A Memory Called Empire
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Format: Print book
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Availability: 5 copies available, 4532 people requesting
Giveaway dates: Nov 30 - Dec 15, 2020
Countries available: U.S. and Canada
On rare occasions—and when you’re very lucky—you stumble upon a book that awakens a dimension of you that you had not known existed. A story that feels like an unlocking, or a becoming, like something inside you is shifting into a new and strange place—piecing itself together or breaking apart or both. It’s a wonderful feeling: to find a story that you can carry within you so powerfully it sears through your bones, and takes root in your chest, and win ...more
What do you mean, what do I mean? There's something about it--as good, as inclusive, as remarkable as it is--that just fails to miss me. Possibly it's the empire-building genre. At any rate, this is probably what Alastair Reynolds was going for in The Prefect, only this was so much more tightly plotted, with better characterization, that it was far more satisfying. Perhaps my reservations are due to lingering disaffection, because Martine does exactly what I expected from Reyno ...more
Easily one of the cleverest sci-fi debuts I’ve read so far.
A Memory Called Empire is Arkady Martine’s debut novel and the first installment in the Teixcalaan series. Ambassador Mahit Dzmare arrives in Teixcalaan only to find out that the previous ambassador from the same mining station as hers has died. Contrary to her belief, nobody wants to admit that his death wasn’t an accident, and now it’s up to Mahit to uncover who ...more
In fact, 85% of the story was pure dialogue and explanations. It TOLD me about this cool alien world and society, but it often neglected to SHOW me. And that feels like a colossal opportunity wasted. Incidentally, ...more
“That was the problem. Empire was empire—the part that seduced and the part that clamped down, jaws like a vise, and shook a planet until its neck was broken and it died....more
It started out well enough - the 'deadly technological secret' referenced in the blurb was absolutely the most interesting part of the book. Though I think labeling it 'deadly' is debatable. But once that secret ...more
“the jaws of the empire opening up again, akimbo, bloody-toothed -- the endless self-justifying desire that was teixcalaan, and teixcalaanli ways of thinking of the universe. the empire, the world. one and the same. and if they were not yet so: make them so, for this is the right and correct will of the stars.”
in a dazzling sci-fi read high on worldbuilding and political intrigue, an ambassador to a small space station is trying to investigate her predecessor’s death at the court of ...more
It's set in a space empire in which straight isn't the default, most of the cast is queer, and the worldbuilding is complex but never confusing - everything I've ever wanted.
And yet it's so much more. I knew this would be an intense read for me right from the dedication, because this book is dedicated to anyone who has ever fa ...more
Listened to the audio this time and it really smoothed out the issues I had with the prose. All my initial problems stand, but it was enjoyable. So, 3 stars, but I'm keeping the rating because it really needs to be listened to in order to be palatable, and really it still doesn't add up to a compelling story for me. A political intrigue book where none of the politics make sense and the intrigue is...mostly imaginary.
Time of death: 62%
I'm sorry, I'm skimming more and ...more
I really enjoyed this story of an ambassador that is new on the job and not only has to get used to a different place and culture, but also has to find out what lead to her predecessor‘s death. All this while she has an outdated version of him in her head, and her endocrine system.
I found the idea with the imago-machines, which preserve the memories of the dead, fascinating. The main character Mahit Dzmare should be able to benefit from the exper ...more
However, I've read a ton of murder-mysteries built into SF worlds so the core of the tale was something of a no-brainer and followed all the conventions. Welcome a stranger, an ambassador for a tiny space-station ensconced in a huge, huge empire, have her replace her murdered coun ...more
I guess I'll start at the beginning. One of the first pages said something along the lines of: "This is for all those who have ever fallen in love with a culture that was not their own."
That one line pretty much sums up the whole book. Mahit (our MC) has spent her whole life training to be an ambassador from her h ...more
If you have time to read no further than this second line, know another: you should read this book.
If you’ve got this far, know a third thing: A Memory called Empire, is one of my favorite SF novels of the last twelve months.
That’s all you really need to know. If you love a good SF novel that is more than the pew-pew of laser pistols and the throaty roar of warp-drives, then a visit to your l ...more
Now a Hugo nominee for Best Novel. Yay! Can't wait for #2. Get writing, AM! Sadly, I see Tor (& AM) have pushed back the release date to 3-2021. Grumble.
Galactic empires have a long pedigree in SF. The world-city capitol of Teixcalaan will remind old-timers of Asimov’s Trantor. But Martine’s iteration has some fresh twists. New ambassador Mahit Dzmare is shoved into deep wate ...more
Poetic Cyphers and Unspoken Politicking: "A Memory Called Empire" by Arkady Martine
Wow. Talk about being conned! I thought I’d be blown away by this book so far, because I've always loved SF, and I thought this would be right up my alley: a diplomat is sent to the heart of a deeply bureaucratic and conniving empire where language and status is based around poetic cyphers and unspoken politicking. Good premise, right? ...more
“Ambassador Dzmare,“ he said, „welcome to the Jewel of the World. A pleasure.“
Mahit, a very green-behind-the-ears ambassador, comes to the capital of the empire that might have designs on her home, Lsel Station. This is what she yearned for, but it‘s not entirely what it was supposed to be. And things don‘t go as planned.
After the first two chapters this made me think of Ann Leckie‘s Impe ...more
Multilayered, creative, and finely written, all the more impressive when considering this is a debut novel. Basically all the hype is both true and well-deserved.
Interestingly, while I was reading this the writing style kept reminding me of Vivian Shaw. Strange Practice is a completely different story, in a different genre, but has a similarly comfortable and personal narrative style. It turns out Vivian Shaw is Arkady Martine's partner!
Although this book can be read as a standalone, t ...more
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|Beyond Reality: A Memory Called Empire (9/20): finished reading (spoilers)||11||30||Oct 09, 2020 02:28AM|
|Beyond Reality: A Memory Called Empire (9/20): roll call and first impressions (no spoilers!)||10||24||Sep 06, 2020 11:02AM|
|The Sword and Laser: MCE: queerness||7||94||Aug 28, 2020 12:29PM|
|SciFi and Fantasy...: "A Memory Called Empire" Discuss Everything *Spoilers*||68||163||Aug 16, 2020 09:05PM|