Meet Doctor Jens.
She hasn't had a decent cup of coffee in fifteen years.
The first part of her job involves jumping out of perfectly good space-ships. The second part requires developing emergency treatments for sick aliens of species she's never seen before.
She loves it.
But her latest emergency is also proving a mystery:
Two ships, one ancient and one new, locked in a dangerous embrace.
A mysterious crew suffering from an even more mysterious ailment.
A shipmind trapped in an inadequate body, much of her memory pared away.
A murderous virus from out of time.
Unfortunately, Dr. Jens can't resist a mystery. Which is why she's about to discover that everything she's dedicated her life to . . . is a lie.
Praise for Elizabeth Bear
'Like the best of speculative fiction, Bear has created a fascinating and complete universe
that blends high-tech gadgetry with Old World adventure and political collusion' Publishers Weekly
'This is certainly the best science fiction novel I've read in 2019 so far and I look forward to see how Bear develops the characters and her impressively rich universe' (POPULAR SCIENCE)
'Elizabeth Bear is just as comfortable writing steampunk and fantasy as she is hard science fiction, and Ancestral Night, first half of a duology, brims with heady concepts and sleek far-future hardware. There is a mordant wit at work' (FINANCIAL TIMES)
'Awesome, awe-inspiring space opera. Fittingly, it shifts from weighty themes to lighter humour with dexterity, grace and crackling dialogue' (Daily Mail)
'Bear has constructed a fascinating, absorbing universe populated with compelling and intelligent characters who conform to neither clichés nor stereotypes. It's sci-fi of the top order' (popmatters.com)
Hugo Award winner Bear's spectacularly smart space opera, set in the same universe as 2018's Ancestral Night, begins with the dispatch of an ambulance ship from the immense medical habitat Core General to respond to a distress signal. The signal originates from a vessel docked aboard a lost generation ship that was launched from Earth centuries earlier, before humans overcame their self-destructive impulses and joined a multi-race, interstellar civilization called the Synarche. When rescue specialist Dr. Brookllyn Jens arrives on the scene, she finds the crew of the generation ship sealed in cryogenic containers, with only Helen, an anxious and rather threatening android, conscious. Meanwhile, the crew of the docked ship that sent out the distress signal in the first place are all comatose and the huge machine they have on board looks suspiciously like a combat walker. In addition to untangling the history of these ships, Jens is deputized to investigate increasingly destructive incidents of sabotage at Core General, leading her to question her faith in the hospital's ideals. Bear's vivid tale, narrated by the wry, almost painfully self-aware Jens, bristles with inventive science and riveting action scenes. With this outstanding work, Bear proves her mastery of the space opera genre yet again.
A good book, if perhaps 50 pages too lng.
Not bad at sll
This is a particularly satisfying read, written in the same world as but not a direct sequel to ancestral night (some character crossover). In addition to being very well written it is a sizeable novel for a reasonable price (unlike some recent publications available on iBooks).
I would strongly recommend both this and the previous white space novel, both great space opera reads.