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Natasha Pulley

Autor(a) de The Watchmaker of Filigree Street

6+ Works 3,709 Membros 192 Críticas 9 Favorited

About the Author

Includes the name: Pulley Natasha


Obras por Natasha Pulley

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street (2015) 1,900 exemplares
The Bedlam Stacks (2017) 676 exemplares
The Kingdoms (2021) 467 exemplares
The Lost Future of Pepperharrow (2020) 361 exemplares
The Half Life of Valery K (2022) 242 exemplares
The Mars House (2024) 63 exemplares

Associated Works

The Haunting Season: Ghostly Tales for Long Winter Nights (2021) — Contribuidor — 191 exemplares
The Winter Spirits: Ghostly Tales for Festive Nights (2023) — Contribuidor — 59 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum

Data de nascimento
Locais de residência
Cambridgeshire, England, UK
Oxford University
University of East Anglia (MA|Creative Writing)
Prémios e menções honrosas
Betty Trask Award in 2016
Jenny Savill

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Natasha has lived in Japan as a Daiwa Scholar, as well as China and Peru. She was a 2016 Glastone Writer in Residence, and she teaches on Bath Spa University’s Creative Writing BA, alongside short courses at the Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education.



Group read: The watchmaker of Filigree Street em The Green Dragon (Fevereiro 2016)


Natasha Pulley's The Mars House is, like everything she writes, and absolute show-stopper. I start reading her work and very little else matters. I just want to stay in her world of complex challenges and gentle, timid hopes as long as I can.

I've started this review several times and found myself caught up in complex and lengthy summary, so I'm going to forgo the summary almost completely. I'll just say, imagine January, an Earth refugee, a former dancer with the Royal Ballet, who moves to Tharsis, a Mars colony, and experiences all kinds of physical and cultural shocks. (Most of the other reviews of this title include such summary, so you'll have no trouble finding some.)

I'd like to highlight the points of contact and tension that drive this novel.
• Miscommunication between a gender-neutral Tharsis culture and a highly gendered Earth approach to identity
• Huge differences in physical strength between recent Earth arrivals (strong, having lived at a gravity three times that on Mars) and Tharsises (fragile bones and reduced strength as a result of generations of life on lower-gravity Mars)
• Lots and lots of difficulties concerning the costs and benefits of assimilation
• A possibility of physical assimilation, "naturalization," that risks the health and lives of the Earth refugees
• Complicated and bloody political manoeuvering among Tharsis politicians
• An uneasy arrangement between a Tharsis politician determined to make naturalization mandatory, and January, who is looking for a way of moving beyond the poverty and exclusion he's experienced on Tharsis
• And the possibility of an awkward, near-impossible budding romance.

So that's
√ The climate crisis on earth
√ Climate refugees on Mars
√ State-sponsored disabling of arriving refugees
√ Colonial tensions as Earth nations attempt to maintain control over Tharsis
√ Awkward non-binary/binary attraction

Pulley is gathering up the foibles of our own time and holding up a mirror to our biases and incompleteness via a space colony 200 years in the future. As always, the prose is exquisite, the plotting full of twists, and the central characters emotionally engaging. Bonus: woolly mammoths (yep, those, too).

I received a free electronic review copy of this title from the publisher via Edelweiss; the opinions are my own.
… (mais)
Sarah-Hope | 6 outras críticas | Mar 22, 2024 |
Real Rating: 4.8* of five

The Publisher Says: From the author of The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, a queer sci-fi novel about an Earth refugee and a Mars politician who fake marry to save their reputations—and their planet.

In the wake of environmental catastrophe, January, once a principal in London’s Royal Ballet, has become a refugee on Tharsis, the terraformed colony on Mars. In Tharsis, January’s life is dictated by his status as an Earthstronger—a person whose body is not adjusted to Mars’s lower gravity and so poses a danger to those born on, or naturalized to, Mars. January’s job choices, housing, and even transportation options are dictated by this second-class status, and now a xenophobic politician named Aubrey Gale is running on a platform that would make it all worse: Gale wants all Earthstrongers to be surgically naturalized, a process that can be anything from disabling to deadly.

When Gale chooses January for an on-the-spot press junket interview that goes horribly awry, January’s life is thrown into chaos, but Gale’s political fortunes are damaged, too. Gale proposes a solution to both their problems: a five-year made-for-the-press marriage that would secure January’s financial future without naturalization and ensure Gale’s political future. But when January accepts the offer, he discovers that Gale is not at all like they appear in the press. And worse, soon, January finds himself entangled in political and personal events well beyond his imagining. Gale has an enemy, someone willing to destroy all of Tharsis to make them pay—and January may be the only person standing in the way.


My Review
: Comme d'habitude, Author Pulley has taken multiple strands of today's hellscape and woven them into a clever, involving story. January is a ballet dancer...lean, lithe, and muscular even by Earth standards...and a refugee from the sinking of his home, London, due to climate change. No worries, it isn't a big deal in the story, just the way he gets to colonial Mars.

Where he, because he grew up on a high-gravity planet, is an "Earthstronger" and a terrible threat to the naturalized Martians. This condemns him to a life of menial labor where his freakish strength is an actual advantage not a threat.

Does this anti-immigrant rhetoric sound familiar? Start from actual differences, create threats, and stigmatize the Other with the largely imaginary threats and violent rhetoric?

The story is about all that and more. January is the only one who is referred to by the masculine pronoun. All the Martians are "they." No more information is given than that...and Gale, the senator whose careless seeking for a soundbite in their campaign to forcibly "naturalize" the Earthstrongers...a procedure with a horrific death rate, and ugly medical side-effects for those it does not kill...as the external suits that cause the Earthstrongers not to be able to exert themselves to capacity are defeatable. Gale's effort to get a political advantage blows up badly and causes them, as well as January, terrible problems.

Their solution is to offer January a five-year fake marriage contract that will give them good political optics, and him a way out of the endless drudgery and second-class citizenship of being in a suit or, far worse, beinf forcibly "naturalized." So, as always in Author Pulley's work, there is a slow...slooow...burn into True Love. That the relationship is so suitable is weird. January had to travel to another planet to find True Love...and the balance of power, also as always in Author Pulley's work, is even but in a completely unexpected way.

What makes me happy when I know there is a new book coming from Author Pulley is that I know what I will get...musings on interpersonal dynamics, commentary on injustices that clearly cause her outrage and pain, the somewhat unrealistic Love Conquers All resolutions...but have not clue the first how she will take me where I already know we're going.

*happy sigh*

So, I hear you wonder, since you got exactly what you wanted, and enjoyed the trip to get it, where's that fifth star? The one thing I was a lot less than thrilled with was the bizarre and offputting de-extinction of wooly mammoths as part of the Martian terraforming because it felt uncharacteristically gee-whiz neato-keeno it's my book and I'll do it because I can legerdemain. It did not make any sense to me, though clearly there is a narrative srand to explain it. I just did not buy it. I was also not entirely convinced by the time it was set in...the kinds of changes on Earth seemed to be unusually late, for what I expect to happen based on current trends and on Mars way too soon. So, not quite able to ignore and go on with my suspension of disbelief.

These were not terrible sins...this is a novel, not a counterfactual scientific paper...and they are in service of telling a cracking good story. Very much a good place to start reading Natasha Pulley's work if you haven't already; and a great treat for your season of reading if you have.
… (mais)
richardderus | 6 outras críticas | Mar 20, 2024 |
Natasha Pulley specializes in quiet, odd mysteries, imaginary politics, and love stories less about romance than about the human craving for connection and understanding—and that holds true here, even with "alien" humans who have designed themselves into a very different species from our current understanding. Though with these very specific focuses, and with a more fantastical than scientific basis, it's a bit like the superb Translation State (a standout from last year and possibly for all time): an exploration of the edges of what makes a person "human" and how to communicate and compromise over seemingly untraversable gaps.

I found the main mechanism for a big mystery far, far too obvious. It's always tough to stay tranquil reading a mystery where you've figured out something on page 30 and it takes the characters at least ten times as long! So many characters were being way too oblivious to be either realistic or bearable.
… (mais)
bibliovermis | 6 outras críticas | Mar 14, 2024 |
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley.

I am not much of a sci-fi/speculative fiction reader, but I have enjoyed some of Natasha Pulley's other novels. I found this one a bit heavy on the science (which I did not try to get to grips with), but also at times a bit mad - mammoths? really? I liked the protagonist January, although he came across as spectacularly accepting of all the setbacks he encountered. The climate crisis refugees element came a bit close to the bone in a week where I read 100 forest fires have burnt through the mild winter we have had here in BC.

As far as the structure of the book goes, at the point where the mystery of what happened to Max and River is revealed, much of what the reader has already deduced is then spelt out again. I found this unnecessary and it slowed down the narrative at a moment when it should have been racing to the conclusion.
… (mais)
pgchuis | 6 outras críticas | Mar 13, 2024 |


Europe (1)
2010s (1)


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