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Architects of Memory
By Karen Osborne

Discussed March 2022

Buy Architects of Memory from Amazon.com

Characters:

  • Ashlan Jackson, Ashley, Ash
  • Kate Keller – captain of Twenty-Five. “Space plus bullshit equals death.”
  • Natale Chan – salvage ordnance engineer
  • Alison Ramsay – Keller’s red-haired XO
  • Christopher – Ash’s dead fiance
  • Leonard Downey, Len
  • Dr Sharma – Auroran Doctor studying the Vai
  • Vai – alien attackers
  • Mr. Joseph Solano – CEO Aurora Company

Major companies:

  • Auora Company
  • Wellspring Celestial Holdings
  • Manx-Koltar – Auoran Ally – presumabley with an intercorporate treaty

Technology:

  • Ansible
  • Zero-point battery
  • Celestium fuel source, mined on Bittersweet Colony by Wellspring, “65% of fuel mix for grav-drives and 25% of tough plasteel hull material that made escaping gravity wells possible.”
  • Grav-drives powere by refined celestium
  • Executive class got rich on celestium mining

I invite you to go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QK9h_9q4zkQ and check out the visual trailer for the series. It’s pretty cool.

Questions:

  1. Did you finish the book? Did you like it, hate it, or have no opinion?
  2. Last month, we read Memory of Empire by Arkady Martine in which a slow and under-the-radar lesbian romance developed and remained almost out of sight. How is Karen Osborne’s novel different? How important to the story is the romance to to either book? Which do you prefer? Why?
  3. Is this a space opera? Where does it take place? What is the breadth of the universe here? What is the White Line? The Vai retreated behind it at the tribulation battle.
  4. What did you think of the aliens? What were their motives?
  5. What purpose does the unicorn toy serve? Why do they keep coming back to it?
  6. There are birthright citizens and citizens who earn their way to citizenship through a variety of means, mostly indentured servitude. The society seems composed of corporations/companies with power and profit motives the only goal. How does this work and do you think this is a statement on our current world? Is this the future of slavery?
  7. How did you like the tech in this story? Did the different levels of upgrades make the tech feel more real? What about the Vai technology? The nanotech? Bolt vs bullet gun? Did the explanation of Vai contagion make sense to you?
  8. Did you have a clear image of the ships in the story? The space where the story took place?
  9. What about the gruesome medical experiments they find on Tribulation? Reva Sharma’s experiments. Is Sharma their version of Dr. Mengele? What is the purpose of all this horror? What is the Sacrament Society? How does it serve humanity?
  10. Were you surprised that Keller could operate the Via node/weapon?
  11. Did you believe Natalie’s repentance when she cornered Ash on the London near the end? Did her explanation of corporate war make sense? What did you think of the space war scene between Wellspring and Aurora? Do you think the weapons the ships have are good in space? How do they contrast with the Vai weapons?
  12. What did you think of the ending? Did it work? Did it make you want to read a sequel?
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