An Unkindness of Ghosts

An Unkindness of Ghosts

eBook - 2017
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Aster has little to offer folks in the way of rebuttal when they call her ogre and freak. She's used to the names; she only wishes there was more truth to them. If she were truly a monster, she'd be powerful enough to tear down the walls around her until nothing remains of her world. Aster lives in the lowdeck slums of the HSS Matilda, a space vessel organized much like the antebellum South. For generations, Matilda has ferried the last of humanity to a mythical Promised Land. On its way, the ship's leaders have imposed harsh moral restrictions and deep indignities on dark-skinned sharecroppers like Aster. Embroiled in a grudge with a brutal overseer, Aster learns there may be a way to improve her lot--if she's willing to sow the seeds of civil war.
Publisher: [United States] : Akashic Books, 2017.
Branch Call Number: eBook hoopla
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file, rda
Additional Contributors: hoopla digital

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ryner
Jun 25, 2019

The colossal spaceship Matilda is hurtling through space, though no one is navigating any longer. Its dozens of decks have housed its inhabitants, and Baby Sun has provided energy for sustenance, for one thousand years. Denizens of the lower decks are virtual prisoners and slaves, so that citizens of the upper echelons may live in relative luxury. Aster, a lay-chemist and -healer, lives on Q deck, and in her scant spare time pores over the journals left by her mother before she disappeared mysteriously twenty-five years ago.

This is less a story "about space" than a novel about secrets, relationships and politics that just happens to take place aboard a spaceship. I really liked it, especially the character of Aster. Recommended.

A diverse, thought-provoking Sci-Fi about the distant future of mankind, trapped on a giant spaceship for generations and perpetuating much the same follies as we have thus far in our history. It manages simultaneously to be original and unpredictable, with a dark and brooding tone.
~Alexa

One of the most inventive, unique and brilliant debuts I've read. Rivers places the reader within a post-apocalyptic society resembling the antebellum South, but all contained on the Matilda, a ship hurtling through space to a promised land. Gender norms and genetics, plant life and science have evolved on the Matilda, but racism a religious fervor remain. Aster, a brilliant scientist and slave, and the Surgeon Theo risk it all to bring the oppressive regime down. Solomon Rivers is an incredibly gifted writer and I am hoping for a sequel because I don't think this story is over.

KatieD_KCMO Nov 03, 2018

One of the most inventive, unique and brilliant debuts I've read. Rivers places the reader within a post-apocalyptic society resembling the antebellum South, but all contained on the Matilda, a ship hurtling through space to a promised land. Gender norms and genetics, plant life and science have evolved on the Matilda, but racism a religious fervor remain. Aster, a brilliant scientist and slave, and the Surgeon Theo risk it all to bring the oppressive regime down. Solomon Rivers is an incredibly gifted writer and I am hoping for a sequel because I don't think this story is over.

r
rixonkj
Mar 20, 2018

This book reminded me a LOT of Octavia E. Butler. This is maybe an inevitable comparison for any black woman writer of speculative fiction, but there really is a kinship between this book and Butler's work, especially Wild Seed--in the relationships people have with science, with gender, and especially with power.

It's not a happy book. It wasn't always easy for me to read--there's a lot of violence, from rape committed by law enforcement figures to amputations performed by the protagonist. But there isn't much gore, and like Butler, Solomon explores the worst humans do to each other in order to find a way to a world where we can do better.

k
KatG1983
Feb 18, 2018

The author is clearly a brilliant and sophisticated writer - the book is rich and layered, but, that being said, I had a difficult time immersing into the story. It just wasn't the kind of book that I could devour in a sitting or two. But, while I'd classify it as a more difficult read for me, it was definitely worth the extra effort and time. There are several passages of such beautiful writing that I actually took the time to write down a quotation of two...

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