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Menneisyyden kaiku (2017)

Tekijä: Rivers Solomon

Muut tekijät: Katso muut tekijät -osio.

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
1,1586917,278 (3.93)63
Odd-mannered, obsessive, withdrawn, Aster has little to offer folks in the way of rebuttal when they call her ogre and freak.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, as they accuse, she'd be powerful enough to tear down the walls around her until nothing remained of her world, save for stories told around the cook fire. Aster lives in the low-deck slums of the HSS Matilda, a space vessel organized much like the antebellum South. For generations, the 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, who they consider to be less than human. Embroiled in a grudge with a brutal overseer and sewing the seeds of civil war, Aster learns there may be a way off the ship if she's willing to fight for it.… (lisätietoja)
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» Katso myös 63 mainintaa

Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 71) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
[I'd give a content warning for this book, but tbh it would be longer than the review.]

I finished this a few days ago. I feel like I should have some smart thoughts about it, but I don't really, other than I thought it was very well done! It reminded me of Hunger Games for some reason, except the worldbuilding actually makes sense. What if I compared the two? (Though I have only read the books once, when they first came out, and not watched the movie, so I'm sure I'm forgetting a lot.)

- Hunger Games centers on a media empire that keeps the privileged from understanding the humanity of people outside their bubble. Unkindness of Ghosts makes it clear that the media for the privileged that spins perspectives on events exists, but it's not a central preoccupation because lowdeckers aren't a target audience and mostly don't have access to it. I liked the mentions of underground media networks (newsletters, pirate radio) tha lowdeckers have invented, though it's not a focus of the story.

- Hunger Games, like a lot of other dystopian fiction, has people arbitrarily divided into classes with different jobs. Which, you know, is not completely incorrect as an assessment of our world. But it makes a lot more sense on a self-contained generation ship! The thing that really brings life to this tired-ass concept in Unkindness is:

1) real development of different cultures and languages between decks, which is one of my favorite sci fi tropes. I did wonder how many people are supposed to be on the Miranda---thousands is too small for this development, but could it be over a million with the architecture of the ship as explained? Different gender systems on different decks was a really lovely and interesting idea, but there's so much else going on that gender fuckery and queerness ends up being a background to everything else.

2) extensive exploration of how and when people move between decks. There's Aster, Theo, and the mid-deck medic in their roles tending to the different ailments of different classes. There's the chapter about Melusine forced into the 'mammy' role on a high deck. There's Aster and Theo as products of inter-deck relationships, and passing for different classes. There's passes and guards and confrontations even when you have the right pass, and wearing the right (or usually, wrong) clothes to blend in.

- Hunger Games explores trauma and PTSD. Unkindness does that, and also main characters living with neuroatypicality and chronic mental illness.

- Hunger Games is usually not explicit about race, and it's clumsy and binary black-and-white when it is. (Although I still think Katniss was subtextually nonwhite, but what do I know.) Unkindness is very, very explicit about race and racism and being mixed and passing and beauty standards and everything else.

- Both are about the mechanics and ugliness and violence of revolution. I don't remember enough about Hunger Games to comment further. Aster and others resisting in ways they know aren't, logically, a good idea because they're human beings reacting to violent oppression feels... yeah.

- Unkindness: queer queer lesbian queer gender nonconformity queer intersex queer alternate gender systems trans queer medical transition genderqueer queer queer queer aaaaaaa so good thank you

On a technical level, having almost the entire book from Aster's perspective except literally a handful of chapters from other characters exploring other views you wouldn't otherwise be able to see is... understandable, but clunky. I don't know if Solomon is done with this world, but I'd read more, and I'm excited to see what they write next. ( )
  caedocyon | Feb 21, 2024 |
I wish I even knew where to start.

This truly is one of the most uniquely beautiful and impactful nooks I have ever read. I am already excited to read it again in the future.

***Content Warning***
So very much that I can't even remember it all, so I would seriously recommend looking it up if you have triggers, but there's a lot of bigotry, included slurs and violence, self harm, suicide, execution, harm and death of a child, sexual assault, and other things I'm forgetting. It's very, very heavy and potentially hugely triggering.

All I can say is that this is exquisite torture, bleak beauty, humanity at it's most raw and imperfect, and laced with hope and characters that represent many of us who have never seen ourselves in stories.

I am a Queer, disabled, trans, neurodivergent person with autism and ADHD, although I am not Black and cannot speak to that experience and the slavery, racism and generational trauma portrayed through the generation ship, Matilda, that is the setting of this story. What I can can speak on is the importance of representation and just how it felt seeing elements of myself reflected in these characters. It's never explicitly said, but Aster is clearly very autistic, which is portrayed wonderfully. Giselle struggles greatly with her mental health, which she owns and has a self acceptance and self worth I truly a dire, while also being an incredibly flawed and spiteful character. There are a number of Queer and trans characters throughout the main cast and side characters with their unique experiences and difficulties explored.

"Maybe Matilda was a girl once. Maybe she froze to death in the vacuum of space and they hollowed her out and put stuff inside her, and that was why she was so cold. A giant empty girl alone in the heavens with only tiny colonists to keep her company, prattling about stupidly."

This quote, about the ship and so much more, truly bored into my soul, as the book says, "If souls were real."

The writing is beautiful and the characters are rendered with such raw honesty that is refreshing to see. I wish I could come anywhere near to doing this book justice. Please read reviews of people far more eloquent and with different perspectives than my own.

The narration by Cherise Boothe is breathtaking. The variety of tone and their expressions of character and emotion are truly phenomenal. You know a narrator is good when you want to seek out other works they have read just to hear more. ( )
  RatGrrrl | Dec 20, 2023 |
There she sits. And what I am curious about is this: Can the writer of science fiction sit down across from her? Is it possible? Have we any hope of catching Mrs. Brown, or are we trapped for good inside our great, gleaming spaceships hurtling out across the galaxy[...] ships capable of anything, absolutely anything, except one thing: they cannot contain Mrs. Brown.
-Ursula K. Le Guin, "Science Fiction and Mrs. Brown" (1976)

An Unkindness of Ghosts takes a classic SF premise—a centuries-old generation ship hurtling away from a post-apocalyptic Earth—and uses it to tell a story about the reemergence of American chattel slavery. A bit on the nose, maybe, but in Solomon's hands you're left to wonder why other space westerns, and science fiction more broadly, haven't reckoned with slavery. A genre whose genesis is Western colonialism elides its own history, and so the obvious story is one that's rarely been told.

Since Le Guin first asked the question, If novels are rooted in character, can science fiction authors write novels?, speculative writers have retrofitted the genre's spaceships in hopes of conveying Mrs. Brown, the figure who appears dreamlike before novelists and dares them to capture her. They've succeeded to some degree. There's even a trilogy where Mrs. Brown is the spaceship. Nevertheless, the generation ship Matilda gives the impression of being built to different specifications. This tender, grim, heartbreaking book is populated by characters who feel deeply and defy expectations—gender traitors, healers, and warriors who pivot between bravery and self-destruction. (And who sometimes fall in love. This novel is also a gentle, bittersweet romance, or possibly a pair of romances, and I am so there for it.)

An Unkindness of Ghosts follows Aster (gender identity: scientist, fucks given: zero), a biohacker/herbalist/medic whose investigation into two deaths—Matilda's sovereign, and her own mother—leads her into grave danger, and a discovery that shakes the foundations of her world. While the novel belongs to Aster, we're also given electric point-of-view chapters from Aster's chosen family. Solomon's fluid, clever prose brings each character to vivid life; these are human beings with fully realized lives and pasts, struggling to invent a future for themselves.

You can definitely tell that the author graduated from an MFA program, but the ratio of literary prose to robust storytelling is a healthy one. The plot does feel slightly railroaded for the first few chapters, though it finds its footing pretty quickly. I would have liked more clarity about the rules of the world—the ruling class seems to swing between dystopian surveillance and malign neglect, which checks out if you know anything about American history but occasionally makes it difficult to foresee the hard limits of Aster and Theo's ability to resist authority. (I also would have liked a lot more specificity around the agriculture, and the physicality of farm labor, but instead Solomon gives us really lovely descriptions of Creole-influenced cooking, so can't really complain.)

Ultimately, the story is engaging and works on an emotional level, and all of it is in payment to an absolutely gripping conclusion, one whose drama and scope earn this novel a place in the annals of Great Science Fiction. I don't normally tear up when reading fiction, but oh man, this book. I was on an airplane. It was uncomfortable.

This is must-read science fiction, and an exciting new voice for the genre.
  raschneid | Dec 19, 2023 |
Read this for the Diversity is Lit bookclub. Check out my full thoughts here: https://youtu.be/DI_mzG9Opog ( )
  VanessaMarieBooks | Dec 10, 2023 |
I liked the idea of a strong caste-system being enforced on a generation ship, which launched from a post-apocalyptic earth with no destination. Planets are, in some ways, just generation ships, but it feels more claustrophobic in a ship, and therefore less room for idealism. I liked Aster and the deuteragonist, Theo a lot as part of a complicated, diverse and neurodiverse cast. And I also liked that for once in a dystopian setting, Solomon really explores the psychological impact of trauma in a way that is unflinching but still leaves room for sympathy.

But while the first half of the book was fascinating and driven by a compelling mystery, the denouement of the central mystery around page 150 requiring a bunch of pseudoscientific babble broke the metafictional agreement of mysteries (i.e. that before they are solved the reader at least has heard of all of the core components necessary to solve them; no fictional toxic heavy metal elements at the last minute.) And following that, the pacing really lagged into a series of upsetting but ultimately irrelevant oppression scenes. And ultimately, I wasn't sure what Solomon was trying to say about American slavery by telling a very conventional slavery narrative in space. I wish they had used the setting to advance the narrative. ( )
  settingshadow | Aug 19, 2023 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 71) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
I want to say about this book, its only imperfection is that it ended. But that might give the wrong impression: that it is a happy book, a book that makes a body feel good. It is not a happy book. I love it like I love food, I love it for what it did to me, I love it for having made me feel stronger and more sure in a nightmare world, but it is not a happy book. It is an antidote to poison. It is inoculation against pervasive, enduring disease. Like a vaccine, it is briefly painful, leaves a lingering soreness, but armors you from the inside out.
 
"Solomon packs so many conflicts—chiefly concerning race, gender, and faith, but also patriarchy, education, mental illness, abortion, and more—into a relatively brief space that the story momentarily strains here and there to contain everything. The overall achievement, however, is stunning."
lisäsi jagraham684 | muokkaaPublisher's Weekly (Aug 14, 2017)
 

» Lisää muita tekijöitä

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
Solomon, Riversensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Aaltonen, EinariKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Boothe, CheriseKertojamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
TG DesignKannen suunnittelijamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Sinun täytyy kirjautua sisään voidaksesi muokata Yhteistä tietoa
Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
Teoksen kanoninen nimi
Alkuteoksen nimi
Teoksen muut nimet
Alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi
Henkilöt/hahmot
Tärkeät paikat
Tärkeät tapahtumat
Kirjaan liittyvät elokuvat
Epigrafi (motto tai mietelause kirjan alussa)
Omistuskirjoitus
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
To my mother
and her mother
all the way back to Eve.
Ensimmäiset sanat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Aster removed two scalpels from her med-kit to soak in a solution of disinfectant.
Sitaatit
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
What was a person's self but carefully articulated mimicry?
That was all one could do with the past—be satisfied with half-answers, take the rest on faith.
Viimeiset sanat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Erotteluhuomautus
Julkaisutoimittajat
Kirjan kehujat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Alkuteoksen kieli
Kanoninen DDC/MDS
Kanoninen LCC

Viittaukset tähän teokseen muissa lähteissä.

Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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Odd-mannered, obsessive, withdrawn, 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, as they accuse, she'd be powerful enough to tear down the walls around her until nothing remained of her world, save for stories told around the cook fire. Aster lives in the low-deck slums of the HSS Matilda, a space vessel organized much like the antebellum South. For generations, the 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, who they consider to be less than human. Embroiled in a grudge with a brutal overseer and sewing the seeds of civil war, Aster learns there may be a way off the ship if she's willing to fight for it.

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