I stumbled upon this book while looking for science fiction novels originally written in German. Turns out that Die fünf Seelen des Ahnen, which translates to something like “The five souls of the ancestor” is the only novel written by a woman that won the German Science Fiction Award (Deutscher Science Fiction Preis) so I felt obligated to give it a go. (What terrible bro parties these literary awards can be…)

The story is about an ark ship that’s more like a big city with a sophisticated society landing at a potentially habitable planet (after a bit of terraforming, because it’s entirely covered by an ocean) and then getting in contact with the beings living there.

I did like the world Nolte built on the ship, with all the weird things the bored passengers do in guilds, the way they avoid overpopulation, politics, oppression. Many things quite Earth-like but with a huge twist.

I can’t say however that the story was thrilling, I think the emphasis was more meant to be on the dynamics of inter-personal and trans-civilizational relationships.

The prose was easy to read, perfect match for my German skills.

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