An Unkindness of Ghosts

Paperback, 349 pages

English language

Published Aug. 8, 2017 by Akashic Books.

ISBN:
9781617755880
OCLC Number:
974676983

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (21 reviews)

"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, she'd be powerful enough to tear down the walls around her until nothing remains of her world. Aster lives in the lowdeck slums of the HSS Matilda, a space vessel organized much like the antebellum South. For generations, 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. Embroiled in a grudge with a brutal overseer, Aster learns there may be a way to improve her lot--if she's willing to sow the seeds of civil war"--Page 4 of cover.

5 editions

Brutally beautiful

5 stars

The ship is out in the black void. The ship is falling apart. The society is in the rotten ship and the society is rotten. The people are in the society and they are falling apart. The protagonist is doing her best and holding together her chosen family in a series of dangerous places. The protagonist is doing her best and is full of problems and her best may also be falling apart and the stakes are personal, realistic and high.

fantastical yet realistic

5 stars

the back of the book compares the Matilda to the antebellum southern US, in space, but that's far from being an adequate comparison. instead it seems to me an honest portrayal of a possible future—certainly unlikely or impossible in many respects, but in all important ways uncomfortably truthful.

it's not a cheerful story, but it never drags because of this; it is persistently lively. it doesn't inspire despair: there's always a core of resilience even when hope is scarce.

I look forward to reading more of their work.

A Gripping SciFi With Nuanced Political Themes

5 stars

A gripping work of science fiction that establishes Rivers Solomon as one of my new favorite authors! While the depiction of individual and collective trauma in this novel makes for an emotionally fraught read, I fell in love with the protagonist and their chosen family. Descriptions of this book that boil down to "the Antebellum South but in space" fail to capture the unique world building, strong queer representation and neurodiversity, or nuanced political themes explored.

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Subjects

  • Equality
  • Resistance to Government
  • Fiction
  • Racism
  • Interplanetary voyages
  • Slavery

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