A space salvager and her partner make the discovery of a lifetime that just might change the universe in this wild, big-ideas space opera from multi award-winning author Elizabeth Bear.
Halmey Dz and her partner Connla Kurucz are salvage operators, living just on the inside of the law...usually. Theirs is the perilous and marginal existence—with barely enough chance of striking it fantastically big—just once—to keep them coming back for more. They pilot their tiny ship into the scars left by unsuccessful White Transitions, searching for the relics of lost human and alien vessels. But when they make a shocking discovery about an alien species that has been long thought dead, it may be the thing that could tip the perilous peace mankind has found into full-out war.
Energetic and electrifying, Ancestral Night is a dazzling new space opera, sure to delight fans of Alastair Reynolds, Iain M. Banks, and Peter F. Hamilton.
Anyone who enjoys space opera, exploration of characters, and political speculation will love this outstanding novel, Bear's welcome return to hard SF after several years of writing well-received steampunk (Karen Memory) and epic fantasy (the Eternal Sky trilogy). As an engineer on a scrappy space salvage tug, narrator Haimey Dz has a comfortable, relatively low-stress existence, chumming with pilot Connla Kuruscz and AI shipmind Singer. Then, while aboard a booby-trapped derelict ship, she is infected with a not-quite-parasitic alien device that gives her insights into the universe's structure. This makes her valuable not only to the apparently benevolent interstellar government, the Synarche, but also to the vicious association of space pirates, represented by charismatic and utterly untrustworthy Zanya Farweather. While fleeing Zanya, Haimey and her crew discover a gigantic, ancient alien space ship hidden at the bottom of a black hole at the center of the galaxy, and at that point, things start getting complicated. This exciting story set in a richly detailed milieu is successful on many levels, digging into the nature of truth and reality, self-definition vs. predestination, and the calibration of moral compasses. Amid a space opera resurgence, Bear's novel sets the bar high.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I’m really getting old and out of touch
Listening to a conversation between Einstein and hawking, I recognize the words just absolutely no concept of their meaning in this context. Three generations too late for understanding gender fluidity. Way too much “magic” getting in the way of suspended reality physics. Sorry not my cup of coffee.
Had to stop reading at 25%
Painful to read. A space opera with little action but lots of discussion. And many characters that are supposed to be alien but all act and sound like the main character.
Disappointing and boring
TL,WR ? - A boring novel, written by a talented author. Sad really. Comparing this novel to Banks is frankly insulting.
What a disappointment - Bear is generally a clever author. This novel had such potential, yet it quickly degenerated into hundreds of pages of mind numbing, grinding self reflection. It goes on, and on and on.
The high points of Ancestral Night are the very rare pieces that actually deal with the plot. The good news is this - the plot is so simple that you’re not missing anything.