Sunday, 3 February 2013

Memory by Linda Nagata

Started: 25 January 2013
Finished: 30 January 2013
Pages: 416

"We have been so very fortunate to have so wild and reckless a daughter as Jubilee.  Obviously she was sent to teach us wisdom."   So says her mother as we begin to follow Jubilee's adventures in their very strange and artificial world.

The book is Jubilee's "hero's journey" but also an SF story of world exploration:   almost as if Ringworld were told from the point of view of one of its residents.  And what an odd world it is.   Perhaps three nights in ten a silver fog rises in the valleys, a fog that destroys every living thing it touches.  But the silver also leaves behind gifts:  veins of metals that can be mined, or follies like gazebos or machinery seemingly plucked at random out of history and deposited on low hilltops or valley bottoms.  The only protection from the silver are the kobold wells:  eruptions in the earth from which small mechanical insects crawl, each with a specific and catalogued purpose like exuding a chemical which repels the fog.

Learning about the world and its history is just as much the point of this novel as is Jubilee's quest, so I won't tell you more other than to say that the book is nicely done.  And that no pet puppies are harmed in the course of bringing the adventure to its conclusion.

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