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The Tea Master and the Detective

de Aliette de Bodard

Outros autores: Veja a seção outros autores.

Séries: Xuya Universe, chronological (22nd century), Xuya Universe (novella)

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5424243,858 (3.79)43
The Shadow's Child is a living mindship that was discharged from military transport service after an injury and now makes a living brewing mind-altering teas to help space travelers. When abrasive and eccentric scholar Long Chau requests a corpse from space for scientific study, the ship accepts the odd assignment. When the body she brings back turns out to have been murdered, Long Chau feels compelled to investigate, dragging The Shadow Child with her.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 42 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Chau Long, a scholar researching the effects of deep space on dead bodies, asks a shipmind for help retrieving a body but they both have backstories which will complicate retrieval.

Despite having read some of the author's other works in the Xuya series, I had problems understanding the setting for this story and what was going on. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Nov 20, 2023 |
I think it's not BAD and it was basically enjoyable and yes I always love variations on Sherlock Holmes.. but so much of the writing was taken up by sci-fi scaffolding that ultimately didn't really add much to the story. It really feels like an introduction story to a series of short stories but it doesn't really give a hint at the workings of lots of stuff and the "mystery" such as it is is given short shrift.

I dunno, I'd probably say 2.5? I feel harsh giving it a 2 cause I wouldn't say it was bad it just felt like there wasn't much to it. The concept of a classical Chinese influenced space society where people drink tea to cope with space travel with Sherlock Holmes in it is a fun setting but it just doesn't get detailed enough to be interesting and the story part just feels a little weak. ( )
  tombomp | Oct 31, 2023 |
I love a book that lingers so much I have to reread it within a couple of hours. I came away from this story feeling like I had just been dragged through a lucid dream or more like, tumbling headfirst into someone else's lucid dream where everything makes sense in a wonderfully warped way. It has a very cosmic, midnighty-blue with purple haze and shock white light kind of feeling. If you need a break from your heavier novels and you are partial to some mind-bending sci-fi, chemistry, and detective mysteries, this is right up that alley.

Too many things to like, so let's start with the only thing that could have been...more rounded:

1. Long Chau is obviously a reimagining of a Sherlockian character. Her abstract thinking and her detached nature bare all the hallmark characteristics of the world's beloved consulting detective. Yet, she seems very two dimensional and even with revelations within the book, I don't see her as more than a Sherlock standin - however, this reimagining works so well with the reluctant Dr Watson in the form of "The Shadow's Child"

Now, on to the stuff stood out:

A) At it's core, it is a story about grief, untreated post traumatic stress and the overcoming of fear whether at a snails pace or forced by the threat of imminent chaos - or death.

B) The names in this book are EPIC! Picture meeting someone called "The Shadow's Child" or "Pomegranates Buried In The Sand" I know I would grab a coffee and listen to the stories of someone named "The Sorrow of Gentlemen" and play chess with "Sharpening Steel Into Needles"

C) The concept of the shipmind was interesting to envision at first. To see the whole I first imagined this echo or mind then an apparition in almost solid form and then some sort futuristic ship. This shipmind in question is fragile, riddled with fear, sensitive and traumatized. An interesting take on a sentient AI.

D) Sherlock needs a good case: In this case, the outer space mystery is intriguing and chekov's gun appears not far into the story but it's drawn out really well and comes to an excellent climax. I honestly found myself jotting down my own theories about whodunnit and it was quite enjoyable.

E) Chemistry, Human Anatomy and Psychology, it was quite refreshing to read about the monumental task of space jumping and what the human body needs to be able to mentally and physically come out on the other side in one piece.

I read this as a standalone and it was so good, I'm adding the "Xuya Universe" to my reading list (On A Red Station, Drifting / The Citadel of Weeping Pearls) ( )
  RoadtripReader | Aug 24, 2023 |
I liked the cover, i liked the title, i liked the synopsis, i liked that it was 99p, and ...

... i rather liked the story as well.

The "Tea Master" is actually a mind ship, which isn't really explained fully in the story, but you kind of get the idea that some sentient being has been implanted into the heart of some kind of space ship.   There's a real enigmatic element flowing through this story, and i think a lot of it is because this is a standalone from a much wider story line, that of Xuya, and i'm fairly sure if i go and read lots of stories from the Xuya Universe i'll soon find out all about mind ships and such like.

But for this book, not being fully up to speed on the hard facts of everything really doesn't detract.   In fact, i quite like the brushing over of the science and just getting down to the real bones of the story.   That of a damaged mind ship turned tea maker because they can't face deep space any more, and that of a detective, who also comes across as fairly damaged herself.   The two have to somehow get over their issues and investigate the death of a child and hopefully prevent more deaths.

Nebula Award winner and Hugo Award finalist for best novella, a sci-fi book doesn't come with much better credentials.

I shall definitely be reading more books from The Universe of Xuya.

The following is my second reading of this book:

My first reading was also my first escapade into Aliette's writing and it left me incredibly curious to so many things that it made me go charging off to read through the whole Xuya series from beginning to end.   And now i've finally come full circle and reached the point where this story fits into the series i just had to give it another read and review again and see how it goes now that i have a lot more background and context for it.

Reading over that first review it seems so strange now that when i first read this i had no idea what a mind ship was, and now that i've got up to speed a fair bit on the ins and outs of Aliette's universe this story makes a lot more sense.   It does make this story a lot better knowing basically what a ship mind is and how all the other parts generally fit together.   So yeah, much better having read the series.

One also gets a reminder of the authenticators in A Slow Unfurling of Truth, a human and mind ship working together as a team, and i'm left thinking, wouldn't it be great if The Shadow's Child and Long Chau got back together and did some more investigating together.   Two very damaged individuals who some of us would love to see grow more together in further adventures.

Next up: Rescue Party. ( )
  5t4n5 | Aug 9, 2023 |
Though really short, even for a novella, I enjoyed the futuristic Holmes and Watson vibes. ( )
  xaverie | Apr 3, 2023 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Aliette de Bodardautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Berger, DickArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Manzieri, MaurizioArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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The new client sat in the chair reserved for customers, levelly gazing at The Shadow’s Child—hands apart, legs crossed under the jade-green fabric of her tunic.
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The Shadow's Child is a living mindship that was discharged from military transport service after an injury and now makes a living brewing mind-altering teas to help space travelers. When abrasive and eccentric scholar Long Chau requests a corpse from space for scientific study, the ship accepts the odd assignment. When the body she brings back turns out to have been murdered, Long Chau feels compelled to investigate, dragging The Shadow Child with her.

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