The Breath of War — Aliette de Bodard

Currently available to read at Beneath Ceaseless Skies.

This is the last of “The Universe of Xuya” stories currently listed on Aliette’s website, where it’s mentioned as being “… in a completely different corner of space”.   And yes, it most certainly is.

It’s got some sci-fi-ish things going on but at the same time it has beings carved out of rock that are breathed life into by their breath sisters who are then needed to breath life into their breath sister’s new born babies else they’re still born.   So in a lot of ways it feels far more of a fantasy story than a sci-fi one.   It’s certainly a very different thing to the rest of the Xuya stories, but it’s really quite enjoyable and i would give it the award of the most stand alone story in the Xuya universe.   If you are just wanting to grab a quick read without needing any background stuff then this would be it.

And that, as they say, is that: all current Xuya stories read apart from one.

Aliette’s Page

#readbooks #lovekindle #books #bookreviews #reading #fantasy #scifi #aliettedebodard #kindleworm

Rescue Party — Aliette de Bodard

Free to read at Google books.

This story is a bit both ways for me.   The good bit is that i sort of get my wish from Memorials in that this is about beings like perpetuates in some sort of V-Space, but the bad bit is that it gets rather random.

While i’m happy to let my imagination fill in things where needed this story leaves a few too many blanks to fill in.   To begin, it doesn’t explain how someone is actually taken into this Repository, we just have Giao going out of her door and meeting an oily, inky blackness; which she realises is the Repository.   Next thing, Giao is waking up in the Repository as some kind of perpetuate being and meeting her sister, a perpetuate who has been there 3 years.   Then she encounters the Rescue Party who help her to try to get out, which, no one has ever done.

And then the ending: what Giao gets to realise about the Repository and how the story ends just skips over so much.   Like Aliette didn’t have much of an idea of what all this was about and so just waved the happy-ever-after-wand at it and then realising that that wasn’t a very good ending she then waves the i-might-come-back-and-sort-it-out-wand at it as well and then ends the story without any real explanation other than it was all about a messed up mindship doing messed up things — which the escapees leave it to continue doing.

Ho hum.   Onto the last Xuya book in the series: The Breath of War.

Aliette’s Page

#readbooks #lovekindle #books #bookreviews #reading #scifi #aliettedebodard #kindleworm

The Tea Master and the Detective — Aliette de Bodard

My second reading of this book, you can read all about my first time by clicking here.

And that first reading was also my first escapade into Aliette’s writing and it left me incredibly curious to so many things that it made me go charging off to read through the whole Xuya series from beginning to end.   And now i’ve finally come full circle and reached the point where this story fits into the series i just had to give it another read and review again and see how it goes now that i have a lot more background and context for it.

Reading over that first review it seems so strange now that when i first read this i had no idea what a mindship was, and now that i’ve got up to speed a fair bit on the ins and outs of Aliette’s universe this story makes a lot more sense.   It does make this story a lot better knowing basically what a shipmind is and how all the other parts generally fit together.   So yeah, much better having read the series.

One also gets a reminder of the authenticators in A Slow Unfurling of Truth, a human and mindship working together as a team, and i’m left thinking, wouldn’t it be great if The Shadow’s Child and Long Chau got back together and did some more investigating together.   Two very damaged individuals who some of us would love to see grow more together in further adventures.

Next up: Rescue Party.

Aliette’s Page

#readbooks #lovekindle #books #bookreviews #reading #scifi #aliettedebodard #kindleworm

A Hundred and Seventy Storms — Aliette de Bodard

Available to read over at Uncanny.

I can’t say anything else but that this story was a disappointment.   Either that or i completely missed something, and it’s not that exciting a story to go back over and check.

So what we have is a planet with an orbital that gets too close to its star during perihelion, but it needs to be mined because it has stuff that people want, hence the orbital.

For some reason there’s a mind ship that isn’t allowed to leave the planet during perihelion and so the ship mind has to be moved to a shielded safe room in the orbital to survive as the heart room in the ship isn’t shielded enough.

I have no idea why the mind ship can’t just potter off a few light minutes away, or shield itself on the dark side of the planet.   For some reason, it has to stay and suffer the worse of the solar storm.

There’s also no mention as to why the orbital can’t be moved to the dark side of the planet either.   One would think that a civilisation this advanced, that knows exactly when perihelion will occur, would have the simple, basic, common sense to alter the timing and orbit of the orbital to put it perfectly in the centre of the dark side of the planet at perihelion.   They could also make that place and time the orbital’s aphelion with the planet which would add even more distance from the star, and give more time in shadow.   It really is such a basic thing that unless the writer explains a very good reason why this hasn’t been done it utterly ruins the story.

So yeah, this one sucks.

And now i’m off back to re-read The Tea Master and the Detective, which was my first Xuya book, and the one that set me off on this long literary journey: so it’s nice to work my way back to it and read it again in it’s real context.

Aliette’s Page

#readbooks #lovekindle #books #bookreviews #reading #scifi #aliettedebodard #kindleworm

A Slow Unfurling of Truth — Aliette de Bodard

As far as i’m aware this is only currently available in the anthology Carbide Tipped Pens, which, for some reason unbeknownst to me, isn’t available on Kindle: yes folks, it appears that the luddites are at it again attempting their very worse to ruin life for us technologically advanced hominids who read ebooks and love trees.   But, not to be outdone, i suggest that maybe you could get imaginative with your technologically advanced minds and dream up ways of how you may wish to obtain a copy to read.

And that was my first usage of “unbeknownst” on this website.   A lovely old word.   Some words are just too good to let fade away.

Oh yeah, it’s supposed to be a review of the story, i know, i’m getting to it, but you can’t get to the story until you actually have a copy to read so that had to be dealt with first.

So once again we’re back with the Galactics and the Rongs and now instead of downloading/uploading dead people into V-Space they now seem to be able to take dead people and upload/download/re-sleeve them into new bodies.   Think Altered Carbon kind of thing but i’ve no idea how it’s being done in Aliette’s universe as that bit’s not explained.

The problem with re-sleeving people is that after a period of time, especially if you lost touch with them, you may not be able to tell who a person was or wasn’t.   This whole thing would obviously lead to whole new areas of crime with re-sleeved people claiming to be people who they aren’t and claiming things to which they aren’t entitled.   This then leads to a whole new occupation, that of people who ascertain the validity of re-sleeved people.

And so, that’s where we are with A Slow Unfurling of Truth.   A Galactic has turned up claiming to be someone and it’s very important that the Rong know if it’s true or not: enter the authenticators, a human and mindship pair working together to unfurl the truth.

I really enjoyed the re-sleeving and V-Space aspects of the Altered Carbon books, and it’s great to re-encounter this kind of thing being written by other writers, especially writers as good as Aliette is.   So yeah, would love to read a whole lot more of this re-sleeving V-Space stuff from Aliette in the future — she’s certainly created a big enough universe to shove a ton more stories into.

So onwards, onwards we read, and next up will be The Frost on Jade Buds.

Aliette’s Page

#readbooks #lovekindle #books #bookreviews #reading #scifi #aliettedebodard #kindleworm

The Frost on Jade Buds — Aliette de Bodard

Click here to read, The Frost on Jade Buds, written by Aliette de Bodard.Available as part of the anthology Solaris Rising 3 for which someone over at Amazon thinks the Kindle ebook should be almost the same price as the brand new paperback and more than 3 times the price of a second-hand paperback.

At the time of writing this, Solaris Rising 3 was £5.99, Solaris Rising 1 was £4.31 and Solaris Rising 2 was 99p for their respective Kindle editions.   I’ve no idea who is setting the pricing on these books but it’s obviously utterly chaotic and i have no intention of taking part in this pricing farce.   I’ll wait until 3 is available at a sensible price because i’m not going to pay £5.99 for an ebook.

So i’m skipping ahead to the next book in the Xuya series: A Hundred and Seventy Storms.

Aliette’s Page

#readbooks #lovekindle #books #bookreviews #reading #scifi #aliettedebodard #kindleworm

The Waiting Stars — Aliette de Bodard

You can find this free to read at Aliette’s website.

Another Nebula, Locus and Hugo finalist from Aliette, and having just finished reading it one can see why it was a finalist: very good indeed.

But quickly back to our previous two books, The Weight of a Blessing and Memorials, where i was utterly confused as to what any of it had to do with the Xuya universe, well, in this story they kind of join up a bit.   The Galactics from our previous two books have been shooting up/down the Vietnamese mindships and taking them away and putting them in a grave yard in space, and this is the story of the family of one of those mindships going to reclaim their relative.   The book begins with a lot of unknowns for a lot of people: memories missing, ships missing, shipminds damaged or dead, places in the galaxy that the Vietnamese aren’t allowed because they’re Galactic territory, Galactic territory that’s only filled with shot up/down damaged/dead Vietnamese mindships.

As the story goes on, things reveal themselves and gain focus until everyone in the story and you, the reader, realises the truth.

Like those previous two books which were great to read — in and of themselves — this is likewise.   But — and it’s a big fat BUT — who are these Galactics?   Where did these Galactics come from?   What’s their place in all of this story?   Why are they so against the mindships and the Vietnamese?   Me thinks there are some books that need writing explaining this.   Or maybe things will be revealed as we read the last few books of Xuya?

That all said, we’re now off to read A Slow Unfurling of Truth.

Aliette’s Page

#readbooks #lovekindle #books #bookreviews #reading #scifi #aliettedebodard #kindleworm

Space and Time — Issue 111

I admit to only buying this for Fleeing Tezcatlipoca by Aliette de Bodard.


Fleeing TezcatlipocaAliette de Bodard
Waterlilies — Edward Willett
Passport to Patterdale — Heather Parker
Blessed are the Damned — Kelly Barnhill
Dispossessed — Michelle Muenzler
Sunflower’s Weep — Robert E Rodden II
July 10 — Vaughn Wright

Non Fiction

Editors Geeble by Hildy Silverman.
Interview with Frederik Pohl
Word Ninja — Linda D. Addison


Skiourdi Moiron Mike Allen
…A Great Fall — Alexandra Seidel
Haiku — W. Ted Weekes
Nesting — Marcie Lynn Tentchoff
Pi — Yunsheng Jiang
Pulling the String and Everything — Saint James Harris Wood

Aliette’s Page

#readbooks #lovekindle #books #bookreviews #reading #scifi #aliettedebodard #kindleworm

Apex Magazine — Issue 85

I bought this for Memorials by Aliette de Bodard.


Folk Hero — Mary Pletsch
Cuckoo Girls — Douglas F. Warrick
MemorialsAliette de Bodard
The Kraken Sea (Novel Excerpt) — E. Catherine Tobler

Non Fiction

Interview with Author Mary Pletsch — Andrea Johnson
Interview with Joe Baden, Cover Artist — Russell Dickerson
SEEKING TANIS. Runner Available — Betsy Phillips


Later, they found her journal — Tina Parker
Ghost Plague — Tina Jens
By Payette Lake — Cullen Groves

Aliette’s Page

#readbooks #lovekindle #books #bookreviews #reading #scifi #aliettedebodard #kindleworm

Memorials — Aliette de Bodard

I can’t find Memorials available any where else so you’ll just have to pop over to Amazon and buy the magazine to get this one.   It’s a very reasonable price and you get quite a bit of other stuff to read as well.

Just like The Weight of a Blessing before it, i couldn’t figure out any connection between this and the rest of the Xuya stories we’ve been reading up to now.   But, that’s not to say this isn’t worth reading, it is a rather good read in itself.

However, i think the problem lies in that these two stories could have been much better presented as one longer story but with a context to it all, some background, stage setting, etc..   I really feel that if Aliette were to do this then it would make a great stand alone novel that would not need to be shoved in, bizarrely, as part of the Xuya stories.

One of the best things about Memorials for me was the perpetuates in V-space, which reminded me of All the Retros at the New Cotton Club by DeAnna Knippling.   As i said in my review of that, i would have loved to have more of the New Cotton Club and its “retros”, and likewise, with Memorials i’d really like to read more stories from the Memorial and it’s “perpetuate” characters, and maybe similar places hosting “perpetuates”.

So, after all is read and said, The Weight of a Blessing and Memorials ended up as quite an enjoyable read once i figured out what was actually happening and that they really don’t have any connection to Xuya and trying to find one while reading these just messes things up.   So read them as a standalone pair and re-read The Weight of a Blessing again, after Memorials, and you should enjoy yourself.

And now, The Waiting Stars.

Aliette’s Page

#readbooks #lovekindle #books #bookreviews #reading #scifi #aliettedebodard #kindleworm