A Salvaging of Ghosts — Aliette de Bodard

Currently available to read at Beneath Ceaseless Skies.

And so we’re back to the endings of mindships, this story being about those that are lost when things go wrong, broken apart in the deep spaces.   We’re told about this through the adventures of the scavengers, the divers who throw themselves out of other mindships to collect the gems that the bodies of the passengers become in the unreality of the deep spaces when they no longer have the protection of the mindships.

Mmmm, so yeah, this one’s a bit weird: like a bunch of odd-ball poets who like dropping too much lsd while base jumping and free diving — all at the same time — just to pick up their next fix as cannibal junkies.   I’ve often wondered what mind altering substances future hominids will encounter when we spread out across the galaxy and it seems like Aliette’s been thinking along the same lines, but i got to say, Aliette’s imagination is way beyond mine in this matter.

So yeah, the future, dude!

My only thing is that while this is a fun read in and of itself, i’m not sure how this is fitting with what we’ve been reading.   We just had several books telling us how rare and unbelievable it is for a mindship to be lost and/or die — that, by human standards, they seemingly live forever — yet now we have a story where it seems like broken mindships are scattered all over the deep spaces with scavenger junkies being able to find enough of them to pick clean enough of the dead passengers’ gems for their own addictions but also enough to sell to cover the costs of their own mindships and living expenses.   One can only presume that this story is about a different culture/people than the recent stories dealt with and that this new lot aren’t very good at making mindships.

So yeah, bit of a weird one.

Coming soon: Pearl.

Aliette’s Page

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