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A Memory Called Empire
#1
I just finished A Memory Called Empire, 2020 Hugo Award winner, by Arkady Martine. Anyone else read it? Pretty much a standard space opera murder mystery. One specific thing I did like was the non standard naming convention for characters in the empire, a number followed by a noun: three-seagrass, six-direction, etc. While a little silly, it does highlight that there are a lot of options when it come to how we name individuals in OA beyond the standard first-middle-last name.
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#2
oh yeah i loved that book! and the sequel seems good too
great worldbuilding and the way arkady martine used her background in studying ancient byzantium to talk about the way colonialism and the culture of empire suffuses everything in vassal states was excellent. Also the whole relationship plots that surprised me at the end were great Smile

and the names were interesting
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#3
I’m glad you liked it Woldtree. A buddy and I read it as part of our annual book exchange. My friend didn’t even finish it. We both thought it was well written but not particularly riveting. It did pick up at the end though. One of my grips was that, despite the setting, not enough of the story took place in space. The vast majority of the scenes were just people talking in rooms.
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#4
Quote:not enough of the story took place in space

haha true.. but how much of star wars was actually taking place in outer space/ in space stations smaller than a moon?

well perhaps the sequel "A Desolation called peace" has more space in the space opera Tongue
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#5
I can confirm that the sequel does indeed have more going on in space! I really enjoyed both books, though I read them with such a separation that I don't really remember much about the first one anymore. I did very much enjoy the way the Empire so thoroughly dominated everything and thought that the Imago process was an interesting form of transhumanism, almost religious in nature.
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#6
That’s good to know Ravenson. Thanks!
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#7
I liked it, it's a nice example of social sci-fi where the technology exists either as set dressing or to support the story of the social dynamics. Usually in sci fi when you have a big, powerful society next to a poorer one it's presented as everyone in the poorer society being plucky individuals who hate the bigger society. But Arkady instead explored the complex and uncomfortable situation where it's possible for people from a poorer nation to be infatuated by the hegemony next door even while their nation suffers from the interaction. A situation that a lot of people in the world now, and throughout history, can probably relate to.
OA Wish list:
  1. DNI
  2. Internal medical system
  3. A dormbot, because domestic chores suck!
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