Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Review: Hexarchate Stories

Hexarchate Stories Hexarchate Stories by Yoon Ha Lee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Yoon Ha Lee's Hugo Award-nominated novels in the Machineries of Empire series have been some of my favorite science fiction novels in recent years. Lee has offered us a wealth of short stories set in this world on his website, and many of those stories in this volume are included here, along with the story that we know every fan of the series is here for, "Glass Cannon." Set several years after the end of Revenant Gun, Jedao starts piecing together his past and wants to recover his memories. Of course, the repository of quite a few of his memories is Cheris, who has been living a quiet life teaching children among the Mwennin. Needless to say, the Shuos are not really down with this plan, though Cheris is willing to help Jedao to divest herself of a bunch of complicated memories. But how will this be accomplished? And at what cost?

A variety of other stories are here, including some shorter ones that are dear to my heart, like "The Robot's Math Lessons," a favorite of mine that let me understand the long game in Raven Stratagem, and the story of Irriz the Assassin-Cat who, in her harness and leash journeying about with Zehun, reminds me of a certain Catten.

While not the best entry point to Lee's work, this volume is a must-have for any fan of the Machineries series. The timeline at the start was very useful, and the author's notes about the stories lent insights to both Lee's thoughts and the development of some of the characters. 

Emily Woo Zeller's narration of the audiobook is wonderful as always.


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