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The Undefeated    by Una McCormack order for
by Una McCormack
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2019 (2019)
Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The pace is slow and steady in Una McCormack's novella, The Undefeated. It addresses the consequences of slavery in a far future universe. The Interstellar Commonwealth is built on the backs of bonded jenjer, engineered for longevity - the expensive medication needed to support it eked out in return for their service.

The tale is told by an influential investigative journalist, a 'warrior with words'. Monica Greatorex came from an aristocratic background on the planet Sienna, her home there the estate Torello. She moves back and forth between her childhood and the present day when she is in her sixties, traveling with jenjer Gale to do her bidding.

Gradually we learn of what happened on Sienna - how Monica's beloved father died; how she and her mother fled; and the role jenjer played in these events - as she waits there for the tide of slave revolt to roll over this world. Monica had learned as a child 'what it meant to be alive because of another person's whim. To be entirely in someone else's power. To be jenjer.'

This thought provoking novella, a kind of literary SF, will not be to everyone's taste, but I found it worth the read.

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