On a Red Station, Drifting – Aliette de Bodard


Cover artist: Nhan Y Doanh
Cover artist

She stood silent and unmoving as he dragged her into the trance: she got a brief flash of his credentials as Keeper of the Outer Gates for Prosper Station, and an even briefer flash of his family tree, the line of his greater ancestors lighting up in red, warm tones, all the way up until it intersected her own lineage. A cousin, somewhat removed. Hardly surprising, as most of Prosper Station came, ultimately from the same stock that had bred her: Lê Thi Phuoc, who had borne in her womb the Honoured Ancestress and Her four human siblings.

Lê Thi Linh arrives at Prosper Station as a fugitive from the war that has come to the Dai Viet Empire.

The Honoured Ancestress – the artificial intelligence born of a human womb – has guided and protected its human relatives on Prosper Station. Now, her mind is faltering, and the future of the station itself hangs in the balance.

This novella is part of Aliette de Bodard’s Universe of Xuya, where the Vietnamese rules the universe with their mindships. The combination of space opera and a universe based on old Vietnamese and Chinese society is both new and fascinating.  The vivid description in beautiful prose makes this  novella another great read by the author.