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Renay and Jodie discuss a book so overtly feminist and female focused that its author surely must have dastardly plans for mankind. If you never go past the spoiler cut, how will you ever save the world from the clutches of the womenz?


cover of The Carhullan Army which shows a green background and images of winding creeper plants with yellow flowers   cover of Daughters of the North which shows a out of focus photograph of a woman's downturned face and shoulder


The state of the nation has changed. With much of the country now underwater, assets and weapons seized by the government - itself run by the sinister Authority - and war raging in South America and China, life in Britain is unrecognisable. Most appallingly, in this world of scant resources and hard industrial labour, the Authority insist all women should be fitted with contraceptive devices.

In The Carhullan Army, Sister, as she is known, delivers her story from the confines of a prison cell. She tells of her attempts to escape this repressive world and her journey to join the commune of women at Carhullan, a group living as 'unofficials' in a fortified farm beyond the most remote Cumbrian fells. The journey is a challenge, but arrival is only the beginning of her struggle. (source)
Warning: all the spoilers.

Renay: Hello, Jodie! Thank you for agreeing to read this book with me; I'm sorry it took me eons to acquire it. Maybe it would have gone faster if I had made more of an effort, considering I gobbled it down in a few days once I read the first 20 pages. It's such a readable book!

Of course, the first thing I want to know is why this book specifically? You've recommended it to me several times, and I'm curious what about it speaks to you so strongly?

Jodie: I think part of the reason why ‘The Carhullan Army’ stuck with me so hard was because it’s both a radical novel and a quiet novel, which felt so revolutionary when I first read it. Every time I try to describe this novel, I feel like I’m giving people the wrong idea about it because sure it’s about a narrator who escapes an oppressive regime by trekking miles to live with an all female community. And sure, that community eventually turns into a small resistance army, which eventually commits an all out suicide mission. That sounds like wow, obviously shocking, radical feminist fodder, but it’s also this calm slip of a novel which is full of soothing descriptions of the steady reclaiming of nature. The women pass homebrew around while singing songs after a hard day farming.

Maybe the best way to describe why I’ve been harping on about this particular novel of feminism and dystopia is that ‘The Carhullan Army’ is carved out of this material that feels full of quiet, but solid power. Yeah, I think that’s as close as I’m going to be able to get to accuracy: its narrative voice is full of calm forcefulness and the frank, earthy detail of the way life at Carhullan is described, the brusque and unnerving personality of the community’s leader Jackie, the descriptions of Sister’s developing physical power that grows as she works with the peat cutters all add something firm but never harsh to the whole makeup of this novel.

That idea of quiet power appeals to me, because, well, first because aesthetically I find the whole sensibility of making a book that feels full of firmness but not hard heartedness (especially one deeply interested in portraying nature) fascinating. It’s so easy to hit purple prose when writing about nature, or to stumble into making nature all about the shock factor of brutal, inevitable death but Sarah Hall keeps everything balanced and bracing. And second, I love what it feels like the book is saying about women and feminist power by being a novel of feminism in a dystopian world that is shaped out of words and images that create this kind of solid, unruffled whole. I could really feel the developing power of women left to grow as they want to, as they develop muscle through work without being shamed for not being dainty or as they find their slot in the community and take on tasks they enjoy. I felt like the tone of this book really got the essence of what female power could look like outside of society and showed how much easier it is to just be when you’re left to develop naturally without so many gendered pressures We learn that things aren’t exactly utopian at Carhullan (which is another thing I like about this novel, its realistic complication of the feminist utopian ideal), but there’s something in the core of the new community state at Carhullan that allows the women to come into their own and develop.

'The Carhullan Army' is kind of a perfect storm, full package novel for me, which is probably why I was soooo annoyingly insistent that you read it. I am well curious to know what you made of it in the face of my repeated recommendations. Was it one of those books where you were just kind of puzzled by why it seemed to mean so much to someone else, or did you feel a strong connection with this book when you were reading it?

Renay: I can't say I felt a strong connection with it in the same way you did, but I was intensely curious. As Sister leaves her former life behind, with every step she takes the mythical, utopian quality of Carhullan grows ever larger, until I was bursting for her to just get there and explore and be free from the oppressive husband and government she was leaving behind. I admit to being shocked when Sister finally arrives at — or is discovered and taken to — Carhullan. It was a complete shock, because it was a very out of the frying pan and into the fiery pits of hell moment. I wasn't at all prepared for it.

But after this initial shock, I do agree with your assessment that the novel is very quiet and powerful. There's nothing to prove at Carhullan, whereas in the cultural structure Sister leaves behind, proving your worth, putting up a facade, being a strong woman, to toss out a newly hated buzzphrase, was something that was expected to happen and did. Carhullan removes all the restrictions from personal growth, from holding opinions, to personal choices.

Part of how the novel feels like a quiet reflection is because the narrative is framed as a reflection. Sister is telling her story and the story of Carhullan to someone, supposedly the government that she attacked. That aspect colors the telling of the story and frames Carhullan, its people, its environment, its success and flaws and women, in a particular light. How do you think the choice Hall made to structure the story like this, a story we're being told that's being told to someone else, changed the tone of a more active, in-the-moment narrative?

Jodie: I think on the surface, making this a retold story is Hall's attempt to create a realistic reason that allows her to put in all those close description of nature. It also feels like making this story a retelling, instead of a live first person account allows the pace of the story very controlled and regular, which affects the tone of the novel. We're watching a woman tell a story at exactly the pace she wants to, because whoever is listening has given her time and space to do so because they want all the details. In that kind of context it seems perfectly reasonable that Sister would fill in all that lovely atmospheric detail and the novel is never forced to move into the short, sharp, almost pressured tone that often accompanies high paced action in novels.

That explanation for Hall's choice of narration seems plausible before we know exactly how this book ends. By the end of the novel we know Sister has been captured. I assume she is probably telling this story under torture, probably hurried on by guards (although this is all imagined context as it's never explicit in the novel). With this new context Hall's structural decisions do feel like they're more about allowing the writer to keep to a prefered tone, rather than allowing the writer to create a realistic reason for including elements in the narrative that might require a bit more of a suspension of disbelief if they were included in a present tense narrative. I mean how many people would really comment on so many details of the landscape if they were in the heart of the action of Sister's story?

I also wonder about the decision near the end to suddenly cut out a huge chunk of action and leave everything up the reader's imagination. At the time I first read this book I thought it was brave and experimental, but maybe I've become more cynical now because it seems both experimentally interesting and like a convenient get out clause for a writer who wants to avoid turning their novel into a standard action thriller/wants to preserve a specific tone of writing. But then maybe 90% of narrative experimentation can equally double as a convenient narrative override?

Renay: I looked at it a different way; what if indulging her was part of the torture? What if the torture she prepared for at Carhullan was not the type of torture this government used? It's easy to demonize the government in question, but we also only see them through eyes of women already very jaded and disinterested in living under the regime they have built. There are more types of torture than simply the physical — what if Sister's story, the story of Carhullan — was given under duress? Or, perhaps worse, what if it was given to provide this government insight into how these communities worked, so they could more effectively break them apart?

This was the beginning:
English Authority Penal System archive — record no.498: Transcript recovered from site of Lancaster holding dock

Statement of female prisoner detained under Section 4(b) of the Insurgency Prevention (Unrestricted Powers) Act
Sisters was detained under the Insurgency Prevention Act. Compare that to how it's reframed in the parenthetical: Unrestricted Powers. The first suggests protection of a citizenship while the second name it for what it is: the ability to do whatever they want.

This made me suspicious about the skips in time. I found how they were communicated interesting: [Data Lost].

This suggested that not only was Sister telling her story to someone who was recording it, someone else was reading the story being told (which had possibly been recorded and transcribed, or transcribed outright) and it had suffered from some kind of issue that resulted in the loss of parts of the story. I wondered, after I finished the book, what the gaps in the data meant. Going back to the quote, this data was "recovered". Not found, but recovered.

What did Jackie and her Carhullan Army start with their war, their refusal "to recognize the jurisdiction of this government"? I think these gaps in data paint a suspicious picture of, perhaps, how widespread this war was going to be, and what resulted from their war in the end from the people whose perspectives we don't see: anyone from this government, the civilians living within it, or the people who "recovered" Sister's data. Is the steady, luxurious nature of the narrative, a story given by Sister under either duress or a reprieve from some duress, a way to disguise a story that Hall is telling in the negative space of the novel?

Jodie: I think for me the combination of 'recovered' and the full account Sister gives in the early sections at first suggested that the government had some way of extracting the information right out of her head. At the end of the novel Sister is instructed to only give away a very small amount of information and yet she gives such a detailed account in the early parts of the novel, but then what seems to be a vital part of her information goes missing. It almost felt like a form of psychic resistance on one level, like she'd destroyed the memory herself and it couldn't be extracted from her mind.

But I hadn't really considered the idea that her story might be being read by a third party after the government made the initial recording. In the first section she seems to speak so directly to whoever is in the room with her and that sort of directed my focus towards noticing just the one on one exchange:
'My name is Sister.

This is the name that was given to me three years ago. It is what others called me. It is what I call myself. Before that my name was unimportant. I can't remember it being used. I will not answer to it now, or hear myself say it outloud. I will not sign to acknowledge it. It is gone. You will call me Sister.'
Isn't that strong and gorgeous?

I really like your reading though, especially as once again it would allow me to believe that the actions of the women at Carhullan make a perhaps more substantial impact, beyond their suicide mission which is designed to help them avoid silent complicity with the oppressive government. I mean, not that their actions don't have meaning, but coming from within a society that really only values protest if it has particular kinds of results it is difficult for me not to wish that their actions escalated to a bigger revolution, that the gorse branches worked, even if that idea of inspirational revolution gathering pace is kind of idealistic (I just finished reading 'Alone in Berlin' though, which is the most depressingly hard look at small actions of protest, so don't mind me). Do you think then that the idea of the third person reading a partially recovered transcript means we can trust Sister's reasoning at the end of the book where she says she gives up her story to keep Carhullan from disappearing? At the time I thought that was a bit of rousing self-justification, but perhaps this novel is the successful completion of Sister's goal?

I almost think that early moment of resistance I quoted above, as well as the picture I gathered throughout the book of these physically and mentally secure women, made me want to believe in my psychic resistance reading a bit too much. It does seem like a bit of a stretch without authorial confirmation that the government is a bit more technically advanced.

I guess I just want so hard to believe that the firm line Sister holds remains. I want to believe that her revolutionary spirit of resistance (which we see developed in that final dog box passage) stays intact and that even though she seems to give up everything, she holds something back at the end. I want to believe that when Jackie instructs her soldiers to give up nothing but basic information that they manage that somehow, despite the apparent near full narrative Sister hands over to someone. I want her to be a superwoman I suppose, a new but more stable Jackie, which really isn't fair as Jackie's death keeps her from being tested under interrogation so her hard, unbreakable reputation remains intact.We know everyone breaks under torture, there's only the final line you can hold until anyone else associated with you hides themselves away before you break fully.

And all that came out of interpretation of a missing piece of narrative! I think the gap created by the unrecovered data is one of the most interesting elements in the novel, because it allows for so much interpretation. I can't help but wonder if that gap doesn't conceal some violent acts perpetrated by the Carhullan army though... Maybe there's an extra masochistic view of Jackie that the reader is denied so that her legacy goes on? Although when Jackie pulls the trigger on Chloe and Martin you'd think any ideas Sister might have had about preserving her as a firm but fair character goes out the window...So, perhaps the gap doesn't imply some kind of conscious narrative editing at all. Idk, what do you think?

Renay: Well, part of the training for withstanding torture was to not give things up, but at the end, doesn't Jackie back down? Doesn't she command that Sister make her account? She says, "Make them understand what we did and who we were. Make them see."

Since we can never know what torture Sister may have had to suffer (if any) or if the indulgent length of the story was forced, voluntary, or the only thing standing between Sister and her death, I guess I side on the optimistic end of the spectrum. I like to believe that she followed the last order, and probably died, and with her and the others the reality of Carhullan itself. But at the same time I do hope that the gorse branches worked and the data being recovered is being recovered by the people taking back their lives and their country, so Carhullan is not simply a small community any longer, but a larger insurgency that eventually spills over until the government in place can no longer hold.

Of course, more pessimistic readings are just as valid, but honestly, I don't think Sister broke at all. Perhaps Jackie knew the hopelessness of their personal cause, but saw in their mission a chance to give back the freedom Carhullan had to everyone, and the lessons it taught: self-sufficiency, the right to make choices, the right to have opinions and live. I wonder if her plan was to launch an offensive that would create ripples through the country, even if it cost her community, her people, and her life. Or perhaps she didn't, and this realization was reached over the period of time erased in those sections of lost data.

I choose to believe that Jackie and Sister started something that spread, and in the aftermath, their stories were heard. I choose to believe they were heard not only by government trying to silence them, but by the people that came after — by the reclamation.

Jodie: Oh yes, I can never quite remember the end, but you're spot on. She tells her to live and tell their story (interesting final move there from Jackie, ever the strategist). Which again makes me wonder about that gap...

One of the things I like best about 'The Carhullan Army' is that is doesn't try to set out the idealistic 'if women ran the world everything would be fluffy and lovely and all the women would be saints' line, which I like because I think that idea is full of crap. Jackie is the leader of Carhullan, this brutal military focused woman who I find hard to agree with, despite her magnetic appeal. Should we put people in dog boxes until they hallucinate just in case they are spies? Um, no. And even though I find it easy to respect her and her final decision to fight, I think I'm suspicious of her for much of the book because she is a (very clever, very clear, strategically minded) fanatic. And when it comes to her decision to take the army of Carhullan on an unwinnable, final mission I can understand that action, especially as she gives everyone the option to join or leave, but shooting Chloe? The dog box treatment? The way she clearly manipulates Sister's trajectory at Carhullan in order to bring as many women to her final cause as possible? All of those make me rear back from her.

So the connection between my feelings about the gap and Jackie is a return to my wondering whether something is being concealed by that missing data. Hall sets up this excellent complicated head of a female driven society and her inclusion asks the reader to question their assumptions about female leadership and leadership in general: Jackie is neither a universally positive leader, or a complete despot; she has many of the qualities that are valued in male leaders; many of those qualities feel like real, good leadership qualities objectively. Then she puts in a textual gap. So much could be in that gap. But then if Sister was setting her story up as Jackie propaganda wouldn't it be more overly positive...

Anyway I am obsessed with that missing data, it appears! Shall we talk about something else for a change?

Renay: Yes, I never quite warmed to Jackie. I don't know if it's because I saw so little of her other than Sister's perception and trust of her leadership, cemented even more when she found out what happened to Jackie's partner or if I ultimately was torn over whether or not I believed she was doing the right thing at the end.

What I come away with is that leadership — regardless of gender, sex, race, class — is difficult to balance with fairness when there are lives and livelihoods and personal agendas at stake. If we compare what we know of the world beyond Carhullan from Sister's accounts to the community Jackie creates, it's fascinating to consider the similarities, but also the differences. What does having control over people really mean? The government exerts control one way, Jackie exerts control in a similar way, but at the end, are they actually very different? My perception of Jackie changed drastically after Chloe's death, and not for the better.

This is also an excellent opening for me to ask about the title change. Your copy is titled The Carhullan Army and my copy The Daughters of the North. What did you make of the differences here? Obviously neither of us can know this for sure since we've read the book, but does it change the perception of what the story is about?

Your title with the inclusion of "army" invokes violence and strategy for me, while my title and how it uses "daughters" makes me think of shelter and safety. The titles do two completely opposite things. Which is better suited? Do you agree with the title change?

Jodie: Renay I have been so angry about this title change. To my conspiracy minded brain the change from 'The Carhullan Army' to 'Daughters of the North' sounds like a change informed by a combination of 'Americans won't know where that is' and 'Let's make this book seem less militant feminist' logic. Sorry, but I am waaaay suspicious of the motivations for changes to American editions of novels by British authors since the Harry Potter decisions.

So I admit I'm biased, I'm not a fan of the US title and I think 'army' fits better, because even though not everyone at Carhullan is part of Jackie's military force this is a book about embattled women who develop great physical strength and oppose the outside world just by existing. The connotations of power that the word 'army' produces are right for this book, even if I'd like to step away from using military language as signifiers of strength. I think there are a lot of words that could have been used in the title to avoid the entirely military focus of 'army' and to emphasise the more inclusive concept of strength that the book puts forward (please don't ask me to suggest other titles, titling is my kryptonite) but out of 'daughters' and 'army' I will take army.

The word 'daughters' just feels so irrelevant to this book's subject matter. I mean sure, the women live off the land at Carhullan so I guess we could call them daughters of the land, but no one in the book ever talks like that. If 'sisters' was used in the title I'd understand the change more because at least that is relevant to the book's contents and I think it still creates that feeling of security and shelter you mentioned getting from the 'daughters'. With no connection to the text the inclusion of the word 'daughters' feels like an obscuring nothing word to use in this title, a word that aims to tell the reader there's nothing to be angry at or scared of in this book about a group of women living together.

Like I said though I haz conspiracy brain. Satisfy my curiosity, do you have a favourite or do you like both for different reasons? No judgement, I promise :P

Renay: I am about to ping you, though, for the thing you said at the beginning of the review!
That idea of quiet power appeals to me, because, well, first because aesthetically I find the whole sensibility of making a book that feels firm but not rough and deeply connected with descriptions of nature, fascinating. It’s so easy to hit purple prose when writing about nature, or to stumble into shock factor brutality, but Sarah Hall keeps everything balanced and bracing.
This right here is why I don't mind the title change. To my reading, these women went to Carhullan and were reborn. Imagine spilling from the dog box after three days, or seven, or nine, into the light. Imagine working with the land, living off of it directly, and then in the end leaving it behind for the future. In so many ways these women were daughters of this place in nature. It's not so much that they needed to talk about it, because we don't necessarily always expect characters to be referential to the title of the stories they're in. It's more the feeling; they carved out a space for themselves and for a time were cradled there until the situation forced their hand and they had to choose: leave their home on their terms or someone else's. I concede that the use of "daughters" also renders them childlike and undermines the larger point about their power, self-sufficiency, and desire to live the way they chose. I debated between the titles, because both characterize the women aptly, but problematically. The reason I chose the retitle is because of my reading of the book: A daughter plant is an offspring grown out of a part of the plant, for example, from a cutting of a leaf.

That cutting can be taken elsewhere, cultivated, grown, and spread. I am choosing to read the overarching narrative of the story Sister tells as a narrative someone other than the people who captured her is reading, because the government has fallen — because Jackie's revolution spread. It's definitely not the only reading and I would say it's a hopelessly optimistic one only barely supported by the text, but I'm placing my bet, anyway. :)

Jodie: Using my own words on me - shocking behaviour :P

I think that the change from 'Carhullan' to 'North' and my assumptions about that change prejudices how I read the change to the rest of the title. And my own personal construction of associations around how the world uses the word 'daughter' does not predispose me to view it as a word that reflects quiet power. That's just me though, I have problems with names for female association being used outside of their strict literal sense because I find that kind of word choice manipulative. I feel like often people want to encourage women to see their relationship to the world in a certain way and to react to other women in a certain way, so they use words (like 'sisterhood' and 'daughter') to attempt to force those kind of relationships on them. As those words sound so positive, anyone whose feminist experience falls outside of the associations aligned with those words and anyone who rejects those words is supposedly doin it rong. A re-titling without reference to the text just feels like that kind of forcing, but like I said conspiracy brain can be a real problem for me. 'Sisters' would probably fit way better for me because although initially Jackie puts that name on new recruits, it's never used as a way of pushing the women to feel universally positive towards each other and later Sister embraces her name for herself.

I like your reading though, it makes a lot of sense when you consider how prominent the imagery of the creeping plant is and when you look at the cover image chosen for the UK copy, where plants twist on the front cover:

cover of The Carhullan Army which shows a green background and images of winding creeper plants with yellow flowers


And the idea of nature taking things back is a big theme as Sister journeys towards Carhullan for the first time.

How do you feel about the focus on the benefits and beauty of nature vs industrialisation in this book, by the way? I thought that, although Hall's book managed to avoid ever idealising nature and living off the land, the opposite way of living (the industrialised town) was set up as entirely awful, perhaps too easy for the reader to reject. The novel sets up convincing circumstances to explain why there's no joy to be had in the industrial environment of the towns and why this particular industrialised situation is so bad. Still, I couldn't help feeling like the complete contrast between town and country made this book seem like it was joining up with an idea you often seen advanced in SF that nature is good, manufactured things are bad and we'd all be much better off if we all worked in our local areas and started churning our own butter.

The idea that industry and even technology can and has caused harm is indisputable. I'm not here to argue that global warming isn't real or that the Industrial Revolution was one big plus, nothing like that, but sometimes I read SF and feel like it's ignoring the real difficulties of having human beings in the world, in favour of shouting 'LALALA if we all just went back to the ways of the past everything would be fine.' when um no. Technology also provides a lot of benefits and there are a lot of people who wouldn't fit into a rural, pre-industrial shape society built on the idea that everyone chips in with the (mostly quite physical) work . I find some SF notions of the way out of the various environmental messes that their fictional societies are dealing with to be ill considered, or to rest too much on the idea that the world would be better off without humans. No. That is not even an idea I can get behind, sorry but I'm not able to wish for the extinction of my species. I know that's a simplistic generalisation I'm making and people, feel free to throw 'SF critiques the dominant, unexamined ideas that technology fans are loath to admit to' or 'SF criticises the misuse of science, not science itself' back in my face because those are useful ideas. It's just sometimes I read some dystopian SF and wonder if it hasn't tipped to a place where it's less criticising dominant ideas and more throwing out the baby with the bath water to increase the drama of its stories?

So, occassionally it crossed my mind that this novel might be operating within an ideal set of writerly boundaries if that makes sense. It's almost like nothing contradictory can enter into this world to mess with the picture of how the town is represented. And even though I can see Carhullan's feminist message spreading wide and working, I have a hard time seeing its way of living off the land being possible considering the large number of women and men we currently have in Britain. I would personally like to live in a world where we can all come closer to nature and all have anaesthetic when we get our teeth pulled. But maybe those structures would come once the women of Carhullan took over the world, maybe there would be an integration between the natural and the useful bits of industrial society. Perhaps the fact that the town comes off as entirely bad is just an issue of focus though. The country, female run society of Carhullan is the focus of the novel so it necessarily gets much more development and is allowed to be full of complicating difficulties, while the novel spends less time situated in the town so the nooks and crannies of its world aren't examined, maybe? Or perhaps we are just seeing a fictional oppression so brutal that it destroys everything, because that's what some forms of oppression do?

Renay: The best example for the rural versus urban debate from the book is when Sister leaves for Carhullan, and sees nature taking the areas humans had once lived back. I wonder how much nature, given the importance in the text that it has, is meant to be a focal point of the book. When Sister leaves her town, nature is reclaiming things. But doesn't she go to nature, become a part of it and then return to do the same kind of reclaiming? I'm not sure it can be boiled down to nature versus technology, either. Perhaps nature in this context is a metaphor for something else — the wildness and freedom it provides, the choices a plot of land offers, the options of a nicely weeded garden waiting for seeds, you can choose a piece of land and do your thing on it and that's that. I didn't feel that it was specifically about nature, but about the wild array of things nature offers us, when in the cities choice is gone, and even land that you consider yours ("land" as in bodies) is no longer yours — Sister is violated by a government seeking to control her. If we look at it from that perspective, it's not a surface debate about urbanization, anymore. It's about us.

I do agree that some SF takes it to an extreme that's hit-or-miss on the helpfulness scale when it comes to discussing the impact of humans on the world. But I also think what's happened in this story is more subtle and that the choices Hall made using nature have something more to tell us both about the places Sister left behind, and the places she goes.

Jodie: Oh that's a really cool idea. Your thoughts remind me a lot of 'Frankenstein' criticism that I read during the first year of uni actually. The feminist reading essay we were assigned was all about how, without sounding twee and probably mangling the sentiment a lot, writing about nature and biological science is often writing that talks obliquely about women, our bodies and the way that science as practised by men interferes with the science of nature. So your ideas probably fit in with a long standing tradition of SF examination (wouldn't it be fun to trace that slant of critical writing through the ages?).

Renay: Wow, I wish someone would give me a grant and access to an academic library and I would do a study like that. That would be fascinating.

On an semi-unrelated note, I asked Ana to read Frankenstein with me! She agreed, so now I'll get to see if I can find find similar lines between this book and that book. :)

I am really glad we decided to read this and discuss it together; you've made me consider the book in ways I never would have otherwise, and honestly? Going into this review the book hadn't resonated with me that much, but now I am really attached and think it's fascinating — isn't that great? We should definitely do this again! :)

Jodie: Absolutely, I love joint readalongs. Next stop 'Cold Magic' (now watch our schedules magically fill with time consuming appointments). :D

Supplemental Material:


Other Reviews: 1 More Chapter, My Favourite Books, Karen Burnham (SF Signal), Vishy's Blog, io9, yours?

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