- 25,00 kr
The sisters of the Order of Saint Rita captain their living ship into the reaches of space in Lina Rather's debut novella, Sisters of the Vast Black.
A Golden Crown Literary Society Award Finalist
Years ago, Old Earth sent forth sisters and brothers into the vast dark of the prodigal colonies armed only with crucifixes and iron faith. Now, the sisters of the Order of Saint Rita are on an interstellar mission of mercy aboard Our Lady of Impossible Constellations, a living, breathing ship which seems determined to develop a will of its own.
When the order receives a distress call from a newly-formed colony, the sisters discover that the bodies and souls in their care—and that of the galactic diaspora—are in danger. And not from void beyond, but from the nascent Central Governance and the Church itself.
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Rather unflinchingly tackles questions of faith, war, and penance in this far-future novella debut. After a brutal conflict, the Earth Central Governance (ECG) has turned its back on four far-flung human colonies. Forty years later, nuns in the Order of Saint Rita travel through space aboard a living space ship, providing blessings, humanitarian aid, and medical care to those in need. Sister Faustina, who has served for 16 years on Our Lady of Impossible Constellations and is an orphan of the Great War, suspects ulterior motives when the ECG emerges from its decades-long isolation to advocate radical changes in the Church. The Reverend Mother, head of the order, took her vows for reasons other than faith, but as the specter of Earth's violent past reaches across the star systems to intrude upon their mission of mercy, she finds she must confront the sins of her former life in order to provide the most vulnerable any hope of a safe future among the stars. Rather exhibits expert control over her characters and world, providing sufficient detail to feed the imagination without detracting from the steady pace of the story. The only significant flaw is the ending, which is chock full of philosophical meaning but perhaps too abrupt. Readers will hope to see more of Sister Faustina, the Reverend Mother, and their unlikely crew.