Remnant Population

Elizabeth Moon
Remnant Population Cover

Remnant Population


For my final WOGF review, I decided that I should read something that is on the theme of why I decided to do the challenge in the first place. There are any number of good reasons for it: certainly female SF authors are read far less than they deserve. But for me, it's about a feeling I had growing up and reading things like The Lord of the Rings and watching Star Wars and being able to look up to fictional heroes like Frodo and Luke. Ordinary guys who find themselves way out of their depth but still manage to muddle through and save the day out of sheer conviction that what they're doing is right.

This seems to me to be a very male experience in fiction. Sure there are plenty of books out there with really great female characters who save the day through force of character; but they very seem to do it by climbing over the mountain and dumping the magic doodad in the volcano or beating the bad guy in a lightsabre duel. I think there's a sad dearth of female characters of this sort (although the WOGF challenge shown me that, to some extent, I'm just reading the wrong books). And it would make me sad if girls who grow up reading LOTR and the rest have trouble putting themselves in these characters shoes because they learn through these books that lightsabre fights and treks into Mordor are the province of boys.

That's why I chose to read Elizabeth Moon's The Deed of Paksenarrion as my last WOGF challenge novel. But that was in mends, so I read Remnant Population instead.

It was really good, as it turns out. Ofelia isn't quite the kind of protagonist I was describing above, but she's smart and likable and tough as nails and great fun to read about. It's a very good adventure story about solitude, which is a difficult thing to pull off, and a lot of it is quite beautiful as well.

Thanks a lot to Worlds Without End for hosting the WOFG challenge! It's been a lot of fun and I look forward to next year's!