I just don’t know what to say. I mean how many times have I gushed about Murderbot? A lot. And you know what, I’m going to gush again.
The main argument is that we no longer have a debate about what ‘value’ means in the economy. Because of this, the economy has slowly started to become rent-seeking, maximising extracting wealth from people and companies, rather than making longterm investments.
Broadly, it’s about some space salvagers where something goes wrong, and then hijinks ensue. But mostly it’s about feelings. ENDLESS PAGES OF FEELINGS.
The story itself was just very well woven, told through different artefacts (which again helped with the world building) that had belonged to the empress during her time in exile. Rabbit and Chih had very different personalities, alongside the Empress who we se through the eyes of Rabbit.
Confession time: I never read any Ursula Le Guin as a child or as a teenager. The first time I picked up a book by her was when reading/torturing myself with The List.
So. The plot is…difficult to describe. Essentially there are gods and realms. Then this guy shows up to the Border Keeper (like a really strong god) and asked for help. They have to traverse different realms and ask permission and weird shit happens.
So, as the title suggests, this is a retelling of Frankenstein, except set in occupied Baghdad, post American invasion.
There isn’t a lot of fighting in this novel, it’s more about intrigue like in A Memory Called Empire. In this case it is Eolo, aide to the Heir to Raven’s Lease, has to unravel a mystery – but one that has its foundations long before he was born.
It’s not a chronological history, but tells stories about particular fights in the UK to advance the rights of women. I even knew some of the stories as they intersected with my PhD (like Marie Stopes being…eccentric).
The central premise rejects the claims that the women were all prostitutes, but more importantly it was to actually give space for their lives to be told. And they are just such heartbreaking stories: domestic abuse, infidelity, alcoholism, bereavement.