Prime Meridian

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 15 Dec 2017

Member Reviews

Despite the space cover and the SF theme the star of this book is the relationships. I particularly enjoyed Amelia. She is a complex believable character. I thought the other characters were a bit rougher but it is a novella. I am also glad Silvia Moreno-Garcia brought some of her Mexican heritage into this novella as it always gives her stories an enjoyable uniqueness. I wasn't blown away but it was an enjoyable read.

Thanks to NetGalley for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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I got an ARC copy of Prime Meridian from Net Galley and loved it. It is a fantastic novella (what are my reading habits coming too?).

Prime Meridian is a really light type of sci-fi. There’s no robots, no space ships, no aliens, just a city that is disenfranchised by technology and money, as people scrape and struggle to make ends meet. It’s a sci-fi that blends the now and the future, but that you can easily imagine the tipping point as we fall forward into prioritizing the wealthy over the poor.

Amelia dreams of going to Mars. But there are different tiers of access to Mars, where rich people can pay their way to join the colony but the poor go as indentured servants. She has no hope...

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Great story strong on character development, less so on science fiction

I enjoyed this book. Although science fiction plays a role in the backdrop of the story, this novella is about people. It has very strong character development and the settings are described very well. These far outweighed the lack of science fiction and this book was a thoroughly entertaining one. It is well worth the read.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley for review purposes.
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First off, I have to admit that I was going through a weird reading slump when I picked up this novella, so it took way longer for me to read than it should have. It is short, but the pacing is very slow, so it's probably a book to read when you've got the patience to hang around and wait for the payoff. I do think the ending was worth it.

We follow Amelia, a bright 20-something, down on her luck in a near-future Mexico City. She had to drop out of college to care for her ailing mother, and having lost that opportunity, the economic realities of her situation are pretty dire. There seems to be no path forward to a respectable career for her anymore, and yet she cannot let go of...

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I started off really, really disliking Amelia. She was so whiny and negative and frankly kind of bitchy about everything. But as I got to know her story, I found myself really empathetic toward her, as I've been a similar (though not nearly as bad) situation - she wanted to be a scientist, but had to drop out of college and is now unable to get any permanent job (I'm just having trouble breaking into my field, but I have spent some time unemployed and it sucks so much). I realized that the author actually very well captured the mindset of someone who feels stuck and unable to do much of anything to improve their situation.

Amelia dreams of going to Mars, but has no way to earn...

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Just a quick note, this book is technically already out if you were one of the backers for the author's IndieGoGo, if not this one does not come out until this summer. I was lucky to receive a copy from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Silvia Moreno-Garcia is becoming a fast favorite author of mine. I like that she writes about younger adults (mid-20s to older) so it makes it easier for me, a 27-year-old, to relate to her characters. I like that with Amelia she writes a really lost character that just doesn't know where to go with her life. I think that is natural to feel that way, but I think our society tells us that we are supposed to have our whole life figured...

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I expected a space sci-fi, but ended up with a life drama. I liked the dystopian world that Amelia lives in. It’s so poignant and tells a story we’ve heard time and time again in real life. She was on track for a stable life, and then everything went sideways. The years rolled forward, and she finds herself in a situation many of us face every day. But she still dreams of Mars.

Sometimes, it’s hard to like Amelia, but as in life, no one is perfect, except on Facebook. The relationship between Amelia and Lucía is so wonderfully written, and so “real,” I wonder if it is the fictionalization of actual events. I applaud writers that can pack so much story into a novella, and Silvia...

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Thanks to NetGalley for this copy of Prime Meridian.

I was eager to read something by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, and this novella hasn't disappointed me at all. The money issues, gigs and precariousness as the setting of the story is very relatable to the millennial generation, especially to those who live in countries deeply struck by the economic crisis. Amelia, the main character forced to struggle with a toxic family and a very difficult social situation. The huge gap between the rich and the poor. The selfishness, the reification of the people without resources, the injustice and insecurity, the weight of distress and the unknown future. Every of these issues is present on the book;...

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Amelia works as a rent-a-friend, spending time with others in exchange for a little money in her pocket.  All the while, she dreams of mars and a life different from her own.  This was more of a short-story than a novel.  I didn't get a real feel for the characters.  The entire book felt bleak, making it feel as if it was going nowhere.  Overall, not a book for me.
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What an beautiful and moving novella.  Moreno-Garcia has crafted an evocative tale in Mexico City, centered around Amelia and her struggles as a young and unemployed person in the near-future. 

This was a masterpiece of a short story. Completely original and filled with the most human of characters, I couldn’t stop reading this story. The city was so real and vibrant, which is no easy feat in a few short stories. 

This was my first book by Moreno-Garcia and it will not be my last. She is a true master of writing.
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Really interesting short story. Near-future, recognizable places and tech. Sympathetic characters. Excellent prose and pacing. Fantastic introduction to Moreno-Garcia's writing. Can't wait for more.
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In general, I’m not a big fan of novellas. I like a long story that I can really sink my teeth into. Too often, an author tries to do too much in a novella. They cram in world building, character development, a plot and a message, and none of it gets enough attention. I’ve read some novellas that spent so much time setting up the situation that it felt like the actual conflict got wrapped up in 30 seconds.

Prime Meridian by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is the rare example of a story that fits just right into the novella length.

Much of the success of this book is due to the author’s deft hand. Moreno-Garcia doesn’t spend a lot of time on exposition, yet she still manages to convey a sense of...

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There’s a candour about Prime Meridian that won me over from the start. Amelia glowers off the page, her daily frustrations and challenges all too familiar to anyone desperate to hang on to their dreams when faced with an uncaring world. This is a future so near you can smell it, made up of daily trade-offs – the value of Amelia’s time vs the cost of reaching her clients; the need for privacy vs the expense of drinking coffee in cafes; friendships vs social utility. She navigates snobbery and casual sexism, avoiding the gangs as assiduously as she avoids her sister.

It’s hard not to consider Amelia as lonely as she is frustrated, stewing in her own self-loathing. She takes money from...

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Set in a near-futureish time, this novella revolves around main character Amelia's struggle to eke out a life in Mexico City and her unceasing (if out of reach) desire to move to a colony on Mars.

Though it is set in the future, it is a future that seems scarily imaginable: The untenable life of a young person without means; The out of control gig economy; The society so divided by class that it's falling apart.

As with all Moreno-Garcia's work, her characters are fantastically rich (which is no easy feat in a novella). Amelia's humanity really shines through and carries the novella.

I would recommend this book to all of the disenfranchised millennials returning to...

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In the foreword, Prime Meridian is described as a ‘quiet masterpiece’ and I have to agree. I can’t find any other description that sums this novella up more succintly. I can only say that through Prime Meridian, the author documents the internal struggle and frustration faced by current younger adults at about 20-25ish years old, especially concerning their career life. It is often during this age that most people have just graduated from some kind of tertiary studies and are at that stage where rejection is norm and dead-ends are all you seem to face.

After I’ve figured out the theme that this book revolves around, I had originally thought that ‘this doesn’t look too good, the protagonist...

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I received an e-ARC of this book via NetGalley. Thank you!

Going into this book, I felt that there would be a more in-depth discussion of Mars, the main character Amelia's life on Mars. But as I progressed through the book, I was wonderfully surprised about what I encountered: a meandering story, much akin to real life, and how we go about our lives trying to reach that one goal. Whatever that goal maybe, we try to reach there. Yet there are many days when we stumble, fall and make the wrong decisions, which seem right or worthy in the pursuit of our goal. The author brings out these dilemmas, ability to get up from a fall, and the general thought that: life is completely...

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Prime Meridian is a rather quiet novella, following the low-key struggle of life in Mexico City for its protagonist, Amelia, while she dreams of life in the colonies on Mars. There's no intense action, just an emotional undercurrent of bitterness and the fear that she'll never escape Mexico City and her life there. There's an honesty about Amelia's character -- not always likeable, for the reader or for the people around her -- but always truthful, doing what she can to live her life and not kidding herself about it.

To say too much about this book wouldn't spoil it, but I don't think I can go too deeply into it. It's wrenching in a way that has nothing...

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A fantastic novella of extremely realistic and grounded science fiction. Actually, it this story is barely sci-fi or even speculative fiction and while it may exist in a near future where resources are scare and the divide between haves & have-nots is wider than can be imagined, it is less a fantasy than it is a gritty coming-of-age tale.
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An affecting and nuanced novella that examines everything from class, poverty, gender, generational conflict, capitalism, nostalgia, and how to hold onto dreams of something more in the face of dreams stymied and deferred. Fascinating world-building that feels very much like it grew out of the world we live in today, so much so that I wish I had been able to see more of it in the short text.
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(I received an early ebook copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley. My opinions are my own)

Wow. I had no expectations going into this. I knew three things: the cover was gorgeous, it was listed as Sci-Fi, and the main character wanted to go to Mars.

What I got was leagues above and beyond.

The first thing you should know is this is a quick, fast paced story. It's written in the clipped, straightforward style reminiscent of the Lost Generation. This does not mean the writing is not beautiful and full of precious gems (it very much is). Ideally what I want you to understand here is, you don't need to commit yourself to an epic, sweeping tale. You can sit down on...

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