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A Half-Built Garden
A Half-Built Garden | Ruthanna Emrys
4 posts | 4 read | 9 to read
A literary descendent of Ursula K. Le Guin, Ruthanna Emrys crafts a novel of extraterrestrial diplomacy and urgent climate repair bursting with quiet, tenuous hope and an underlying warmth. A Half-Built Garden depicts a world worth building towards, a humanity worth saving from itself, and an alien community worth entering with open arms. It's not the easiest future to build, but it's one that just might be in reach. On a warm March night in 2083, Judy Wallach-Stevens wakes to a warning of unknown pollutants in the Chesapeake Bay. She heads out to check what she expects to be a false alarmand stumbles upon the first alien visitors to Earth. These aliens have crossed the galaxy to save humanity, convinced that the people of Earth must leave their ecologically-ravaged planet behind and join them among the stars. And if humanity doesn't agree, they may need to be saved by force. But the watershed networks that rose up to save the planet from corporate devastation aren't ready to give up on Earth. Decades ago, they reorganized humanity around the hope of keeping the world liveable. By sharing the burden of decision-making, they've started to heal our wounded planet. Now corporations, nation-states, and networks all vie to represent humanity to these powerful new beings, and if anyone accepts the aliens' offer, Earth may be lost. With everyones eyes turned skyward, the future hinges on Judy's effort to create understanding, both within and beyond her own species. At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
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julesG
A Half-Built Garden | Ruthanna Emrys
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Those pronouns and their rapid changes give me whiplash. And the two women are about to go to a party and need to tread that pronoun-minefield extra carefully.

Earlier in the book: 'sie' and 'hie' and 'hes'

"Pronouns are 'e' and 'em' and 'eir,'.... 'Tha,' 'thon,' 'thos'..."

Later on " 'hoi,' 'hom,' and 'hos' " are added.

Smrloomis Huh. Is that intriguing or just frustrating? 3mo
julesG @Smrloomis I find it frustrating, especially when one character changes clothes within one scene and hence gets three different pronouns within as many short paragraphs. 3mo
julesG @Smrloomis It somehow takes me out of the flow. Reading about "hoi" then "tha" then "e" - it indicates the person went from overly male clothing to naked and then some sort of unisex. If the story keeps piling on more pronouns, I'll need a notebook to keep track 3mo
Smrloomis @julesG yeah I don‘t think I could keep track without some sort of guide! 😅 3mo
37 likes4 comments
review
underground_bks
A Half-Built Garden | Ruthanna Emrys
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Pickpick

In this near-future first contact story, the organizational realism of Contact meets the gender & interspecies sexuality of Becky Chambers meets the social change & eco-philosophy of Emergent Strategy 🤯 This book was a little more of a challenge than a pleasure to read for me but personally I would never count that against ambitious solarpunk with decentralized decision-making, climate remediation, polyamory, and matriarchal dual-species aliens.

23 likes4 stack adds
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LeticiaToraci
A Half-Built Garden | Ruthanna Emrys
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Pickpick

This book has a lot about first contact politics, near-future ways to cope with climatic change, and mothers changing the world for the better while carrying their babies around in slings and changing diapers too. The aliens are also extremely well fleshed out. It was original and different. I like when the first contact situation with its politics and conflicts is so well fleshed out.

It's so lovely!!! I need more books like this!

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Decalino
A Half-Built Garden | Ruthanna Emrys
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Pickpick

A first-contact story set in a near-future world where megacorporations have been exiled to man-made islands, nation states are in decline, and a network of communities devoted to restoring and maintaining the world's watersheds do their best to work toward a sustainable future. A hopeful contrast to my usual steady diet of dystopias, this novel focuses on the connections that make us stronger, and the work it takes to forge them.

12 likes2 stack adds