A space salvager and her partner make the discovery of a lifetime that just might change the universe in this wild, big-ideas space opera from multi award-winning author Elizabeth Bear.
Haimey Dz thinks she knows what she wants.
She thinks she knows who she is.
She is wrong.
A routine salvage mission uncovers evidence of a terrible crime and relics of a powerful ancient tech...more
In this case, our MC is got at from several directions all at once. Memory, behavior modification, social and political nastiness, all the way up to full and voluntary body control for the Space ...more
Haimey, Connla and Singer (their sentient spaceship) are salvage operators. They're given a tip about a ship, and once there, ...more
Space opera is back, and at least in the hands of some female writers, it is not even remotely retrogressive in the ways that were standard some thirty years ago.
While portions of this book were claustrophobic in ways that usually lose me, Bear kept me reading as the questions opened outward, and I hoped to see more of certain secondary characters (two of them not human).
For me, space opera has to hit at least some of the following elements:
Larger than life characters with interesting exploratio ...more
This is not what I expected it to be. I saw space salvage and space pirates and expected a thrilling action filled plot. Maybe a cat and mouse game, mayb ...more
In many ways this book is an excellent pairing with MCU’s recently released Captain Marvel. No, really, hear me out. Both are stories centring women being told what or not to do, told that their emotions are crap and that they should know better, that their choices of how to deal with their emotions are wrong. It is about empowerment, going against what anybody else thinks and finding your own way by embracing your identity, flaws and all. Also fighting against baddies and f ...more
Haimey Dz and her small crew of space salvage operators stumble across the scene of an atrocity and an abandoned ship. An incident that occurs as part of the investigation of the abandoned ship leaves Haimey in particular the focus of pursuit and acquisition by pirates. All of which is a catalyst for Haime ...more
Let's deal with the space opera aspect first. Elizabeth Bear provides some excellent adventure scenes in space, and we've the usual mix of huge spaceships and interesting aliens. Main character Haimey Dz is an engineer on a ship that salvages wrecks - but, as we gradually di ...more
Q: "What’s your elevator pitch for Ancestral Night duology?"...more
A: “Uber, but for ancient alien artifacts caught in the hinges of space!”
Okay, I’m slightly kidding, but what a great question! It’s not exactly accurate to call it a duology, however. It’s two related books, which will have some continuing characters, but each one should stand on its own as an arc and a story. So I’m structuring it more like Cherryh’s or Banks’s space operas, where a number of independent novels take place in the same
My first foray into Elizabeth Bear’s work was her excellent 2017 fantasy novel The Stone in the Skull, which I enjoyed immensely. I knew that Bear is known for writing in a multitude of genres, but I wasn’t prepared for the genre whiplash I experienced when I picked up the space opera Ancestral Night. The book follows Haimey Dz, a space salvager who uncovers a piece of ancient alien technology that, in the wrong hands, could be catastrophic for the galaxy at large. ...lo and be ...more
To imagine the future is a challenge that can be quite daunting. The intricate details that allow us to distinguish what is possible in the years to come from what is of the domain of dreams are what help sell worlds and universes to a reader. Without falling into a trap where too much exposition gives you more elements to marinate in and question its authenticity, some authors are able to paint a much more self-contained and genuine cosmos rath ...more
Ancestral Night is, I think, Elizabeth Bear’s first straightforward Science Fiction novel since her Jacob’s Ladder tr ...more
A memorable voice and a deep dive into the history and character of the protagonist? Check.
A smart-ass AI with tremendous loyalty to his friends? Check.
A far-future world with a multispecies empire of questionable moral authority (to say the least--artificial manipulation of hormones and brain chemicals to fit in is an accepted and even mandated thing)? Check.
A thoughtful exploration of the issues raised by said empire? Check.
Ships as big as plane ...more
Also, 'about a shoestring space salvage operator who isn’t who she believes herself to be, uncovering the secrets of a universe that is much vaster and more treacherous than she understands. Also, pirates, and politics, and a giant praying mantis space cop' \O/
Halmey Dz is the first-person narrator, a salvage operator aboard a ship called Singer, who i ...more
It doesn’t help that it’s written in first person.