Dislocation Space
A Soviet political prisoner is ordered to use her unique talents to explore a strange scientific phenomenon. It could be a trap…or a way out.

Dislocation Space Details

TitleDislocation Space
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 15th, 2020
PublisherTor Books
Rating
GenreShort Stories, Science Fiction, Historical

Dislocation Space Review

  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
    January 1, 1970
    Garth Nix wrote this novelette, and whatever Nix writes is usually worth taking a look at. It's about a Soviet political prisoner in the days of Stalin, a very thin, wiry young woman who's a trained contortionist, a talented sniper, and a deadly fighter. Imprisoned in Siberia for what appear to be bogus reasons, she's "offered" a chance to maybe redeem herself by exploring a strange alien artifact in a desolate area of Siberia, a network of small tight tunnels whose twists and turns lead ... who Garth Nix wrote this novelette, and whatever Nix writes is usually worth taking a look at. It's about a Soviet political prisoner in the days of Stalin, a very thin, wiry young woman who's a trained contortionist, a talented sniper, and a deadly fighter. Imprisoned in Siberia for what appear to be bogus reasons, she's "offered" a chance to maybe redeem herself by exploring a strange alien artifact in a desolate area of Siberia, a network of small tight tunnels whose twists and turns lead ... who knows where? But the Soviet authorities want to know, and they've decided that Aleksandra is their best bet.This story reminded me pretty strongly of the famous classic SF novella Rogue Moon, which I read back in my impressionable college days and which always stuck with me. This one pales a little by comparison, but this SF adventure set in the bad old Soviet Union days is still an interesting read.Read it here: https://www.tor.com/2019/12/11/disloc...
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  • Judy & Marianne from Long and Short Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    Nothing is more important than staying calm and paying attention to your surroundings.The Soviet political prisoner who was the protagonist of this story was a fascinating person. She was only ever known as KH-112 in the prison camp, and that is how I will refer to her in my review. KH-112 had quietly suffered for years by the time the audience met her, so it came as a surprise to see how she responded to the hard labor, freezing climate, and chronic lack of food that had already killed so many Nothing is more important than staying calm and paying attention to your surroundings.The Soviet political prisoner who was the protagonist of this story was a fascinating person. She was only ever known as KH-112 in the prison camp, and that is how I will refer to her in my review. KH-112 had quietly suffered for years by the time the audience met her, so it came as a surprise to see how she responded to the hard labor, freezing climate, and chronic lack of food that had already killed so many before her. While she’d certainly been harmed by these experiences, I loved seeing the glimmers of resiliency in her beginning with the opening scene. They were beautiful harbingers of what was to come and made me determined to get to know this character better.There was a plot hole involving how KH-112 was treated by her captors. In the opening scene, the narrator took great care to show all of the precautions that had been taken to keep her from killing any more of the soldiers who were running the prison camp. She was such an intelligent and resourceful person that the smallest slip-up by her enemies could give her the opportunity to fight back against them. It came as a surprise for me, then, to see how she was treated after the Soviet Union found another use for her. Her talents were obviously quite valuable to her captors, but that didn’t quite explain the shift in how they treated her given what they knew about her past.The ending couldn’t have been written better. I’d grown attached to KH-112 and was incredibly curious to see what her government expected her to do and if her abilities would actually be of use to them. My questions were not only answered in full, they also sparked many more questions about what happened to her after the final scene. I loved finding out what her fate was and thought the author did a wonderful job of tying everything together neatly while still leaving room for the audience to imagine certain things for ourselves.Dislocation Space was a thrilling tale that should be read by anyone who has ever felt trapped by their current circumstances.
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  • Scratch
    January 1, 1970
    This is the second short story in the last two months I have read about a talented prisoner being held in a 20th century Russian camp. Both stories successfully creep me out, making me feel all at once frightened and disturbed. I could not stand to live in the USSR. The cold, the hunger, the constant fear? Dealing with captors who are too stupid and drunk to question the morality of their actions? I'm terrified.Aaaand that might be exactly what Garth Nix was going for, to make the prospect of This is the second short story in the last two months I have read about a talented prisoner being held in a 20th century Russian camp. Both stories successfully creep me out, making me feel all at once frightened and disturbed. I could not stand to live in the USSR. The cold, the hunger, the constant fear? Dealing with captors who are too stupid and drunk to question the morality of their actions? I'm terrified.Aaaand that might be exactly what Garth Nix was going for, to make the prospect of escape so appealing.Still, definitely not my favorite Garth Nix work. I prefer the Abhorsen series.
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  • Emma
    January 1, 1970
    Dislocation Space had me hooked from the get go.The Soviet setting was highly interesting as something I don't usually read much about and Aleksandra's character was written beautifully. I found myself constantly rooting for her and loved how mysterious she was.The sci-fi aspect to Dislocation Space was also fantastic and for me very original!I would love to read more about Aleksandra's past and am looking forward to reading more from Garth Nix.5 stars.
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  • Harry
    January 1, 1970
    A tight and well written novella. Pacing was well done also. An enjoyable read. Full Disclosure: Nix will always have a special place in my heart as Sabriel was the first book I ever owned.
  • Kate
    January 1, 1970
    I liked the Soviet feel of it, but the ending felt like it dropped you into nowhere.
  • Barbara
    January 1, 1970
    A very interesting and engaging short story, I was rooting for Aleksandra to somehow come out of the hell that was her existence into something better, but what a surprise the ending was. I loved it.
  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    Strange and beautiful
  • Ambre Golden
    January 1, 1970
    I very much enjoyed this story. I found the Soviet-era setting quite interesting and I liked how it was depicted (I'm no expert of that time period though, so I couldn't judge how accurate it was, but that wasn't exactly the point anyway). I like the way the main character was introduced and how we learn who she is and how she acquired her unique skills. I loved the task that Aleksandra was set (and the object it relates to), and Aleksandra's very human and relatable thoughts and conflicts I very much enjoyed this story. I found the Soviet-era setting quite interesting and I liked how it was depicted (I'm no expert of that time period though, so I couldn't judge how accurate it was, but that wasn't exactly the point anyway). I like the way the main character was introduced and how we learn who she is and how she acquired her unique skills. I loved the task that Aleksandra was set (and the object it relates to), and Aleksandra's very human and relatable thoughts and conflicts through this unusual experience.I rarely say this about anything shorter than a novel, but I will definitely enjoy re-reading this. Highly recommended.4 stars
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  • Dan
    January 1, 1970
    Engaging enough, but not much payoff.
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