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old woman, tired of people, tired of the way people treat her, decides to stay behind when the rest of her fellow colonists are uprooted by their corporate bosses and sent to another planet old woman, once surrounded by demanding and unloving voices, finds she loves being alone, noannoying voices bossing her around, the only voices the ones in her head, now she has all the time in the world to garden and do beadwork and just do what she wants to do, alone finally alone but it turns out old woman, tired of people, tired of the way people treat her, decides to stay behind when the rest of her fellow colonists are uprooted by their corporate bosses and sent to another planet old woman, once surrounded by demanding and unloving voices, finds she loves being alone, noannoying voices bossing her around, the only voices the ones in her head, now she has all the time in the world to garden and do beadwork and just do what she wants to do, alone finally alone but it turns out she s not alone on this world after all I loved all the things this novel did with its protagonist Ofelia is cantankerous and moody, she has to deal with her aching joints and a little loss of memory and having to use the bathroom all of the time she has a couple voices in her head the old her and the new, braver her but she s far from crazy Remnant Population doesn t downplay all of the physical and mental things she has to deal with but it also shows how she is just as resourceful and clever as anyone else she sthan an equal to the men who have made demands on her all of her life and to those younger than her who would dismiss her knowledge as no longer relevant, practically useless Ofelia cherishes her crafts and her vegetables and wearing or not wearing what she wants I love how the novel spends so much time on the things she loves, on the beadwork and the sewing and the gardening and cooking and the freedom of bare skin in the sun it was enchanting reading about Ofelia going through her daily life on her own, focusing on her tasks and ruminating on the past and considering her future a truly enjoyable and unusual protagonist.the story brings humans back into her life, and of course the aliens great aliens vaguely like bipedal, mammalian owls genuinely different, carefully crafted, surprisingly adorable aliens those alien babies were the cutest.I like how Remnant Population is a feminist novel that critiques the roles women are often placed into by men as well as the elderly by the young but still embraces traits and activities that are considered stereotypically feminine I hate either or binaries and this novel doesn t have that Ofelia is a three dimensional character strong and kind, unsentimental and maternal, resourceful and forgetful, sharp tongued and grouchy and impatient, generous and open hearted and patient.I like how Remnant Population illustrates the importance of freedom and time alone, but also recognizes that a fulfilling life will be one where a person is a part of some kind of a community a place where the individual can be independent and true to themselves, but still be a useful part of a world and connected to the people in it lovely message lovely novel and fun The definition of remnant is a small remaining quantity of something Synonyms include leftovers, leavings, remainder No doubt a not so subtle description of the character who chose to stay on a planet after the colony was evacuated This was a first contact novel with a strange mix of interesting political and cultural dynamics on display, as well as some rather clunky, tropey characterizations with some sledge hammered messaging about valuing the elderly and women and the other view spoil The definition of remnant is a small remaining quantity of something Synonyms include leftovers, leavings, remainder No doubt a not so subtle description of the character who chose to stay on a planet after the colony was evacuated This was a first contact novel with a strange mix of interesting political and cultural dynamics on display, as well as some rather clunky, tropey characterizations with some sledge hammered messaging about valuing the elderly and women and the other view spoiler Quick Summary Ofelia Falfurrias is very old and living in a patriarchal colony where not only are old people devalued but they don t seem to have much use for women either Ofelia s life is one long slog of family and other colonists putting themselves and their needs before hers The colony is emergency evacuated With her age, there is a 50 50 chance she would die in route to the new colony She decides to die where she calls home She goes about her daily routine with all the resources to sustain many manycolonists She for the first time gets to experience abundance She keeps a log in the central command computer for folks who may return some day and finds out the reason for the evacuation was that in another part of the planet, a shuttle was destroyed by indigenous life About that time, said indigenous life stumbles upon her compound What ensues is first contact and learning about each other Of course the company sends in a small band of scientists and technicians to shutdown the power plant and make first contact The scientists prove inept compared to Ofelia The indigenous life signal their preferences and one unfortunate death later, everyone lives happily ever after hide spoiler I thought the book was good, not great First the good I found the colony political dynamics very interesting The idea that colonization was not governments but corporations and that the colonists were essentially indentured servants Right down to the valuation of transporting Ofelia to the new colony was monetized because getting her to the new colony was risky The company basically didn t think she d live long enough to work off the payment for transport Cynical I know, but it sure seems like the trajectory of our current society It s certainly not outlandish I also liked the aliens Yes they were cutesy, but really interesting and different enough to deter the reader from projecting human emotions or motives The not so good characterizations OMG, extreme, cliched and tropey Every single character Ofelia was worst of all Her life was unending suffering in tough conditions and in family relationships Also it felt like to me that the characteristics of old age were being describe by someone who had not yet experienced them It didn t come across as authentic Also, can we please not have all of the male characters be overbearing, know it alls By the way I looked up Falfurrias as a surname It struck me as Spanish in origin and I was going to go off on the awful Latin stereotype of male domination that seemed to color Ofelia s entire existence Color me surprised that it is not a common surname and that it s most recognizable use is as the name of a city in Texas according to Google Idk, in my view it still implicates that same macho stereotype My hope is that in the future we have moved away from not closer to an authoritarian patriarchy Arrg Visceral dislike The Science team and the military folks were caricatures The evil villain was missing a mustache and the air headed, sexually desirable linguist was so overt that all that was missing was the description of the cool breeze blowing her hair back while she lamented that she paid her way through college working at Hooters Smh An apt metaphor for the characterization is swatting a fly with a cannon ball Over the top In Moon s defense, I think she meant for the characters to be as vacuous and insubstantial as they came across and I think it was meant to be humorous It just didn t work for me I m sort of laughing at myself because in reading Elizabeth Moon s biographical information I saw that she was an officer in the Marines It softened my opinion of the book It points to a certain world view that tends to see things in binary It s good or it s bad It s right or wrong Examining nuance can cost time and lives The military also tends toward an authoritarian and patriarchal culture Though obviously Moon has the intellect and there is farto her than her military experience serving in the military can sometimes have an inadvertent impact on how we perceive the world and the people in it I do think the book was intended as a bit of a satire The message being that people women have value beyond their potential for monetary productivity All in all an ok read I don t know if there is anyMoon in my future Other reviews indicate that this is not one of her best Time will tell 3.5 Stars rounded down because pacing The first half was too slow, the last half was fast and there wasn t much to the pacing that was just right Read on kindle Remnant Population is the kind of book that made me fall in love with science fiction in the first place It s thoughtful, has great characterizations, a plausible future, and humans coming to understand aliens This is the third book I ve read by Elizabeth Moon and she s now on my list of favorite authors She is an amazing storyteller She is a master at revealing rather than disclosing She never over explains and her characters behave exactly like real people would.I love the Moon uses older Remnant Population is the kind of book that made me fall in love with science fiction in the first place It s thoughtful, has great characterizations, a plausible future, and humans coming to understand aliens This is the third book I ve read by Elizabeth Moon and she s now on my list of favorite authors She is an amazing storyteller She is a master at revealing rather than disclosing She never over explains and her characters behave exactly like real people would.I love the Moon uses older female protagonists In Remnant Population, that protagonist is Ofelia, an elderly colonist whose colony is being relocated Ofelia is sick and tired of people telling her what to do and having to look after others She just wants just a bit of peace and quiet So, she decides to hide out until all the shuttles leave with the other colonists I can so relate to how she feels and I exhilarated in her new found freedom I love that she s not obsessed with aging and that she s strong and capable She reminds me a lot of my grandmother Eventually, she finds herself in a role that she never imagined and goes from being a completely insignificant person to someone who is of utmost importance to two intelligent species I checked this out of the library, but I may just need to buy a copy to add to my permanent library What an incredibly sweet, different sort of book I think this was a really strong experiment, and that it mostly worked better than I anticipated I m going to try to do this review without revealing the things that brought me lots of joy, so sorry for the vagueness.CONTENT WARNING just a list of topics view spoiler domestic violence, loss of a child, ageism, misogyny hide spoiler Things to love Ofelia Our main character is woman who is set on enjoying her sunset years, which you just What an incredibly sweet, different sort of book I think this was a really strong experiment, and that it mostly worked better than I anticipated I m going to try to do this review without revealing the things that brought me lots of joy, so sorry for the vagueness.CONTENT WARNING just a list of topics view spoiler domestic violence, loss of a child, ageism, misogyny hide spoiler Things to love Ofelia Our main character is woman who is set on enjoying her sunset years, which you just don t see very often I enjoyed spending time with her as she got used to retirement The world I liked how alien and yet how familiar it felt Click kaw kerr This was soo, soo well done, sweet, and moving I really wanted to cheer for them The exploration Of the world, of the culture, of what it means to be an old woman, and loneliness and self respect All of it So wonderful The resolution Yeah a bit trite, but it fit so well with the overall tone that I ate it up The epilogue The perfect cherry on top Things I wanted a little stronger The exploration of feminine hierarchy There is A LOT of in group misogyny going on I think it makes sense, but I would have wanted to have seen that explored , if we were going to investigate it As it reads, I m not sure whether the author intended for us to feel that, or if she didn t see it herself It dampened my appreciation considerably The pacing We start off at a very conversational speed, and then, as so often happens, the events really start speeding up towards the end when the author seemingly hit a deadline or ran out of steam I would have loved to have shown the same enthusiasm for the later events as we did for the set up Some stilted forced writing Partially due to pacing issues, some events did not feel totally natural to me I would have wanted to take some editing sandpaper to the rough edges Summary ending I don t stop disliking these just because I understand why it went like this Thank goodness for the epilogue or I might have been grouchy Very glad to have read this It does what I want scifi to do, which is make me consider new things, give me a jolt of discovery, of leaning over a yawning pit and realizing that there is so muchthan we realized And best of all, the author did this with humor and peace rather than thetypical grimdark stories of conquest and ruin Definitely worth a read Everybody who told me I needed to try one of Elizabeth Moon s books was right, I really enjoyed this Although the story itself is based on a familiar science fiction trope, it s one I usually enjoy, and it had some unique elements It held my attention from beginning to end Sometimes a certain part of the story would start to feel like it had been going on a bit too long, but then something new would happen to fully recapture my interest again.The story is told mostly from the perspective o Everybody who told me I needed to try one of Elizabeth Moon s books was right, I really enjoyed this Although the story itself is based on a familiar science fiction trope, it s one I usually enjoy, and it had some unique elements It held my attention from beginning to end Sometimes a certain part of the story would start to feel like it had been going on a bit too long, but then something new would happen to fully recapture my interest again.The story is told mostly from the perspective of Ofelia, a woman in her 70 s The protagonist s age is one of the unique aspects of the book Although the book appears to be set in the far future, there isn t any discussion of medical advancement at all Sometimes books with an older protagonist have that character acting like they were decades younger due to modern medicine or magic or whatever, but Ofelia s health is about what you d expect from a person in their 70 s today who has been able to stay mobile and mentally sharp but isn t getting around as easily as she used to Ofelia lives with her son and daughter in law as colonists on another planet Near the beginning of the book, the people sponsoring the colony decides that their efforts are failing and their goals cannot be achieved, so the colonists will be relocated to a different world Ofelia, who feels under appreciated and over bossed by her family and the people around her, doesn t want to give up her garden and everything else she s worked so hard at for decades, and she just wants to be left alone to do her own thing and have some peace for a change Having an entire world to herself sounds great, so she determines she s going to do whatever she can to get left behind when the colonists are removed from the planet For anybody who wants a bitdetail about what kind of story this is, although it s fairly easy to guess, I m putting it in spoiler tags since it isn t blatantly revealed until you get a good ways into the book view spoiler This is a first contact story hide spoiler I really liked Ofelia She was believable, but quirky and fun I think many people, regardless of our ages, could identify with some aspects of her personality I particularly identified with her love of solitude and her desire to just be left alone so she could do what needed to be done in the manner she thought best This book paints a pretty bleak picture of what humanity will be like in the future It took certain negative aspects found in today s societies and depicted them as being evenprevalent, maybe as a cautionary tale to make readers consider their behaviorcarefully The way women were treated across the board particularly made this book feel older than its 1996 publication date There s also a lot of ageism and educationism , by which made up word I mean that characters who lacked a formal higher education were dismissed out of hand because they couldn t possibly know anything about anything.This is a complete story that stands alone, and I was very satisfied with how it ended It s been quite a while since I last read the type of science fiction story described in my spoiler tag above, so it was great to read another one I had quite a bit going on in the real world, so it s probably a reflection on how good this book is that it held my attention so well when I had time to sit and read it There are not enough novels with awesome old ladies as their protagonists Speaking as someone who wishes to be an awesome old lady some day, I consider this a gap in the market At the start of Remnant Population, the members of a failed colony have been ordered to pack up and leave the planet that has become their home Widowed Ofelia decides the hell with it, she s staying put her grown son doesn t need her, her daughter in law can t stand her it s mutual , and she s fed up with living her There are not enough novels with awesome old ladies as their protagonists Speaking as someone who wishes to be an awesome old lady some day, I consider this a gap in the market At the start of Remnant Population, the members of a failed colony have been ordered to pack up and leave the planet that has become their home Widowed Ofelia decides the hell with it, she s staying put her grown son doesn t need her, her daughter in law can t stand her it s mutual , and she s fed up with living her life to please other people.Meanwhile on another part of the planet, a new colony is wiped out by a previously unsuspected group of indigenous inhabitants Ofelia must figure out how to communicate with them, and how to explain them to the human colonists, before the two sides attempt to wipe each other out.I am a sucker for stories about first contact and miscommunication and culture clash something C J Cherryh does so well and in this book there is plenty to go around we get the indigenes attempts to communicate with Ofelia from their point of view and Ofelia s frustration at being treated by the new colonists like an ignorant, confused old woman from hers I m happy to report that everything works out OK a bit unrealistically perhaps, but it s terribly satisfying just the same |READ E-PUB ☪ Remnant Population ⚉ People had always told Ofelia what to do for once she was going to do what she wanted She refused to get on the cryo ships, refused to leave the only world she could call home And when they finally came for her, she hid Now the widow Ofelia is alone, the only remaining settler on an abandoned planet Then new settlers arrive At first she fears they have come to reoccupy the settlement she has come to think of as hers but they land far away And as Ofelia secretly listens, they are slaughtered to the last child by stone age aliens no one knew were there Now it is up to Ofelia to save the aliens from Earth s wrath What a lovely story Tired of being told what to do and feeling unimportant 70 something year old Ofelia decides to secretly stay behind when the people of her colony are translocated Now she has a planet of her own and nobody deciding for her.The first part is slowly paced It describes Ofelia s lonely time in the settlement, her delight in time to herself and her doubts in having acted on a whim of the moment I love it how Moon draws out the emotional journey of an older woman who for the fir What a lovely story Tired of being told what to do and feeling unimportant 70 something year old Ofelia decides to secretly stay behind when the people of her colony are translocated Now she has a planet of her own and nobody deciding for her.The first part is slowly paced It describes Ofelia s lonely time in the settlement, her delight in time to herself and her doubts in having acted on a whim of the moment I love it how Moon draws out the emotional journey of an older woman who for the first time in her life feels freedom It was a pleasure to mentally walk alongside Ofelia when she tends her garden, tries to brave bad weather or doesn t know what to do with the cattle She feels authentic, just like one of us.When she discovers that she is not as alone as she thinks she confronts the new situation with the wit and instinct of life experience.The book celebrates said life experience in contrast to youngsters who think they know everything better because of their education In that it creates one of the most unlikely heroines in Science Fiction and definitely one of the best Diplomacy is done with listening and understanding, both of which don t need an university degree.Another entry on the plus side is the description of the indigenes Not some anthropormophised aliens or only half considered designs, but believable non human behaviour and customs When they appear they are as alien to the reader as they are to the protagonist.Unfortunately one frustrating trope appeared the one dimensional cardboard antagonist This led to the deduction of one star, especially since it stood in such a stark contrast to the well executed character development in the rest of the novel up to this point.This is my only complaint in an otherwise delightfully realized idea First contact on the level of common people, the believable inner journey to womanly self determination and a praiseworthy respect for the wisdom of the elderly make this a unique and highly recommendable novel The elderly protagonist stays behind after her colony is forced off the planet and comes in contact with an intelligent species Communication and trust are key themes.An original and well done soft SF I can relate to Ofelia and her attitude towards others Sometimes I just want to be left alone. I loved this book Especially the latter half What an unlikely, but beautiful story of first contact view spoiler I guess I was predisposed to like this book from the moment I met Ofelia I just like slightly grumpy older women characters who are absolutely done with everyone else s bs.Ofelia s determination to stay and her slow rediscovery of herself, her abilities, and things that bring her joy was beautifully done The way it was interspersed with hints at her former life and the crueltie I loved this book Especially the latter half What an unlikely, but beautiful story of first contact view spoiler I guess I was predisposed to like this book from the moment I met Ofelia I just like slightly grumpy older women characters who are absolutely done with everyone else s bs.Ofelia s determination to stay and her slow rediscovery of herself, her abilities, and things that bring her joy was beautifully done The way it was interspersed with hints at her former life and the cruelties of her society and husband made for bittersweet reading or listening in my case , but also contributed to the narrative s power, in my opinion.And her interactions with the People, when they found her, made me smile and chuckle several times I loved that we could follow her growth with regard to them, from scared, confused and annoyed, to to an understanding and recognition of the Peopleas people As beings just as beautiful and social and even smarter than herself.The arrival and confrontations with the human experts were inevitable and for a while, I was very, very worried, so the ending was a relief and made me smile so much This part of the novel was also another reminder of how much Ofelia s sense of herself and her abilities had been shaped and suppressed by her society, and it was beautiful to see her stand up to the other human characters and assert her knowledge and importance hide spoiler In short, I needhopeful SFF stories like this that focus on the connections between different peoples and the ways in which curiosity and communication are fundamental to co existing