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The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette…

The Tea Master and the Detective (original 2018; edition 2018)

by Aliette de Bodard (Author)

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12511137,782 (3.9)10
Title:The Tea Master and the Detective
Authors:Aliette de Bodard (Author)
Info:Subterranean Press (2018), Edition: Deluxe, 96 pages
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The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard (2018)



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“When you’re out there, with no one and nothing to stand in your way - when you realise how small you are - you also realise that everything that ever was, that ever will be, is connected to you. That we’re all, in the end, part of the same great thing.”

In “The Tea Mater and the Detective” by Aliette de Bodard

I find it extremely funny that in some reviews regarding "The Tea Master and the Detective", there are still people that blatantly produce such a snobbish abhorrence of the SF genre. Should everything in life be of such a pragmatic acumen, we would live in a "Brave New World"! Hello ALPHAs ... remember Aldous? Should Sci-Fi, Anticipation or Speculative Fiction - any label will do - be judged on its cover, the pulp covers? Of course not! Science Fiction is sometimes very well written. Its themes are amongst the most thought provoking ever! Are you all reneging in one fell swoop works like the Foundation trilogy (Harry Seldon & psycho-history), the first DUNE books, The Null-A stories from A.E. Van Vogt (translated by Boris Vian in France!), "The caves of Steel" and other robots stories ... These works created generations of young men and women who asked questions about their futures, who reached and grasped, if only mentally, at the various concepts and accepted novelty and strange as part of the unavoidable quest towards modernism. Generations that were tolerant per se since ... everything was possible ... that accepted alien ("Stranger in a Strange Land") ... etc ... To declare the genre unworthy is like spending your life in the underskirt of a bourgeois obsessed with self-preservation, wealth and the hatred culture of the difference ... wake up you snobs in your very real boring and well written world ... and let us dream whilst fingering the dusty and mouldy pages of our SF library, opening our minds to concepts and possibilities that you will never be able to comprehend ... however badly prosed you find them! The main problem with Bodard's novella is that there's no-one quite like Banks. It's not enough to use (mind)ships with descriptive names. Pratchett, at his most serious and angry (in books like "Small Gods" and "Night Watch"), did a similar thing in fantasy to Banks in SF. A lot of the biggest-selling SF authors are American military SF authors, who are mostly depressingly predictable. Dan Abnett is a good break from that in series like "Gaunt's Ghosts" and "Eisenhorn", but he's more the Bernard Cornwell of military SF than the Iain M. Banks. In Banks work we get the everything: the whole of life and death and the struggles shared by enormous AIs and slave girls, powerful ships and fallen ancient races. It is full of love and war, greed and murder, angels and demons. Not so with this Bodard's instantiation. But it's still pretty readable. Three stars for the effort, but Bodard’s work shows a lot of promise. ( )
  antao | Oct 13, 2018 |
Besides being a lifelong Xuya fan, and having gone on record that Aliette's mindships are wonderful, I blurbed this book!

Here's what I said:

"In Aliette de Bodard's excellent, far-seeing The Tea Master and The Detective, an unlikely pair comes together to solve a mystery in the void and to face their pasts. This philosophical thriller is beautifully steeped in deBodard's Xuya universe. For readers who are familiar with her mindships, this novella will be a welcome addition. For readers who may be new to Xuya, The Tea Master is an excellent entry point. The pairing of brilliant-but-hobbled detective Long Chau with the perceptive-but-wounded mindship The Shadow's Child is one of those matches that creates enough friction on the page to make sparks. Set against a background of dramatic family politics, teas, and high-tech bots, The Tea Master and The Detective is a distinct pleasure for discerning readers."
( )
  sussura | Sep 29, 2018 |
Mary Robinette Kowal described it best when she said: "The Tea Master is an astonishing Holmesian mystery, in which Holmes is a woman and Watson is a spaceship. It is everything I wanted it to be. Tea, space, and mysteries within mysteries."

Aliette de Bodard's writing is always stellar and her Xuya Universe is fascinating. There's always a new aspect of it to be examined, new genres to be crossed over, and great new characters to discover. I heartily recommend this. ( )
  tldegray | Sep 21, 2018 |
Long Chau is a consulting detective, with a prickly, arrogant personality, and a drug addiction. Sound familiar? It strikes the right notes, but is far from just Holmes in space. The setting, space habitats in a mining belt, is rich and interesting. The shipmind Long Chau hires to assist her investigation, The Shadow's Child, has her own issues and insecurities, but also intelligence and insight. I hope de Bodard has more of their investigations in store for us.


I bought this novella. ( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
Cute Holmes meets Watson in space where Holmes is a woman with a past currently balancing chemical enhancements and Watson is a decommissioned brain ship with deep space trauma. Interesting and readable, but could we even suspect a Holmes character of truly nefarious dealings? ( )
  quondame | Aug 22, 2018 |
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The new client sat in the chair reserved for customers, levelly gazing at The Shadow’s Child—hands apart, legs crossed under the jade-green fabric of her tunic.
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Book description
Once, the mindship known as The Shadow's Child was a military transport. Once, she leapt effortlessly between stars and planets, carrying troops and crew for a war that tore the Empire apart. Until an ambush killed her crew and left her wounded and broken.

Now the war is over, and The Shadow's Child, surviving against all odds, has run away. Discharged and struggling to make a living, she has no plans to go back into space. Until the abrasive and arrogant scholar Long Chau comes to see her. Long Chau wants to retrieve a corpse for her scientific studies: a simple enough, well-paid assignment.

But when the corpse they find turns out to have been murdered, the simple assignment becomes a vast and tangled investigation, inexorably leading back to the past--and, once again, to that unbearable void where The Shadow's Child almost lost both sanity and life...
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The Shadow's Child is a living mindship that was discharged from military transport service after an injury and now makes a living brewing mind-altering teas to help space travelers. When abrasive and eccentric scholar Long Chau requests a corpse from space for scientific study, the ship accepts the odd assignment. When the body she brings back turns out to have been murdered, Long Chau feels compelled to investigate, dragging The Shadow Child with her.… (more)

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