The Tea Master and the Detectiveby Aliette de Bodard
De Bodard brings us The Tea Master and the Detective, a new novella set in the award-winning, critically-acclaimed Xuya universe!
Welcome to the Scattered Pearls Belt, a collection of ring habitats and orbitals ruled by exiled human scholars and powerful families, and held together by living mindships who carry people and freight between the stars. In this fluid society, human and mindship avatars mingle in corridors and in function rooms, and physical and virtual realities overlap, the appareance of environments easily modified and adapted to interlocutors or current mood.
A transport ship discharged from military service after a traumatic injury, The Shadow's Child now ekes out a precarious living as a brewer of mind-altering drugs for the comfort of space-travellers. Meanwhile, abrasive and eccentric scholar Long Chau wants to find a corpse for a scientific study. When Long Chau walks into her office, The Shadow's Child expects an unpleasant but easy assignment. When the corpse turns out to have been murdered, Long Chau feels compelled to investigate, dragging The Shadow's Child with her.
As they dig deep into the victim's past, The Shadow's Child realises that the investigation points to Long Chau's own murky past - and, ultimately, to the dark and unbearable void that lies between the stars...
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Aliette de Bodard is a French-American speculative fiction writer. She is of French/Vietnamese descent, born in the USA, and grew up in Paris. French is her mother-tongue, but she writes in English. A graduate of École Polytechnique, she works as a software engineer specialising in image processing and is a member of the Written in Blood writers group.
She was a 2007 winner of Writers of the Future, and in 2009 was nominated for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. She has been published in Interzone, Hub magazine, Black Static, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Asimov's, Realms of Fantasy, Apex Magazine, among others.
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