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Publisher Description

In this compelling and addictive novel set in the same universe as the critically acclaimed White Space series and perfect for fans of Karen Traviss and Ada Hoffman, a space station begins to unravel when a routine search and rescue mission returns after going dangerously awry.

Meet Doctor Jens.

She hasn’t had a decent cup of coffee in fifteen years. Her workday begins when she jumps out of perfectly good space ships and continues with developing treatments for sick alien species she’s never seen before. She loves her life. Even without the coffee.

But Dr. Jens is about to discover an astonishing mystery: two ships, one ancient and one new, locked in a deadly embrace. The crew is suffering from an unknown ailment and the shipmind is trapped in an inadequate body, much of her memory pared away.

Unfortunately, Dr. Jens can’t resist a mystery and she begins doing some digging. She has no idea that she’s about to discover horrifying and life-changing truths.

Written in Elizabeth Bear’s signature “rollicking, suspenseful, and sentimental” (Publishers Weekly) style, Machine is a fresh and electrifying space opera that you won’t be able to put down.

Sci-Fi & Fantasy
October 6
Gallery / Saga Press

Customer Reviews

logic2u ,

I want back the hours I wasted reading this book...

This book is primarily a socio-political commentary. The author has compiled all of the popular pseudo-issues of our day (police and justice system brutality, systemic racism, oppression of LGBT, etc.) and transposed them to be the defining issues of all sentient beings in the universe (human or alien).

The author’s solution? What she calls “Right Minding” — the manipulation and regulation of every person’s emotional and mental state by implanted devices. The purpose of the device is to overcome every person’s negative “atavistic” tendencies.

The message being that all humans are incapable of being decent, compassionate, and caring individuals (and therefore positive members of society) without constant monitoring and adjustment by an Orwellian device. And Elizabeth Bear promotes this as a *good* idea!

Setting the retrogressive social-engineering ideas aside, I determined to enjoy the book for the story’s sake. Unfortunately, the writing leaves a lot to be desired (though it is not quite as bad as the social agenda).

The characters are wooden. The technology is often misunderstood or ignored. Worse, Bear lacks the ability to create a universe in which events unfold and feel natural instead of forced and contrived.

I recommend passing on this book in particular and this author in general.

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