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(Firstborn, Lastborn)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  166 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Cassilde Sam is a barely solvent salvage operator, hunting for relics in the ruins left by the mysterious Ancestors—particularly the color-coded Elements that power most of humanity’s current technology, including the ability to navigate through hyperspace. Cassilde is also steadily fading under the onslaught of Lightman’s, an incurable, inevitably fatal disease. She needs ...more
Paperback, 372 pages
Published December 10th 2018 by Candlemark & Gleam
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Average rating 3.75  · 
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 ·  166 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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K.J. Charles
Dec 25, 2018 added it
Shelves: sci-fi
Melissa Scott space opera! A trio of salvage experts who also used to have a poly relationship find themselves at the heart of a storm relating to life-changing nanotech left behind by the Ancestors. This is another book proving the dictum that all current SFF is about climate change: the story is of humanity destroying itself with tech and war not once but twice, and the desperate efforts of thinking people not to do it again. Lots of strangeness and adventure with an intense human heart, and b ...more
Peter Tillman
Oct 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
A good book, and a fine return to far-future, gender-bending SF for Melissa Scott, who I liked a lot in the old days.

“Space Opera with a fine, wide sweep of time behind it, intriguing "Clarkean" magical science, and an engaging, edgy threesome of central characters. Fun to read, and best of all, the promise of more to come.” — Gwyneth Jones’ blurb, which I’m pleased to crib to start this.

As always, read the publishers intro first, I’ll wait.

Back already? It’s not a bad capsule, but doesn’t give
Tansy Roberts
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An action-packed space adventure with so much heart.

Finders is an intense exploration of impending mortality, mystical immortality, and how both of these things can put pressure on your relationships. Cassilde is a space scavenger in a romantic triad with two men: her long-time partner Dai and their former third, Ashe, who left their relationship years ago and has now returned dragging trouble in his wake.

As the crew of the spaceship Carabosse, the three of them are swept up in a dangerous ques
Bogi Takács
Space opera with interesting concepts and a polyamorous triad. Saving this for a longer review! (Hopefully soon, G-d willing)

Source of the book: Bough from my wishlist by A. Thank you!!
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Here's what I said in my blurb since it's not out and about yet:
"Melissa Scott’s Finders is an epic tale set in a universe of hostile AIs and social collapse in the aftermath of a devastating intergalactic war. Cassilde and her lovers, Ashe and Dai, are salvagers and explorers, sifting through the remains of the high tech civilizations that have left their mark on the galaxy around them. Cassilde’s illness, Ashe’s previous betrayal and an implacable foe threaten their chosen family, their livel
I liked the premise, I liked the worldbuilding, I liked the polyamerous relationship, but... I don't know, everything felt muted and distant. Like no one could be bothered getting upset. On so many occasions the main character would be (rightfully) angry about something another character had done, for about two sentences, and then she'd think what's the point of being angry and just forgive him. Despite being many reasons for it to be there, there was basically no tension between the characters, ...more
Cat M
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m-f, sf-f, queerness, poly
Absolutely fantastic poly space opera with great characters and really thoughtful world building. Also, a very clever take on a classic concept that will be particularly familiar to Highlander fans.

Cassilde and Dai are salvagers, hunting for the relics and technology in the ruins of two previous civilizations, the mysterious Ancestors and the later Successors. Cassilde is also dying, wasting away due to an incurable, always-fatal condition. Cassilde and Dai are struggling to scrape out a living
Dec 27, 2018 marked it as to-read-eventually  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series-lgbt, lgbt, kindle
So, having read the kindle sample, I can say that the plot looks interesting enough and the worldbuilding is intriguing, but...

- I bounced off some of Ms. Scott's other books, so I'm wary. Including the highly recced Astreiant series. Just wasn't for me.

- There isn't enough gay for me. The main ship was poly m/f/m, with the second man being optional/it's complicated. I'm frankly just not interested in reading about m/f, especially when the relationship is entwined with the plot the way this one
Doctor Science
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Polyamory space opera -- that is also a Highlander fanfic. Run, don't walk.
Abi Walton
Jun 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: space
What a disappointment :( I love Melissa Scott and her Death by Silver and Astreiant series are by far my favourite books ever read. However, Finders was a massive let down and not because of the writing or the world building which were incredible but because of this huge distance, the main character felt as though nothing touched her. I mean we are seeing this all through her eyes and everything is distant there is no tension no can seem to be bothered to get upset.
My fave character was Ashe wh
Harald Koch
Intriguing world building, and I liked the characters. But also long descriptions of traveling from one place to another, and the ultimate climax was a huge let-down for me. Harrumph.
Tim Hicks
May 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
Hmph. Didn't work for me. I just about tagged this as fantasy. See, I've always liked the concept that SF is about stuff that *could* happen, while fantasy plays more with "couldn't happen but let's explore it anyway." This slips over the line.

We dive right in with the GREEN and the RED and the BLUE etc. which seem to be a cross between S*lly P*utty, L*GO, and computer circuits with a dash of magic. Except the GREEN can somehow slow the progress of a fatal disease. The one Silde goes on and on
Dec 06, 2018 marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2018
okay, I don't think I've read anything by her, but apparently she usually writes lots of LGBT+ character so I'm !!!!!!!
Mike Crate
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, scifi
Humanity spanned the galaxy with technology that broached upon magic in terms of what they could do but at the core was AI and as is with all things sentient self determination and freedom can not be denied. The Ancestors fell, their technology what was left was embraced by the survivors who became known as the Successors but their technological capabilities were a former shadow of the Ancestors and in time their civilisation fell too. A thousand years later humanity has the dregs of the Ancesto ...more
Warren Rochelle
Jul 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Ancestors--who can only be described as gods--lived in great sky palaces--until finally, after almost losing the AI Wars, they fell, or were abandoned. Then, the Sucessors, Now, the humans, scattered on dozens of worlds, some of whom make it their business to salvage the ruins of the great ones, seeking Ancestor artifacts, treasures, lost technological wonders, powerful medicines. Three such salvors are Dai, Ashe, and Cassilde, reunited after the Trouble. While investigating what seems to a ...more
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2019, own
Salvage operators Cassilde Sam and Dai Winters are barely scraping by hunting for whatever Ancestral relics they can find while dealing with Cassilde's ever deteriorating health due to an ultimately fatal disease. When their former business partner and lover Summerlad Ashe turns up again out of the blue years after he left them both to go fight on the opposite side of an intergalactic war, they are rightly suspicious of his motives, but the proposition he brings them - the chance to salvage ruin ...more
2.5*. Too much of Clarke's Third Law here. I'll allow for one major mumbo-jumbo magical science concept per SFF novel, but this had both the "ancestral elements" (nanites?) and the warpline space travel AND the AI, who were indistinguishable from fantasy novels with capricious gods. The Gift functioned as a get-out-of-jail-free card to make the plot points fall in line, which I find annoying with actual magic systems, nevermind technology that should follow some internal set of rules and limitat ...more
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
I've loved Melissa Scott's books since I got The Roads of Heaven omnibus from the SFBC back in junior high. I had to re-bind it once I got to university and I still reread it on occasion. It has been quite a while since she has written space opera/ hard scifi and it was worth the wait. I love the fantasy stuff too but this is making me want to pull out some of my other old favorites.
The pacing stays quick and the universe building feels fresh and new. Not everything is laid out for the reader wi
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: space-opera
This was good! Kept getting more interesting, the world more complex as I kept reading. Carsilde is a salvager - digging in the space ruins of Ancestors (human civilization several thousand years ago, at its technological peak) for usable technology. She uncovers secrets! It's a complete & satisfying story as a standalone, but the universe seems so promising & rich, I really hope for more books.

My only critique is (view spoiler)
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. Based on an interesting concept (scavengers reclaim the relics of an earlier age of humans who innovated and then destroyed themselves), the book was fast-paced, easy to slip into, and interesting. The central relationship was a triad and beautiful in its straight-forward, sweet depiction of 3 people in love. There were a few moments that felt a little overdone (didn't need that much navigational detail), but I adored this book and I will eagerly read any and all in the series ...more
Margaret E.
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent new universe from Melissa Scott

Great backstory including several interstellar dark ages leading to the current to situation that includes the aftermath of a recent war II found the characters to be interesting and believable & I actually cared about what happened to them (even to the least sympathetic character) No spoilers, but it appears to be a setup for further books and I look forward to them
A. L. Lester
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love the normative queerness of all Melissa Scott's writing and this is no exception. It features a three-way poly relationship between salvage operators scrounging the ruins of an inexplicable civilization for the bits and bobs that will keep their remnant tech working. The crew find that there is more going on than they know about and the suspense is set against the low-key renegotiating of their relationship. I really enjoyed it.
Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
As easy to devour as all of Melissa Scott's, this was an intriguing and enjoyable sf story, and I'm definitely keen to see where else it goes. Enjoyed the triad relationship of our main protagonists, and the world building was interesting and pretty easy to understand. (Though ever since a friend mentioned the trace of Highlander you can feel in the tone I can't unsee it, heh.)
Justin Robert Chernow
Surprisingly good

I took a chance on this book, and am pleased I did. It took a minute to get into it, but once I was fully immersed in the world the novel builds, it became increasingly hard to put down. Interesting, original, and fun. Looking forward to the next installment.
Lanie Tankard
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Here's my review over at The Woven Tale Press in my monthly "Eye on the Indies" column:
I enjoyed this much more than I thought I would. Looking forward to #2
Meg Leader
May 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found Scott in the 80s and read everything I could get my hands on, then I lost track of her books. I happy I noticed this one. Enjoyable read.
I wish the relationship dynamics were the bulk of the novel, that’s how much I liked them.
Jean Hontz
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a fun read! Archaeology in Space! Well, Indiana Jones in space, at least, with salvagers finding the keys to the kingdom.
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
I bought this pretty much automatically. It's Melissa Scott, it's sci-fi, two things I usually enjoy. But it didn't work for me this time, maybe because it's so description heavy. I was confused a lot of the time and the characters felt kind of soulless.
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Scott studied history at Harvard College and Brandeis University, and earned her PhD. in comparative history. She published her first novel in 1984, and has since written some two dozen science fiction and fantasy works, including three co-authored with her partner, Lisa A. Barnett.

Scott's work is known for the elaborate and well-constructed settings. While many of her protagonists are gay, lesbia

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