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Water into Wine

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  36 ratings  ·  14 reviews
When war comes to your planet, everything changes.. perhaps even the meaning of family and identity.

Xin inherits a vineyard on a distant planet, and moves there to build a life… but an interstellar war intervenes. Will Xin’s dreams of a new life get caught in the crossfire? Xin's understanding of family and sense of self must evolve to cope with the changes brought by life
Published September 27th 2017 by Annorlunda Books
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Average rating 4.11  · 
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 ·  36 ratings  ·  14 reviews

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Francesca Forrest
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a story like a smoldering fire: I found myself talking to people about it and thinking about it long after I'd read it. Externally, Xin is struggling to make a success of a vineyard on a planet faraway from Old Earth. Internally, Xin is struggling to know themself, not merely as a child of their parents or a parent of their children but as a person whole in themself. Their gender fluidity led to a divorce: how will it affect their interactions with people in their new home, especially th ...more
Faith Jones
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a novella about what remains of a family and their identity, the refugee flotsam of a previous traumatic war, who inherit a vineyard on a distant planet and move there to start again and spark their renewal. The vineyard is a haven but also a place where they can lose themselves in work and, like true migrant pioneers, take their future into their own hands, just them versus the soil, a sense of control, of peace and continuity, finally.

The vineyard is an island of green leaves in a sea
Psyche Ready
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
This short, sweet, sad book really got to me. A story of family, the bonds between parent and child, distance from home, the lifelong resonances of trauma, and hope.

This is a story of a non-binary person who maintains a vineyard far from earth. They (qar) keep it growing while war happens all around them, and struggle with the human experiences of love, comfort, sex, identity, livelihood, family, and self while the bombs fall. We never find out much about what's going on in the wider world--it's
Joanne Rixon
Feb 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(The main character of this book is named Ping Xin and uses a neopronoun, qar.)

First of all, I really loved this book. It's a lovely and haunting story about love and loss, about trauma and healing. Ping Xin is deeply emotional, is traumatized and human, and I loved following qar through qar journey first to the vineyard qar grandfather bequeathed to qar and then through the war that washes over the vineyard, and Ping Xin's family, like storm-tossed waves. The agricultural setting is perfect for
Rachel (Life of a Female Bibliophile)
Water into Wine is a Sci-fi novella about a futuristic earth. The main character Xin is newly divorced who finds out they have inherited her grandfathers beloved vineyard on a new planet. Xin and family move to the new planet with hope for a promising new life, but bliss is cut short as war moves on the horizon. Xin deals with many issues throughout the story such as sexuality, family, and self-discovery. The book also details and expresses the horrors that war can bring from the people who are ...more
Natalie Waddell-Rutter
This was a literary short story in a science fiction setting. I say that because the thoughts and decisions of our narrator are more important than the actions occurring around the vineyard. Yes, it's on a distant planet, but there's still a vineyard and a family and the loss of a parent and a lover. What makes it an interesting story is Xin - Xin was a woman who had been living as a man for some time and seemed to be transitioning back to being a woman. Xin came up with their own pronoun, qar, ...more
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf, decolonialisation
In a world where fascism and war draw ever closer for so many people, this is a short yet very chilling book, leaving me shaken.
The protagonist's experience of just wanting to live their own simple life, working the soil and honoring their elder, but being bulldozed by meaningless wars and losing almost everything and everyone, is described both with empathy and the cold detachment of the protagonist, who just has to get on with their life. This distance is what makes the book bearable after all
Oct 27, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Confusing. Future space warfare but they use jeeps and fight with WWII tactics and hardware? Other than one detail, WWII had women fighting. The space army (navy?) in this short story is all boys' club. Not sure the wirter knows what he/she is doing, if you want realistic military scifi this isn't it. They don't have the internet or interplanetary comms, they have letters.

Flat, boring chars. Xin is too whiny. ZzZZzz.
Leader of the Pack
Jun 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
As a space war ravages a farming planet, a family does everything it can to survive and keep its vineyard running. This story shows how sometimes hope is the only thing that keeps people going through terrible times. Beautiful writing!
Becca Evans
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A touching story about a war-torn planet and a simple vineyard. Family and love, tragedy and hope.
Claudie Arseneault
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf, indie, lgbt, aoc
This was such a beautiful, poignant story. WATER INTO WINE chronicles Xin's life after inheriting their grandfather's vineyard and moving there with their three children and mother, of trying to survive and make the vineyard thrive through times of war, of forging a new life and finding one's self. I particularly really enjoyed the passages about Xin's gender and how they completely avoid 101 to simply give the readers Xin's experiences.

I love the tight focus of this story, how the war is a loo
May 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Science fiction does love the battles – the wars in the stars (no trademarks are infringed!); the land battles, the starships exploding in the skies but we perhaps forget about those who just find themselves in the firing line. In this bittersweet novella from Joyce Chng we focus less on the armies and the tech but a reminder that there are human lives being devastated by both sides.

Xin’s grandfather decided they should own the vineyard he has on the remote planet Tertullian VI. She narrates the
Daphne Lee
Oct 01, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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I am Singaporean. I write SFF and YA. ;)

I also write urban fantasy under J. Damask.

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