Review by Tyler Gardner
The coincidence of this book being donated to the library Sci-Fi collection and the new Teen Librarian, Catherine, telling me she had just checked out a separate copy from the library had me curious as to why the universe was putting this book in front of me. It did not take long to figure out why. I love short books and Sister of the Vast Black, clocking in at 155 pages, was the perfect evening read. In a two-and-a-half-hour session, I poured a couple of glasses of wine and fell headfirst in to the story of an order of nuns traveling across the galaxy in a living spacecraft. The story takes place in a post-Earth future where the once beautiful planet, and the majority of its inhabitants, fell victim to destruction on a massive scale. Although there is still life on earth, as a result of the ever-looming imperialist Earth Central Governance and its reinvestment in the Church as an “arm of the state,” the sisters of the Order of Saint Rita, aboard their ship Our Lady of Impossible Constellations, travel from moons to exoplanets performing good deeds. After the installation of a new Pope on Old Earth, and a slow burning realization of their new charge by the Church, the sisters undertake a daring mission that changes the trajectory of their lives and faith for good. Sure to please any reader interested in the intersection between imperialism, faith and science fiction.