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 te...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
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
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 book takes off running, offering little explanation and a lot of unfamiliar terms, but I know to expect that from science fiction and I vastly prefer it to pages of tedious infodumping. The world of Ancestral Night was introduced gradually and, for the most part, seamlessly. I often cringe when authors invent their own future slang because so few can pull it off effectively. Elizabeth Bear is ...more
Haimey, Connla and Singer (their sentient spaceship) are salvage operators. They're given a tip about a ship, and once there, ...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
In a way, the life on the salvage tug reminded me of "A Long Way To A Small Angry Planet" at first, but then things took different turns. There were many surprise scenes and turns that left me astonished in what a visual b ...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
My e-book copy was a hefty 550 pages with a 2019 US copyright.
Elizabeth Bear is an author of American science fiction and fantasy. She has more than thirty (30) published novels in both several series and stand alone. This is the first book in her White Space series.
I got to about page 100 and stopped reading. This isn’t a bad book, if you’re trai ...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
While I enjoyed this book, it was a very odd rea ...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
Stylistically, Bear does a LOT of incluing, and it's really fun. Figuring things out from context when you *can't* look thi ...more
Glad that's over! Note to Self: Do not read more in this series. Maybe try Bear's Fantasy vs SF next.
I loved a few of the ideas presented in the book but I never got to a place where I saw the MC as a whole person or cared about what happened to her. The ending was not worth the hours between to get to it.
So this was excellent.
Science fiction has always been, at its heart, about the proverbial Big Questions. Who we are, where we're going, what it means to be human. Ancestral Night is an excellent work in that tradition.
Haimey Dz makes her living salvaging derelict ships along with her partner/copilot, the shipboard AI, and two cats. They're citizens of what is basically the Federation. Part of what makes this super ...more
I must admit it starts out slow and took quite a while for my interest in the characters plight to spark to life. Bear’s writing is a very descriptive. The concepts, world building and execution was mind blowing.
This is not a nail biting, non-stop action read but one that takes pondering, concentrations and reflecting on the character choices, circumstances and differences.
Overall, not ...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
I though this was a standalone but I'm seeing here the series is called White Space and count me in for book 2 whenever it comes out!
It doesn’t help that it’s written in first person.
This was an incredibly fascinating story, with an incredibly fascinating world (how many times can I say incredibly in one sentence? Incredibly enough, four).
And like the best science fiction, along with a riveti ...more
Ancestral Night is, I think, Elizabeth Bear’s first straightforward Science Fiction novel since her Jacob’s Ladder tr ...more
This was a difficult book for me to get through. I greatly enjoyed the beginning and the building of the characters but around the 120-page mark, I felt it got very uneven. The plot was unfocused and turned randomly at times in new directions. There were a lot of philosophical conversations about identity and how we perceive ourselves. The role of drugs and stimulants played a large role in these questions of identity. I enjoyed ...more