Out From The Ghostly Freighter
The Red Scholar’s Wake
By Aliette de Bodard
Aliette de Bodard’s 2022 The Red Scholar’s Wake is a space opera set in de Bodard’s Xuya Universe.
Captured by Red Banner space pirates, scavenger Xích Si is painfully aware of a number of possible fates. She will probably have to choose between immediate death and involuntary indenture to the pirate fleet. Should she somehow survive capture without joining the fleet, she will forever be an outcast; her native An O Empire will assume that she bought her life with signing up as a pirate and will execute her for crimes against the state1. If Xích Si were to contact her relatives, they could be arrested and executed for abetting piracy.
To Xích Si’s astonishment, the recently widowed mindship Rice Fish comes to Xích Si with a proposition. Or rather, a proposal.