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Publisher's Summary

For 40 years, Colony 3245.12 has been Ofelia’s home. On this planet far away in space and time from the world of her youth, she has lived and loved, weathered the death of her husband, raised her one surviving child, lovingly tended her garden, and grown placidly old. And it is here that she fully expects to finish out her days - until the shifting corporate fortunes of the Sims Bancorp Company dictates that Colony 3245.12 is to be disbanded, its residents shipped off, deep in cryo-sleep, to somewhere new and strange and not of their choosing. But while her fellow colonists grudgingly anticipate a difficult readjustment on some distant world, Ofelia savors the promise of a golden opportunity. Not starting over in the hurly-burly of a new community...but closing out her life in blissful solitude, in the place she has no intention of leaving. A population of one.

With everything she needs to sustain her, and her independent spirit to buoy her, Ofelia actually does start life over - for the first time on her own terms: free of the demands, the judgments, and the petty tyrannies of others. But when a reconnaissance ship returns to her idyllic domain, and its crew is mysteriously slaughtered, Ofelia realizes she is not the sole inhabitant of her paradise after all. And, when the inevitable time of first contact finally arrives, she will find her life changed yet again - in ways she could never have imagined...

©1996 Elizabeth Moon (P)2020 Blackstone Publishing

What listeners say about Remnant Population

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Grandmother Wisdom Wish Fulfillment

the main character is portrayed with wonderful depth, but every other human character seems extremely stupid and 2 dimensional given their roles.

By the end it's really crossed over into wise old woman wish fulfillment, and it lost me there 🙁

1 person found this helpful

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An old broad with the right stuff

In full disclosure, I am an old broad, though not nearly as intelligent nor as forthright as the main character. I enjoyed the cascading jabs at class wars, child rearing and ageism. There is a thorough development of “other” intelligence and another world whose inhabitants might well teach us a thing or two about gracious, abundant living.

1 person found this helpful

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About time!

A author that truly thinks outside the box,and a super hero Grandmother! Love this !

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it's 2022 and I wonder where this book's been hid

-ing?
I wonder what other books this gifted writer has wrote. surely she has more gems.

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This is one of the most amazing sci-fi stories!!!!

What an absolute gem this book is. Its sci-fi with human colonies theme is done perfectly. The author is incredible. Her handling of the fmc is so tender and respectful. The author seems to understand this elderly woman intimately. Having worked geriatrics in my past, I was struck by the authors ability to bring the reader into the old woman's sphere so thoroughly. Its been so long since a book hit me this deeply but the authors gentle handling of her increasingly frail elderly woman character is unbelievably authentic. I've never read anything like it. So very beautiful. I strongly recommend.

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Great story, solid performance

This story is one of Elizabeth Moon's best. After finishing I found myself wishing this was the first in a series.

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Unusual Scifi with strong female character

Rather than the typical strong female character in a scifi novel, this book does not have a female spy, or fighter pilot, or privateer, etc. Instead, the strength is internal, and comes from wisdom gained from age and a willingness to both listen and actually hear the voices of those alien to the main character. Swift action is not always the best response to all situations, however contemplative assessments give rise to far greater understanding than snap decisions.

The author takes us on a journey that is both poingnant and heroic, and redemptive.

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Great story!

Thought provoking and intelligent! I loved this story and it is a welcome change for the genre.

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A great first encounter story

Not only this is a very good first contact story, but it has a very original protagonist: an old lady, tired of being abused and trod on by both family obligations and corporate exploitation, which chooses a.new path of her own. I loved it, haf already read it in ebook, and I think the narrator did a superb job!

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Very engaging story

I loved this grumpy old lady protagonist. This was a fun, heartwarming sci-fi story

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  • Just a reader
  • 11-14-20

Wonderful story & great characters

I really love this book, for several reasons. I will try to explain why without spoiling it, since it is much more appreciated when you don't know what comes after what the audible summary tells you about it (older woman stays behind by herself on a colony-planet and realizes she may not be alone after all).
First off, even though this book was written in 1996, it is still fresh and original. There is a great premise, and an even better follow up. I stayed interested throughout and listened whenever I could. When you think you know where it is going, there will be another plot twist, or another dimension/layer to your understanding. The main character, Ofelia, is skillfully written. She is real, believable, and relatable. She is not the type of character that is 'instantly likable'. She's actually quite crabby. But within the first few hours you grow attached to her, understand her, and care about her journey. The other characters - again, don't want to spoil too much- are very interesting and they too are written in a way that really brings them to life.
Second -and this ties into Ofelia as a believable character- Elizabeth Moon has a great track record of writing strong women, without turning them into goody-goody Mary Sue's. Her women are talented and smart, but not in an effortless way. They need to practice, study, try, fail, be vulnerable, sometimes not succeed, master little things before they can move on to other things. Just like real women do. There is also a refreshing lack of romantic drama. Not having her characters worry about whether some guy or girl likes them frees up a ton of space for actual plots. In the case of Ofelia it is clear she has lived a full life -married twice, had children- with positives and negatives connected to that, but it doesn't necessarily define the journey she is on in this book. She draws on her experiences, yes. But there is no lamenting a lost love or youthful affair, or getting the hots for any newly introduced character or anything like that. I really appreciated that. Another plus is that Ofelia is actually old (70+) and written as such. She is not some male writer's fantasy about an older woman who is actually 45 and still a sexy vixen. This is rare in most literature, but even more so in fantasy and science fiction books. Not too long ago I listened to Hyperion by Dan Simmons -arguably a talented writer- and within the first few minutes he describes a female voice on the intercom which belongs to a senior general as 'old, but still beautiful'. Yes. This is how he describes a VOICE. Because god forbid a woman's vocal cords aren't tight anymore, I guess. Anyway, you will find none of that type of nonsense in this book. Ofelia is who she is. It is about her character, her thoughts and her actions, because those are the things that define her. That in itself is refreshing.
Lastly, the narrator is talented and very capable. She doesn't mumble or do irritating accents -although she does differentiate between the various characters-. Her clear voice suits the material really well. It is a very good match.
All in all, I wholeheartedly recommend this title. I am sure I will listen to it again, as Ofelia is one of my favorite characters now. The fact that I initially wanted to write 'Ofelia is one of my favorite women now' -as if she really exists-, should tell you everything you need to know about this book. It will stay with you, as it has with me.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Selkie
  • 09-25-21

A wonderful, life affirming read - esp for mature women

This is a gem of an audio book, with reader and content well matched.
I dislike gore and violence but enjoy a story with pace and a bit of drama, so this story fitted me very well.
The protagonists search for solitude is so well told, all the tiresome demands of community life are laid out skilfully with enough narrative drive to keep the story pacey. The joy she finds on her own company as she sheds social expectations is just a delight to read about. I shan’t say anything about the second half of the story because of spoilers, but I will say that it ends happily.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Carly G
  • 10-20-21

great story

I wasn't sure what to expect, but I'm glad I took the time to listen, original concept and beautifully read. if you're looking for a sci-fi with a different angle? this is the one for you. I loved it.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Sam
  • 09-12-21

phenomenal.

This is a slow burn, very relaxing. I go through about 20 audio books a month and this one is easily I'm the top 3 of the past 6 months.
give it a go and I'm sure you won't regret it.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Cfc Caumartin
  • 01-01-22

gently brilliant

A great book and for someone looking at the wrong end of 50, an absolute welcome heroine. The elderly hero is fascinating and her journey is really addictive. I am so glad I read this . highly recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lisa J Cunningham
  • 12-29-21

A Very Different Hero. Old age is not a weakness.

A determined old woman, resolved to remain in her home when the colony that she helped found is forceably relocated, is not the hero you expect in science fiction. She is however absolutely the hero you need.

1 person found this helpful

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  • C
  • 12-01-21

Great Sci Fi

Great Sci Fi from a woman's perspective for a change. much more about important things like communication and building relationships rather than fights between humans and aliens. Having an older woman as main character is the icing on the cake.

1 person found this helpful

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  • james
  • 11-11-21

excellent light reading

love the gentle story with a fine keen on human behavior, liked it a lot

1 person found this helpful

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  • ValleyBoy
  • 10-26-21

Just get it…


A wonderful, complex rising picture of an unfulfilled life, finally lived…
Suzanne Toren you are a wonderful narrator- such empathy…

1 person found this helpful

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  • Gudmundur
  • 10-23-21

Fell into it and loved it

Tried it on a whim and enjoyed it more and more with each chapter. I stayed up late just to listen and I wish there’s more of it!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-14-22

Such a beautiful story. Slow paced but just lovely

This is a beautiful and wise story - just what you'd expect from a story about an old lady. And well worth a listen.

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  • Mike Borg
  • 03-13-22

Slow but interesting

This can be slow going, but very interesting look into what an old woman's thoughts might be, as she is treated with irrelevance by the people around her. I found the writing mature, but engaging, which was a nice change from the younger-oriented and usually shallower fare of sci-fi and fantasy that is typical of more recent fare.
The following may be spoilery, but this novel is a bit of a mix of Cast Away/The Martian and Avatar/Arrival. The narrator was great at representing the old woman, and also adding the language interactions between the woman and the indigenes.
Highly recommended for those wanting a slow burn and a more introspective read.

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  • Pamela J. Hayes
  • 03-08-22

A great yarn!

Couldnt stop listening! I loved the strength of the woman in the story. Fascinating

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  • Vgarrett
  • 01-31-22

My favourite book this past year

I’m sure I’ll re-listen to this book again. The “Indegenes” are wonderfully well drawn aliens but more importantly the humans think and behave like real people. This is a very optimistic sci-fi novel and reminds me of the novels I love from the Golden Age.