Monday, September 30, 2019

Review: Of Wars, and Memories, and Starlight

Of Wars, and Memories, and Starlight Of Wars, and Memories, and Starlight by Aliette de Bodard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My introduction to Aliette de Bodard's work was initially her Nebula Award-winning Xuya Universe novella The Tea-Master and the Detective, a clever take on Sherlock Holmes and Watson, then her luminous novella, In the Vanishers' Palace, both gorgeous editions from SubPress. After finding so much to love, I snapped up the opportunity to read this first anthology of her shorter works (short story to novella length). Giving us stories set in the Xuya Universe, along with that of the Dominion of the Fallen world, the collection also includes de Bodard's award-winning 2012 story "Immersion," and a story that's been haunting me since I read it, "The Dust Queen." (What is an artist without her memories?)

Some of the context of these stories, given in de Bodard's Introduction, is equally mesmerizing. A child of the Vietnam war, feeling alien in the environs in which she grew up, science fiction became a potent outlet for her, though still the lack of Asian characters, the poor roles for women, the lack of female friendships, all were, in fact, too similar to the world that de Bodard sought to escape. She has definitely remedied those defects in her marvelous stories, with rich female characters and Asian influences that are woven so deftly into the worlds she envisions. There are riches of the imagination here.

This compilation was released in a gorgeous limited edition set of 1250 volumes from SubPress but those who cannot afford this can also get the 380 page eBook for $6. Don't miss it.

I received a Digital Review Copy of this book from Subterranean Press in exchange for an honest review.

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