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Downside Girls
 
 

Downside Girls [Kindle Edition]

Jaine Fenn , Alastair Reynolds
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

When Vanna Agriet accidentally spills her drink over an Angel it could spell death, but instead it leads to a rather peculiar friendship. The downsider Geal hopes for a better life topside, only to find herself embroiled in a 'removal' by the Angel Thiera. Downside, Isha's brother Rakul brings a little black box home with him, and sets Isha on a journey that takes her to a meeting with the most powerful man in Kesh City. Larnia Mier, a talented topside musician and instructor, is injured after witnessing a removal first-hand. As her abilities diminish, new possibilities open up.

With a foreword by Alastair Reynolds (author of 'Revelation Space' and the recent 'Blue Remembered Earth', as well as 'On the Steel Breeze'), 'Downside Girls' is a standalone collection of interlinked stories by Jaine Fenn, that also shines new light on characters from 'Principles of Angels', Jaine's first novel in the 'Hidden Empire' series. ('Principles of Angels', 'Consorts of Heaven', Guardians of Paradise', 'Bringer of Light', and 'Queen of Nowhere').

About the Author

Jaine Fenn is a British author, mainly of science fiction, who practices a small but evenly balanced number of virtues and vices. She studied linguistics and astronomy before going on to work in IT, an experience which left her with a distrust of technology unusual in an SF writer. After having a number of short stories professionally published in the early noughties, she turned her writing virtue/vice into a career when her first novel was picked up by Gollancz in 2007. The Hidden Empire series are far future SF, with each book telling a discrete story which contributes to the overall plot.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 325 KB
  • Print Length: 88 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Clarion Publishing (19 Sep 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009E8D736
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #180,619 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Jaine Fenn is a British author, mainly of science fiction, who practices a small but evenly balanced number of virtues and vices. She studied linguistics and astronomy before going on to work in IT, an experience which left her with a distrust of technology unusual in an SF writer.

After having a number of short stories professionally published in the early noughties, she turned her writing virtue/vice into a career when her first novel was picked up by Gollancz in 2007.

The Hidden Empire series are far future SF, with each book telling a discrete story which contributes to the overall plot.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Alastair Reynolds (no less), in his introduction, talks of the joy of short fiction being the thrill of leaping into the unknown, I agree. The joy of short fiction is that it *allows* you to leap into the unknown without having to commit days of your life to the experiment. He goes on to talk of its fragility and how a successful short story will seem bigger on the inside. Again I agree, in these days of the blockbuster novel, where words are sold by the pound, the art of the short story is being lost. Jaine Fenn shows here that she knows exactly what not to say. She has written four stories based in her Khesh City where she sparingly tells us just enough background (for instance the city's name is not mentioned in any of the stories). Like an impressionist painter, she paints just enough dots of detail that we think we know it all. Her characters are sparsely painted without descending into caricatures. On top of all that these stories are interesting!

To my mind the sign of a good short story is when you spend longer thinking of the implications of the story than you did to read it. These stories are masterpieces of thought provoking science fiction.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story set 31 Oct 2012
By Zippy
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'd read all of the Jaine Fenn series of books featuring such characters as Taro and Nual. I had thought that this set of short stories may be a let down but I was wrong as I thoroughly enjoyed all the stories and in fact think that short stories may well be Jaines strong point in terms of story telling. So whether you've read the other books or not make a point of reading this as it's excellent. Here's looking forward to more from Jaine Fenn.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good intro to this author's work 25 Sep 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
The floating city of Kesh rests above the uninhabitable planet of Vellern. For the Topsiders life is about luxury and opulence, while for those of the Undertow day to day survival takes precedence. Kesh City is a democracy by assassination, where the Angels - deadly state-sponsored killers - remove those unworthy to hold office.

When Vanna Agriet accidentally spills her drink over an Angel it could spell death, but instead it leads to a rather peculiar friendship. The downsider Geal hopes for a better life topside, only to find herself embroiled in a `removal' by the Angel Thiera. Downside, Isha's brother Rakul brings a little black box home with him, and sets Isha on a journey that takes her to a meeting with the most powerful man in Kesh City. Larnia Mier, a talented topside musician and instructor, is injured after witnessing a removal first-hand. As her abilities diminish, new possibilities open up.

This short story anthology features four individual tales all set in the fantastical city of Kesh.

Collateral Damage - A chance meeting between two women in a bar acts as our introduction to the City of Kesh. Vanna is having trouble at home with her husband, while Malia is a newly risen Angel still unsure about her choice of new career. Over a number of weeks a friendship forms, but perhaps there is more to this friendship than there first appears.

Death on Elsewhere Street - Some of Kesh's citizens will do whatever they can to avoid popping up on the Angels radar, Geal falls squarely into this group. Circumstance, however, leads her directly into the middle of an incident that is the stuff of her nightmares. Sometimes, no matter how hard you run from something you can't avoid it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good indeed 19 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'd not call these absolutely excellent, but that's probably because I've been spoiled by the richness Jaine can deliver when given a whole novel to play in. On the other hand, for delicious short story goodness, this is a safe and highly enjoyable bet.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Izzy P.
Format:Paperback
This collection of four short stories by Jaine Fenn, set in the universe of her series Hidden Empire, assumes no previous knowledge of her work. Leaping straight in, without any introduction to the world, it is still completely accessible to readers who have never read any of the series. Facts were laid out when they need to be, rather than dumping lots of information on the reader. It is for this reason that I believe it is the sort of science fiction that is accessible to any reader. One of the downfalls of the science fiction genre is that it is often very specialist, and so much of it is very heavy - someone who does not usually read sci-fi could easily be put off. However, that is not the case with Downside Girls.

The city in these stories has a 'topside' and a 'downside' - topside being the upper class area, and downside for the poorer citizens. Patrolling the city are Angels - downsiders chosen to be assassins and given special powers, who target corrupt politicians. The descriptions and feel of the city definitely gave me a bit of a Mass Effect vibe - I was imagining the scenarios taking place in the Citadel, which was pretty cool.

All four stories have very different situations, and weave together the lives of humans and Angels. The stories are also interlinked in small ways, but I think you have to read the main series to truly understand the link - I only picked it up from reading the synopses of Jaine Fenn's other work. The narrative of the stories is just about different enough to show that each one is being told by another character, but I do feel that this aspect could be improved on.

The writing flowed very well - not overly showy, or too simple.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars downside girls, back to a favourite
did i enjoy it? yes, definitely. would i have read more? yes definitely.i loved these characters the first time i met them.
Published 11 months ago by terryj
5.0 out of 5 stars Angelic Stuff
The floating city of Kesh rests above the uninhabitable planet of Vellern. For the Topsiders life is about luxury and opulence, while for those of the Undertow day to day survival... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Ms. Theresa M. Derwin
5.0 out of 5 stars High Five for Downside Girls
This collection of four standalone stories, with a foreword by Alistair Reynolds, features some of characters from Fenn's debut novel, Principles of Angels. Read more
Published 21 months ago by sjhigbee
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent accompaniment and introduction to Hidden Empire series of...
This was my first introduction to Jaine Fenn's work, and this is a collection of four short stories set in her Hidden Empire series. What an introduction. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Nick Devonald
4.0 out of 5 stars Science fiction delight
This is a book about heroines. They come in all shapes and forms and are all intricately connected to the city's political system. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Andy Pieters
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent side-dish to the Hidden Empire series
Being a short (novella-sized) book, I read this in a single sitting. It's a collection of four short stories by a British SF writer who I admit is new to me, but has previously... Read more
Published 22 months ago by P. R. Vincent
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