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Fall From Earth

Fall From Earth - Matthew  Johnson Pretty good SF think piece about a crew of criminals, shipped off to serve their sentences as colonists on an uninhabited planet. They are subjects of a Chinese-like interstellar empire and its Catholic-like religion, both of which condition their varied responses to the new environment. And then the aliens show up, and everyone needs a new strategy...The ideas set in motion were quite interesting, and the characters on each side fairly believable. But the sentence-level writing and dialogue were somewhat flat, all sentences repeating the same pattern, too many present participles and unnecessary oh!s.(I listened to the Iambik audio recording, narrated by Emma Newman, which was smoothly done, only occasionally a little affectless.)