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Remnant Population by Elizabeth Moon

Remnant Population (original 1996; edition 1996)

by Elizabeth Moon

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8463010,632 (3.93)81
Title:Remnant Population
Authors:Elizabeth Moon
Info:Baen (1996), Hardcover, 339 pages
Collections:Basement Collection, To read

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Remnant Population by Elizabeth Moon (1996)

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A first contact novel like no other first contact novel. This was nominated for a Hugo but did not win. It should have. One of the best novels I have read in a long time. Imaginative, full of compassion, subversive and honest. ( )
  nmele | Mar 30, 2017 |
Elizabeth Moon is a wonderful writer. She's created a unique protagonist in Ofelia and made some important observations about class, gender biases and aging in 'our' cultural paradigm. Very important. The authenticity of her settings, from the behavior of the sheep and cattle to the weather, gardens and technology says Moon has lived a diverse life and/or knows how to research. Her creation of an 'alien' species was fabulous.

More important than that, I fell into the story as it carried me into her world. So enjoyable! My only wish was to spend more time in the People's POV, see the stone cities and perhaps hear less from one group. (No spoilers. I liked the way Ofelia perceived 'this group'but I wanted them to actually be more capable and sophisticated when in their own POV.)

No matter, I very much enjoyed this read and am grateful it was recommended to me. I'll be looking for more works by Elizabeth Moon! ( )
  KimFalconer | Jan 29, 2017 |
I read Remnant Population by Elizabeth Moon and it was great! It starts off that this colony is being evacuated and the main character, an old woman, decides she's not going. She's lived there for 40 years, she'd like some solitude, she knows how do everything she needs to do to survive, so she just - stays behind.

And everything is great for a while, but then of course things happen...

It was fantastic, I really enjoyed it. ( )
  bluesalamanders | Jan 13, 2017 |
An elderly female colonist fights for independence and to stay in her home, even after the rest of the colonists have been uprooted by the Company and she's the only one left on the planet. But... is she truly alone?

What a marvelous character - and how wonderful that a whole sf book can be pretty much carried by one person, one who is not a 'hero' or even male, or young, or aggressive. Seriously - look at even the best SF, chock full of scientists and soldiers and explorers, no? Nonetheless, turns out our MC is pretty darn 'heroic' in her own inimitable way. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
I really like going into a book with no expectations, with hardly any idea of what the plot is. Because sometimes a book surprises you. Like Elizabeth Moon’s Remnant Population did with me.

And so it began one day with me scrolling through the Singapore library’s Overdrive collection, the Science Fiction category in particular. I’m not sure why I landed on Remnant Population. Perhaps it was the author’s name. Elizabeth Moon. It just sounded like a pretty awesome name to me – Chinese surnames aren’t exactly very interesting, are they? The title – and the cover art – already suggested that this was some kind of space colony-related work. And yeah, that’s what it is.

So here’s the story, if you care to find out. If you prefer to go in blind, you probably should stop here. Ofelia has lived for over 40 years on this colony planet, the more recent few with her son and daughter-in-law, but now the colonists are to be shipped off after the company loses its franchise. She takes matters into her own hands and hides out in the woods while the evacuation proceeds. Ofelia is glad to be the only human on this planet. But she soon discovers that she’s not alone…

Dum dum DUM!

Well no, it’s not a horror-alien kind of story. Instead, the ‘aliens’ (they are actually indigenous to the planet, but for some reason have never come into contact with the colonists before – perhaps this part of the story is a little bit harder to believe) are intelligent, and are actually kind of endearing. And while Ofelia teaches them things, she learns plenty from them in exchange.

The human-alien interaction is interesting – and occasionally amusing – but what I enjoyed most were the very physicalness of Ofelia’s life on the planet. I’ve never read a book that made me want to go out into my (rather sad) little backyard (I’m so not a gardener and my 8 plants reflect this) and stand in the sun and wish I had a field full of vegetables plump and ripe for the picking. I wanted to sink my fingers into the earth and inhale that green-ness.

Ah, a girl can dream. And in my case, read plenty. ( )
  RealLifeReading | Jan 19, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elizabeth Moonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ruddell, GaryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Betsy, who provided the spark,
And Mary, Ellen, and Carrie
who responded with warmth and light.
First words
Between her toes the damp earth felt cool, but already sweat crept between the roots of her hair.
Always something to overcome the body's momentary collapse, if you only gave it a chance. A color, a scent, a scrap of music. (p. 194)
What they [instructors] cared about, all they really cared about, was that she learned to do what she was told and not make messes...had not cared whether she understood the machines she was taught to tend and repair. Follow the instructions...It's no harder than making a dress from a pattern, one of them told her. Even homemakers like you can do that. She had clenched herself around the pain of his scorn and proved that she could... (p.160)
The joy of creation, of play, had been the empty place unfilled by family and social duties. She would have loved her children better, she thought now, if she had realized how much she herself needed to play, to follow her own childish desire to handle beautiful things and make more beauty. (p 100)
It was the old guilt, which insisted that she be responsible for everything, that things must be conserved in case of later need. (p.101)
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Book description
Alone at Last

People had always told Oelia what to do'; for once she was going to do what she wanted. She refused to get on the cryo ships, refused to leave the only world she could call home. and when they finally came for her, she hid - not that the authorities looked all that hard for one crazy old woman. Now Ofelia is alone, content to live with no more demands on her self or her time, the only remaining settler on an abandoned planet.

Then new settlers arrive.At first she fears they have come to reoccupy the settlement she has come to think of as hers - but they land far away. And as Ofelia secretly listens, the are slaughtered to the last child by stone-age aliens no one knew were there.

Now it is up to OFelia to save the aliens form Earth's wrath...
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 034546219X, Paperback)

In a far-flung capitalistic empire among the stars, generations of colonization without a single contact with an intelligent, non-human species have reduced the colonial process to a franchise system. Amid the abuses of the system which inevitably follow, an old woman decides not to leave when her failed colony is evacuated, thinking the freedom to live alone and die in peace is worth any risk. In this entertaining but suspenseful first-contact novel, Elizabeth Moon's apt depiction of the interaction between old and young plays counterpoint to the interaction between human and alien.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:22 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

When her company relocates to another planet, Ofelia Falfurrias, 70, who expects to be downsized anyway, decides to remain behind. Thus she discovers the planet's population as it emerges from hiding, now that the humans have left. A meeting of cultures.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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