published story, “The Hundredth Question,” appeared in Fantasy & Science Fiction in 1999; since then, over two dozen further stories have appeared. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
More about Yoon Ha Lee

Other books in the series

The Machineries of Empire (3 books)
  • Ninefox Gambit (The Machineries of Empire #1)
  • Raven Stratagem (The Machineries of Empire, #2)
  • Revenant Gun (The Machineries of Empire, #3)

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