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The Tea Master and the Detective
The Tea Master and the Detective | Aliette de Bodard
Once, the mindship known as The Shadow's Child was a military transport. Once, she leapt effortlessly between stars and planets, carrying troops and crew for a war that tore the Empire apart. Until an ambush killed her crew and left her wounded and broken. Now the war is over, and The Shadow's Child, surviving against all odds, has run away. Discharged and struggling to make a living, she has no plans to go back into space. Until the abrasive and arrogant scholar Long Chau comes to see her. Long Chau wants to retrieve a corpse for her scientific studies: a simple enough, well-paid assignment. But when the corpse they find turns out to have been murdered, the simple assignment becomes a vast and tangled investigation, inexorably leading back to the past--and, once again, to that unbearable void where The Shadow's Child almost lost both sanity and life... The Tea Master and the Detective is the Sherlock Holmes retelling I always wanted and now I have it. And I want so much more of it. Ana Grilo, Kirkus The Tea Master is an astonishing Holmesian mystery, in which Holmes is a woman and Watson is a spaceship. It is everything I wanted it to be. Tea, space, and mysteries within mysteries. Mary Robinette Kowal Ingenious... As a classical blend of far-future SF and traditional murder mystery, The Tea Master and the Detective should satisfy readers unfamiliar with the Xuya universe, but at the same time its an intriguing introduction to that universe, much of which seems to lie just outside the borders of this entertaining tale. Gary K. Wolfe, Locus De Bodard constructs a convincingly gritty setting and a pair of unique characters with provocative histories and compelling motivations. The story works as well as both science fiction and murder mystery, exploring a future where pride, guilt, and mercy are not solely the province of humans. Publishers Weekly
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PickwickPlockPlock
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I pledged to read 15 books for the challenge and ended up with a list of 25, so not bad. I read a couple of novellas and some YA books, which is a bit unusual for me, and the challenge also made me read some older books from my TBR stack - mission accomplished!

Thank you @DuckOfDoom for the idea. It was my first reading challenge and I had a lot of fun!

#SFFTBRChallenge

PickwickPlockPlock Another unexpected gem, apart from the tagged book. 2mo
DuckOfDoom I love both the tagged books!! They are awesome. Any other gems? I'm glad you had fun. Maybe I will do another, more lightweight one, the management got totally out of my hand 😅 2mo
PickwickPlockPlock @DuckOfDoom Another challenge would be great. I will tag my favourites in the comments. 2mo
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31 likes7 comments
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Angitron
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Panpan

This just wasn‘t for me. The writing was solid and I liked the idea of shipminds (though I‘d come across a similar concept before in Iain Banks‘ Culture novels), but I couldn‘t connect with the characters and the murder mystery at the center of this novella fell a bit flat for me.

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Karisa
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1. Tea Master and the Detective! Beautifully written scifi novella with a creative world.

2. Clockmaker's Daughter (but I loved dissecting it with my book club buddies)

3. 🦸🏾‍♀️ Next Ms. Marvel volume

4. 29 read out of 50 goal so far. 😊

Thanks, @laurenslibrary for the nice #ThursdaySurvey !

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Karisa
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Pickpick

Mindships, alternate futures, deep space travel, and a whole new spin on Sherlock Holmes are featured here. Aliette de Bodard's writing manages to be expansive, beautiful, and compact. Not a word is wasted in her novella The Tea Master and The Detective (which recently won a Nebula) yet a whole universe is captured.

Karisa It led me searching online for more. I was not disappointed. The Waiting Stars, a short story, is outstanding as well. Check it out free here: http://aliettedebodard.com/short-stories/the-waiting-stars/ 4mo
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tournevis
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The Nebulas were announced and I 100% agree with all of the winners (it's not always the case) and I can count one friend in the list, which is even better!!! Have you read any of them? They're all good!
https://www.tor.com/2019/05/19/announcing-the-2018-nebula-awards-winners/

suzisteffen I am going to go look at the awards - I HOPE I have read some - but this novella by Aliette de B made it on my top books of 2018 list, so hurray! 4mo
tournevis @suzisteffen The novella is simply fantastic! Calcutating Stars by Kowall is also a fnatastic novels. They are all good! 4mo
suzisteffen @tournevis TBH I am a bit surprised Calculating Stars won. I liked it very much, don‘t get me wrong, but I‘m surprised. The novella category was ridiculous this year - I *LOVED* Black God‘s Drums so much, and please, Artificial Condition?!!!! All of the Murder bots also made my best of 2018 list. 4mo
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suzisteffen @tournevis Dramatic presentation was also an utterly ridiculous category! So many good things in one place. I will admit to seeing Across the Spider-Verse three times in theatres, so I guess 👍. But I mean! Black Panther, Dirty Computer, Sorry to Bother You!! Ahhhh! 4mo
tournevis @suzisteffen You know, when Bandersnatch is the worse of the list, you know the choice will be siffocult! 4mo
tournevis @suzisteffen I meant "difficult"! ? Also, as you noticed, Bandersnatch is the only production not starring persons of colour. 4mo
tournevis @suzisteffen I'm not surprised Kowall won, it's great and deserved it, but I preferred Roanhorse by a large margin. 4mo
ShyBookOwl The Calculating Stars was good, but I much preferred Spinning Silver. I've been waiting to see which would take it. 4mo
tournevis @ShyBookOwl But what's great this year, they were all good. Even the one we each didn't like best! 4mo
Geeklet Solid list. Glad to see Children of Blood and Bone won for YA. I really enjoyed it. I haven‘t read The Calculating Stars but I thought The Poppy War was excellent. 4mo
tournevis @Geeklet This year was killer! 4mo
suzisteffen @tournevis alllll of this 4mo
tournevis @suzisteffen ALL of this, indeed! 4mo
45 likes14 comments
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xicanti
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Tuesday afternoon book stack. I might be in the wrong mood for THE TEA MASTER AND THE DETECTIVE, but I want to give it a shot before I return it unread.

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xicanti
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Another small library haul this week: two books I went in for and one comic I couldn‘t leave on the shelf.

TobeyTheScavengerMonk I‘ve been reading DC Superhero Girls comics to my 4 year old. Is Marvel Rising aimed at kids too? 4mo
xicanti @TobeyTheScavengerMonk my library has it filed under YA, but it‘s about Squirrel Girl and Ms Marvel and their adventures are always kid-friendly (with some jokes and stuff that might go over kids‘ heads). 4mo
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bibliocurl
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Pickpick

A quick sci-fi novella by Aliette Dr Bodard.

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imyril
Pickpick

I nearly flagged this so-so because it‘s not my favourite Xuya... but that doesn‘t mean this novella shouldn‘t be classed as a good read anyway. I‘d like this better with less overt Sherlock references (still not a Sherlock fan), but I‘d happily read more space opera with a traumatised mindship helping a grumpy intellectual to solve crime.

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GivenLemons
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Pickpick

A fantastic novella that I stayed up late to read! I really enjoyed the conflict and worries of the Tea Master and how abrasive the Detective was. A reimagining of Holmes and Watson in a radically different world!

imyril Really looking forward to this one! 9mo
GivenLemons It‘s the first one I‘ve read by de Bodard, but I‘m looking forward to reading her other books! 9mo
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CoffeeK8
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Pickpick

Such a unique and fun read! A Sherlock Holmes-esque novella set in an Asian inspired space traveling future. Long Chou is a mysterious woman searching for a dead body in space who hires a tea making mindship, The Shadow‘s Child, as her assistant.

tournevis A Vietnamese space empire! How great is that? 12mo
CoffeeK8 @tournevis yes, it‘s awesome! Such an inspired idea! 12mo
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CoffeeK8
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Today‘s #libraryhaul. Not much time for reading now that work has started, but I have high hopes for some of these. #teachersoflitsy

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tournevis
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Pickpick

Completely forgot to laud the merits of this. I finished it (it's a one-hour novella) at the cottage in August.

An investigation by two older female-identified persons, the titular broken detective and the equally broken shipmind who now specializes in brews to help humans survive deep space travel. In a Vietnamese space empire.

I. Loved. It! Read. It.

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Anton
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Pickpick

I enjoyed this novella, although I was more interested in the characters and the setting (a far future alternate universe where China discovered America before the West) than the mystery its detective sets out to solve. There are several short stories and novellas set in the Xuya Universe, and I plan to read more of them. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

LectricSheep This sounds very cool! 13mo
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Anton

Long Chau was an expanding star, burning loud and bright, mesmerising in her relentlessness, and ultimately one that would swallow you whole.

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Anton
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Imagine Sherlock Holmes as an Asian woman in the far future, with a starship AI as her Watson. That‘s the premise behind this novella I started reading last night.

GrilledCheeseSamurai I've had this on my amazon wishlist for some time but haven't ever pulled the trigger because it's relatively pricey for an author I've never read before. 😑 13mo
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PickwickPlockPlock
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Pickpick

My first pick for the #SFFTBRChallenge and it's a winner!
This novella has two Sherlock Holmes/Dr Watson characters at its center, only the setting is a technologically advanced, asian culture inspired universe, 'Holmes' is an arrogant female detectice and 'Watson' a wounded ship-mind. It's really amazing. The author writes in the afterword that Jeremy Brett and Lucy Liu are the Holmes and Watson close to her heart and yes, I see it.

@DuckOfDoom

DuckOfDoom I heard about it! Now I really want to read it 😄 1y
PickwickPlockPlock @DuckOfDoom You won't regret it! It's a short read, only 99 pages. 1y
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Moray_Reads
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Pickpick

Probably the most original Sherlock Holmes homage I've ever read. This time "Holmes" (Long Chau) is a woman and "Watson" (The Shadow's Child) is a sentient spaceship and they occupy an intergalactic empire with a Chinese-Vientnamese culture. It's clever and beautifully written and will definitely be my gateway into de Bodard's complex universe and history, just hinted at in this short but satisfying novella

underground_bks We deal in rare and antiquarian books as well as used and new books at my bookshop, and we just acquired a big collection of Sherlockiana, most between 1900-1970. I had no idea how big the fan culture was in that time period or how many pastiches had been written! It‘s been really fun learning about all of them! 1y
Moray_Reads @underground_bks it is amazing, it's one of the first major fandoms, huge right from the start! I love all things Holmes. Did you know people wore morning in London after the Final Problem was published?! I work at the National Library of Scotland and we have a couple of ACD's original manuscript stories 1y
underground_bks That‘s incredible! I love the idea of collective mourning for a literary figure. Quite a bit of the collection we have is of privately printed stories and essays that hint at the massive structure of the fandom—so many group names! Most of ours is American. Also what an incredible place to work!!! 1y
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saresmoore This sounds amazing. 1y
PickwickPlockPlock This is waiting for me on my kindle 😊 1y
2BR02B I've been wanting to read this! Your review just further whets my appetite. 1y
Sarah83 Sounds great 1y
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Tonton
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Pickpick

Didn‘t realize this was a novella; much too short! The mindship reminded me of The Ship Who Sang and Ann Leckie‘s ships as well as Iain Banks‘ ship names but that is not a bad thing. What was compelling was the world building saturated with Vietnamese culture.

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MichaelKwan
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Pickpick

I highly recommend this novella. Aliette de Bodard has created a science fiction universe based on her own Vietnamese culture. It's a well-crafted, detailed world. This story perfectly balances the setting and the investigation story and is a great entry to this world.

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Liberty
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Evening reading: Wicked into mysteries lately. (Why, yes, I am from Maine, why do you ask?😝)

MicheleinPhilly Twinsies! I‘m reading A Grave Talent right now! 1y
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