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Remnant Population Turtleback – Apr 1 1997


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Turtleback, Apr 1 1997
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Product Details

  • Turtleback
  • Publisher: Demco Media (April 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0606183795
  • ISBN-13: 978-0606183796
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 10.8 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Barbara on Jan. 6 2004
Format: Paperback
This unhurried tale about the freedom and peace of solitude and success in later life is presented as science fiction, but I believe people at any stage of life can relate.
Ofelia is an old woman who decides to stay behind on a colony planet she has called home for half her life when the sponsoring company decides to move the colonists to another world. She is ready for a few years of freedom at the end of her long life. The freedom to wear what she wants, eat what she wants, rise and rest when she wants. She spends a few seasons and about a hundred pages alone. Then she encounters native intelligent life i.e. aliens and Ofelia gets acquainted with them and watches them learn at a marvelous rate that belies her initial impression of their childlike intelligence. Off world powers become aware of the intelligent life and send a group of specialists to study them.
This book was slow moving, but the writing was lovely. For some reason, I really like descriptions of weather and gardening and Moon provides plenty of both along with rather simple arts and crafts of bead painting and clothes making that I rather enjoyed. The story of rising to success and finding oneself highly valued, respected and useful is not new. But I have never read a book where the main character is old and Ofelia offered a refreshing perspective. I enjoyed this book.
Recommended.
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By Diana Kerr on Nov. 6 2013
Verified Purchase
My paper copy of this book was wearing out, it has been read many times.

A kindle version will last longer. The kindle version is also easier to carrier.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book for the first time when I was in my forties, and it sang a siren song to me about the need for solitude in the midst of life's hurly-burly. Ofelia awakens to her quiet inner voice when her colony is going to be moved, whether the colonists agree or not. Faced with a system that does not work for her and does not care, the voice says, "You're going to stay." Her radical decision is to listen and to stay on her planet alone, and to accept whatever befalls as a result.

We worry obsessively about how to prolong our lives. Ofelia fears most losing that voice inside. Alone on the planet, she cultivates this voice, and reclaims all that society stole from her of her individuality.

Now in my sixties, I can see that Ofelia represents the authentic voice of an older woman, and her message is fresh and courageous. She still has things to learn, and they show up in totally unexpected ways. She doesn't have control, but she has choice. And she has her voice.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Simonetti on March 10 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not only was this an increadible novel of self-discovery, finding inner-strength and value of solitude, but it featured a strong, independent Latina woman as the main character. Ofelia was also a Senior Citizen who clearly was not as worthless as everyone thought, but had tremendous value as a human being and as an Elder. We should teach this book in schools to illustrate that all women, elderly especially, have great wisdom and value and ought not to be tossed aside!
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Format: Hardcover
"Remnant Population" is a beautiful story about an "old woman" whose path of discovery is set in a SF context.
At 70, Ofelia is considered to be too old to be of any use to the Colony which had settled on the planet some 40 years earlier, but have now been told to move on. Ofelia knows this, and does not look forward to the move in cryopreservation, which is likely to kill her. As an elderly woman, she is no longer appreciated by her fellow colony, rather - she is a liability.
But Ofelia has her own plans. If she can only convince the colony to leave her behind ... all she wants to do is tend to her garden and be left in peace. No one to tell her what to do. No one to tell her what to wear. No one to chide her. She decides to hide herself when the colony moves out. She knows that they won't look long for an old woman ... and she's right.
Soon, Ofelia learns to set herself free. As the only one remaining on the planet, she can do whatever she wants. There is enough infrastructure left behind by the colony that she can survive for years. So she plants everyones gardens and finally gets to walk around barefoot and hatless.
But then, something unusual happens. One day, as she is at the center, monitoring for storms and writing "real" stories behind the notes on people who dies in the colony, she hears an interchange of humans attempting to land on the planet --- and something goes horribly wrong. Against all Ofelia's expectations and knowledge, the humans are attacked by aliens. Shortly after, strange things start to happen where she is. Doors left open that she was sure she'd closed. Or maybe she was just a crazy old woman after all?
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By maemurphy on July 13 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I liked this book fully as much as anything else I've read by Elizabeth Moon. Her characters are believeable and well constructed, and her plots don't stretch the bounds of credulity.
I wish more Sci-Fi authors were like her; this isn't a dark techno future and you won't feel hopeless or filthy after reading it.
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By Erik Kauppi on Oct. 21 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Remnant Population by Elizabeth Moon is an unusual book in quite a few ways.
To start with, the protagonist, Ofelia, is over 70 years old, and a grandmother. She's not as spry as she was, and not taken seriously by her family or community. Just a "crazy old lady". I can think of very few SF books where the protagonist is that old, unless of course they have some life-extension technology. Ofelia's people do not seriously consider the wants and concerns of an old person. Perhaps our culture doesn't either, if you judge by their (lack of) prominence in fiction.
Ofelia lives in a struggling colony on a far-away planet. She's put her whole life into the colony -- the gardens, the family and friends she has buried there, the labor of a long life. Now the corporate owners of the world and the colony have decided it is "not viable" and they are shipping their employees off to start over on another world. Ofelia decides she won't leave.
The colonists and the corporate masters leave, not too concerned about one missing old lady. Ofelia is alone. Alone means un-fettered by the needs and demands of other people. Un-concerned about what the neighbors will think of what she wears or does. Free to do sensible things which she is very capable of, and also free to make her own artwork and to sit in the sun and dream.
This is the first and perhaps largest joy of the book. It is a personal growth story about someone whose life we might have assumed to be nearly over. Left to go wild, Ofelia blossoms. She is practical and careful, but at the same time her child self is finally set free.
Of course all is not well in paradise for long. Ofelia will be presented with plenty of challenges.
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