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Ammonite by Nicola Griffith

Ammonite (1992)

by Nicola Griffith

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
...Ammonite didn't quite make the same impression on me as Hild. It is a very good novel in its own right but Griffith's writing obviously developed over the course of two decades. Jeep is not brought to life in the way seventh century England is. That being said, it is a very solid science fiction novel. It can be seen read as a response to the feminist science fiction that has come before but is works fine as a social science fiction story as well. I'll be moving on to her Nebula Award winning novel Slow River as soon as I can get my hands on it.

Full Random Comments review ( )
  Valashain | Apr 13, 2014 |
Of the "pony club" school of Feminist SF. Tiptree winner 1993 ( )
  SChant | Nov 8, 2013 |
I enjoyed this good, solid novel by Seattle-based Nicola Griffith. It's Science Fiction in that it is set on another world far into the future, but this is a very character-driven narrative. Our heroine, Marghe, arrives on the planet knowing she will be infected by a deadly virus. She has with her a limited supply of an experimental vaccine that will allow her to explore the communities on the planet while learning whether the vaccine works. It does work (that's no spoiler; this is obvious early on) and then all the fantastical futuristic novelties fade into the background while we travel with Marghe. We travel inward with her while we explore the strange societies with whom she interacts. At times, this novel felt like a tribute to the author's therapist. Marghe's self-discovery and her progress toward allowing herself to be fully herself is, I know, a profound journey. But Griffith feeds it to us a bit too directly, which lost her half a star.

Still, this is an enjoyable and engaging story, the characters (all female, but not dying out, which I hope makes you curious) are likable, and Griffith does some interesting and subtle things with gender. I hope more readers discover this author's work. ( )
  EBT1002 | Oct 16, 2013 |
The planet of Jeep was settled hundreds, maybe thousands, of years ago, and then forgotten (never really explained why). But when it's rediscovered by representatives of the Company, who intend to exploit the planet's resources, the population is discovered to be wholly female. And after six months of so the new exploratory expedition discover the reason: one by one they start to develop an unknown disease which kills all the men, and nearly a quarter of the women, with the survivors unable to leave the planet as they remain infected by the virus. After five years for the survivors the situation remains almost unchanged: they remain isolated from the original inhabitants who they consider primitive 'natives'. And they still have no idea how those original inhabitants manage to have children.

Into this world comes Marghe, an anthropologist who has volunteered to test a vaccine against Jeep's virus. But her efforts to investigate some of the mysteries of Jeep's society goes horribly wrong as she is taken prisoner by the Echraidhe who live in one of the most hostile environments that Jeep has to offer. And back at the Company settlement Commander Danner must deal with her increasing suspicions that the Company's plans for Jeep do not include rescuing their stranded staff.

A fun book this, which deals with the creation of all female societies very well. It lost me a little bit towards the end as it seemed to be getting almost a little mystical at times (I prefer my science-fiction to be sciency), but a good read nonetheless. ( )
2 vote SandDune | Sep 21, 2013 |
I really liked Ammonite. I think mostly because is has a good world and because I liked its pacing. It tells the story of Marghe, a scientist who goes to visit the world Jeep. Jeep was colonized a few hundred years ago and then forgotten. When Company sends a new exploratory team, they all get sick. All of the men die, and some of the women. It turns out this has also happened to the natives (the old colonists), but they haven't died out: they are still getting children. Marghe is sent to test a vaccine against the virus, and to try to figure out what's going on.

Marghe is not the most open or accessible person, but she is likable nonetheless. Her contacts with the natives are the most interesting and so are her experiences with the virus. Through her eyes, you get to know the world, which is wilder than most of us are used to. For me, it was rather startling sometimes to realize all the characters are women. I like that no fuss is made about women doing jobs that are traditionally reserved for men. Clearly, since there are no men, women are the only ones who can do them. The startling thing was not that it felt strange to have only women around, the startling thing was that I sometimes forgot. I like that the society is not idealized. It has some beautiful aspects, but it is also very practical and it has crime and ugliness like any other. I also like that Marghe comes in contact with the ugliness, but doesn't necessarily change it. Some things are the way they are, as are some people, and change is a difficult thing, and must usually come from the inside. It cannot always be forced.

Although the book has a clear ending, it also leaves room for a follow-up, so I wonder if there's going to be a sequel. If there is, I would definitely read it. ( )
  zjakkelien | Apr 7, 2013 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nicola Griffithprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sleight, GrahamForewordmain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Herrmann, IngridTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jensen, BruceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Kelley, who fills my life with grace
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Marghe's suit was still open at neck and wrist, and the helmet rested in the crook of her left arm.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Change or die. These are the only options available on the planet Jeep. Centuries earlier, a deadly virus shattered the original colony, killing the men and forever altering the few surviving women. Now, generations after the colony has lost touch with the rest of humanity, a company arrives to exploit Jeep–and its forces find themselves fighting for their lives. Terrified of spreading the virus, the company abandons its employees, leaving them afraid and isolated from the natives. In the face of this crisis, anthropologist Marghe Taishan arrives to test a new vaccine. As she risks death to uncover the women’s biological secret, she finds that she, too, is changing–and realizes that not only has she found a home on Jeep, but that she alone carries the seeds of its destruction. . . .
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345452380, Paperback)

In Ammonite, the 1994 James Tiptree Jr. Award winner, the attempts to colonize the planet Jeep have uncovered a selective virus that kills all men and all but a few women. The remaining women undergo changes that enable them to communicate with one another and the planet itself, and give to birth to healthy, genetically diverse children. Marguerite Angelica Taishan is an anthropologist who realizes this phenomena and makes the decision to give herself up to the planet to uncover its mysteries.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:21:07 -0400)

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