From Melanie Hamilton of Underrated Reads
A soldier is persuaded to open a textile mill on a planet only accessible through a wormhole–with no guarantee he will be able to go home again. A woman trades away her hard won security and safety in order to serve on an alien planet. Sisters band together to hold a community safe when the foreign corporation discovers key resources. These are the stories in Stella Atrium’s Sufferstone, the first in a series (three books in print) narrating the relationships between the planet Dolvia and its inhabitants.
Ms. Atrium wanted to see true science fiction heroines and she has created them here. Rather than a fully kitted outer space opera ablaze with rockets and ray guns, or a fully feminized drama of warrior queens or porcelain physicists, she has blended all the traditional elements into an indigenous culture full of intrigue and compassion. In the best traditions of using the familiar to emphasize the alien, Ms. Atrium has drawn her heroines, in particular, from various world traditions. There are tribes whose women remain veiled while others walk naked, except for the pleasure of being decorated. Still others are gowned and robed. Each of these perspectives creates a revealing filter for the reader. As the best sci-fi does, we are encouraged to think, to consider, to re-evaluate… I wanted the book to be fifty pages longer.
I recommend this book to anyone with a taste for meaningful cultures and communities, for beautiful language, for courageous heroines and the men who commit to them.
I give Sufferstone three and a half bookmarks.