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Prime Meridian

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  462 ratings  ·  141 reviews
Love, life, dreams, and a world beyond reach.

Amelia dreams of Mars. The Mars of the movies and the imagination, an endless bastion of opportunities for a colonist with some guts. But she’s trapped in Mexico City, enduring the drudgery of an unkind metropolis, working as a rent-a-friend, selling her blood to old folks with money who hope to rejuvenate themselves with it, en
Paperback, 122 pages
Published by Innsmouth Free Press (first published December 1st 2017)
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Average rating 3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  462 ratings  ·  141 reviews

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Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
This novella creeped me out. It was a snapshot of stymied dissatisfaction, a life arrested on its course and plunged by force into a stagnancy leading nowhere. If I sound overly flowery, like I'm trying to write a literary-sounding review of The Great Gatsby or some other profoundly uncomfortable classic work, it's because that's what Prime Meridian was like.

Only I don't need any American Lit teacher to tell me, "You see, Gatsby was so influential because it encapsulated the essence of the 1920
Dec 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: poc-author
My disappointment in this comes from two main things: 1) It's a novella and when I finished I wished I wanted it to be longer because I wanted all of it fleshed out more. 2) I definitely thought it took place in space (Look, I just auto-downloaded this because it's Silvia Moreno-Garica. I only like skimmed the summary.)

But man, you guys, Silvia Moreno-Garcia is always so freaking good at these morally gray, complicated characters. I can't get over it.

Watch me talk about this book in my December
K.J. Charles
I thought this would be a sf, but although it's set in a crumbling future when Mars colonisation is underway, it's mainly a portrait of a young woman in despair. Amelia dreams of Mars, sells plasma, scrabbles together a living as a professional friend and half-hearted mistress. Vivid, powerful writing in a fully realised world of grinding poverty and wealth gap. Amelia's bleakness, expressed in a detached inability to engage with her lover or sister, is powerfully done, and there is the faintest ...more
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
That was not what I expected - at all. I thought I was in for a space exploration story. I got a powerful, emotional portrayal of precarious life in an enormous city, the suffocating weight of a number of tiny things gone wrong, disillusionment and dystopia that's become so commonplace no one sees it as such. All this contrasted with love of 80's movies in their endearing cheesiness. I thought I'd read just a couple of pages, and then I didn't stop reading until the very end.
Adrian Dooley
Aug 10, 2018 rated it liked it
The story of Amelia, a young woman who dreams of moving to Mars which has been colonised. She dreams of the reality of living with Mars and the romantic version in the old films depicting it.

But she is stuck scraping by on Earth in Mexico City, doing odd jobs here and there just to survive, living with her sister and her kids, she spends most of her days in coffee houses drinking the cheapest coffee while using their wifi.
An old boyfriend who broke her heart appears on the scene again and as she
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned, 2018, shorts
I find stories like this one strangely transfixing. The protagonist is a very young woman (though she is convinced that 25 is far older than it is) imprisoned in an untenably awful situation by external factors (poverty, economy, lack of family support) as well as internal ones (I'd say depression, and assorted problems related to that). It is a difficult and affecting read where little happens and even less is affected by the character herself: she reacts to events, and even the conclusion depe ...more
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A novella of survival in a very real dystopia of later late-stage capitalism. But also a story of missed opportunities and second chances. Achingly beautiful.
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
3.0 Stars
More contemporary than science fiction, this was more about the challenges of being an underemployed twenty-something living in Mexico. I liked the Mars colony angle and wished that it played a large role in the story. I particularly enjoyed the parts involving her working as a friend for hire (which is a real freelance job!)
A Reader's Heaven
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, short-fiction
Love, life, dreams, and a world beyond reach.
Amelia dreams of Mars. The Mars of the movies and the imagination, an endless bastion of opportunities for a colonist with some guts. But she’s trapped in Mexico City, enduring the drudgery of an unkind metropolis, working as a rent-a-friend, selling her blood to old folks with money who hope to rejuvenate themselves with it, enacting a fractured love story. And yet there’s Mars, at the edge of the silver screen, of life. It awaits her.

I have to start
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
(I received an early ebook copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley. My opinions are my own)

Wow. I had no expectations going into this. I knew three things: the cover was gorgeous, it was listed as Sci-Fi, and the main character wanted to go to Mars.

What I got was leagues above and beyond.

The first thing you should know is this is a quick, fast paced story. It's written in the clipped, straightforward style reminiscent of the Lost Generation. This does not mean the writing is not
Megan Hex
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Basically a science fiction novel placed right now. The hope of Mars is a backdrop against the hardscrabble life of twentysomethings stuck in a gig economy. Sad and truthful without ever quite losing hope. It's a novella, so take a couple hours and read this one.
I think I have something in my eye. What a brilliant, forceful story.

Full review to follow.

I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Sarah (CoolCurryBooks)
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Prime Meridian is a lovely, quiet science fiction novella.

Amelia is a lonely woman, drifting through an unsatisfying life in Mexico City. She’s wound up living with her bossy older sister and her two nieces in one cramped apartment, while she works a series of odd temp jobs, mostly as someone rich people can hire to be their friend.

But Amelia has dreams. She dreams of Mars. Becoming a Martian colonist requires resources that are far out of Amelia’s grasp, but she’s never given up on the dream.

Jessica Strider
Dec 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Pros: interesting story, good character development

Cons: limited description

Amelia dreams of heading to Mars, but she can’t afford the flight and doesn’t want to be an indentured servant, so she continues to eek out an existence in Mexico City, making ends meet by doing occasional jobs as a paid friend.

This is a novella funded by an IndieGoGo campaign, which I supported.

Amelia isn’t the most likeable character, as evidenced by her limited Friendrr clientele, but she is an honest one. A string of
Feb 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Received to review via Netgalley; publication date 10th July 2018

Prime Meridian is a rather quiet novella, following the low-key struggle of life in Mexico City for its protagonist, Amelia, while she dreams of life in the colonies on Mars. There’s no intense action, just an emotional undercurrent of bitterness and the fear that she’ll never escape Mexico City and her life there. There’s an honesty about Amelia’s character — not always likeable, for the reader or for the people around her — but a
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing

A beautiful passionate tale of a twenty-five year old woman in Mexico City who is stuck in life while dreaming of Mars. This novella is where the dream
Of the future keeps you going when everyone else wants you to do what they want. Amazing

Full review -
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
Really misleading cover and blurb. The only thing SF about it, in actuality, is the near-future dystopia. And yes, I admit, it is a dystopia because even though there are still plenty of rich ppl, they have no souls. But honestly if I hadn't seen the cover, I would have been able to tell that the blurb overpromised, and I would not have read this. Ugh.
Bogi Takács
Review soonish IY"H! I should say in the meanwhile that I liked it.

Source of the book: Bought with my own money
Don't go into this thinking it's about space travel. It's not. Instead, it's about scraping by in a reality you hate and dreaming of more, in a very near future dystopian kind of way. Also about the friendships we make when we don't mean to. This is my first Silvia Morena-Garcia, but it won't be the last. I instantly fell in love with the way that she writes characters. I won't say Amelia is terribly likable. In fact, she's terribly miserable. But I found myself empathizing with her so much that ...more
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: speculative fiction fans or as a started into that sub-genre
My only complaint with this is that I didn't want it to end. Such is the peril of reading the novella. There's some exceptional writing here and with the yearning of Mars always in the background of the story, I really loved the atmosphere and how Moreno-Garcia painted this world.

Amelia is a twenty-something who is stuck in the mire of poverty due to college being stopped to care for her dying mother and the inability to parlay her skills into marketable remuneration. It's a bleak existence and
This is the second work I've read by SMG and though it doesn't quite reach my love for Certain Dark Things , it was still a solid read.

Prime Meridian is a much quieter story than I was expecting, though again we have the backdrop of Mexico that seems to be part of Moreno-Garcia's MO. In a distant future, we find Amelia: lonely, apathetic, out of options, and dreaming about the day she can finally leave for a Mars colony. She makes money where she can, which is mostly by sitting with an old ac
Riley Ashby
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
This is an exceptional sci-fi novella that hearkens back to the style of Ray Bradbury and H.G. Wells. Beautifully crafted.
Dec 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2018
4 & 1/2 STARS

This third work I’ve read by Silvia Moreno-Garcia confirms that she’s an extremely versatile author: after the violent world of vampires shown in Certain Dark Things, and the frivolously vicious society of The Beautiful Ones, with this novella we explore Mexico in the near future, a future where mankind has established colonies on Mars while on Earth entire areas suffer from a failing economy, their inhabitants struggling in a hand-to-mouth existence that seems to offer little hope
Morgan Dhu
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Like the lives of most people without wealth, status or high-tech credentials in Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s novella Prime Meridian, Amelia’s life is shit. After dropping out of university to cate for a dying mother, she lost her scholarship, and with that, her chance at a life she’s dreamed of forever, a life on Mars. Instead, she lives in her dead mother’s house with her sister and her nieces, and the best job she’s been able to find in months is working as a pretend companion for Friendrr.

In More
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, I really liked this. There's absolutely no space in this book (in case you were wondering because of the cover). There are no space travels, nor astronauts chasing aliens. This is more of a futuristic tale, set in a time when Mars colonies are a reality, when you can leave the Earth in search for something more. A time when things are hard, when the gap between rich and poor has grown disproportionately and there is no hope left for most of the inhabitants is Mexico City, as only a few see ...more
Claudie Arseneault
Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
Wow I'm not sure what I expected from Prime Meridian, but this wasn't it. This novella is a raw portrayal of life at the fringes, scraping dollars together, of clinging to a dream when every little thing seems to go wrong. At times it's hard to like Amelia, although to me it stemmed from how much she hated herself, but I think this barrier to really falling for her amplifies the story and gives it an essential depth. She's the kind of character you really root for, even if you'll never call her ...more
Mark Gardner
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
I expected a space sci-fi, but ended up with a life drama. I liked the dystopian world that Amelia lives in. It’s so poignant and tells a story we’ve heard time and time again in real life. She was on track for a stable life, and then everything went sideways. The years rolled forward, and she finds herself in a situation many of us face every day. But she still dreams of Mars.

Sometimes, it’s hard to like Amelia, but as in life, no one is perfect, except on Facebook. The relationship between Ame
Not what I expected, but that's Silvia Moreno-Garcia for you! This one is definitely more literary fiction than sci-fi, but it's still an interesting mix of the two genres, and I always love the way she writes. I probably won't keep coming back to this one like I will Signal to Noise and The Beautiful Ones, but I think it will stick in my mind anyway. I'm looking forward to whatever Moreno-Garcia does next! ...more
Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This novella is an excellent portrait of a person who didn't get the right start in life. Amelia's smart and tough, but she lost her botany scholarship when she took time off to care for her dying mother. Now in her mid-twenties, she lives in a crowded, crime-ridden, near-future Mexico City, eating cruddy vat-grown meat and working as a hired friend for an app called Friendrr. Amelia dreams of forging a new life growing plants in the red soil of Mars. This story is just the right length for what ...more
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Silvia Moreno-Garcia is the author of several novels, including Gods of Jade and Shadow. She has also edited a number of anthologies, including the World Fantasy Award-winning She Walks in Shadows (a.k.a. Cthulhu's Daughters). Mexican by birth, Canadian by inclination.

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