Diversity, Edelweiss, Fiction, Other-cultures, Scifi, Scifi month

A Slice Of Life In Israeli Space City Filled With Robotniks Central Station by Lavie Tidhar

What is this? Evelina is giving you another 5 reasons to read something space related? What are all these reasons all about lately?? (*faints*) This time I’m going to talk about yet another non-American sci-fi. Enjoy!

Central Station

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★★★✬☆  3.5 stars


If you can still imagine that as a slice of life? Granted, there are no aliens (any I can think of, at least…), but there are robots, half-robots, computer generated life forms… Basically, anything on the spectrum of human and machine. The ways this society meshes are pretty amazing!


You know how diversity is almost always forced in books these days? It’s because it has to ‘fit a quota’. We all know how much fun that is. And want to know why this isn’t like that? Because it’s actually written by a non-American. (Here she goes again with her “Read A Non-American Sci-Fi For Once™” stuff…) First of all, the story is based in Israel. How many other scifis can you think of with that setting? Second, there are just so many lifeforms – like I mentioned earlier, there’s basically anything from natural to synthetic life, even life that’s purely computerized and has no body. Third – society is formed from many nationalities of people who moved there as immigrants centuries ago. None of them are Western. Simply speaking? LGBT in this book is the smallest and most natural kind of diversity, because the rest of… the diversity… is so diverse you can’t even. (Way to go with that sentence.)


So basically… The Strigoi is pretty much the best thing in the book! It’s a kind of space vampire..? That feeds on data, not on blood. It will erase a person’s memory only to gorge itself up on it. Nobody really knows what they are or why they’re here. Either it’s a former bioweapon… Or it’s a means for other lifeforms to coexist. I won’t spoil it for you.


I barely caught half of them. If you’ve read a lot of scifi or are familiar with the smart pop of this and the last century, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. The book is full of words like ubicked, Urbonas death machine, Shambleau, etc. There’s even an invented Asteroid pidgin which I thought was pretty amazing.


There’s just something so cool about scifi going there. I live in a Western society. That’s not what I want to see in my books. I want something outlandish. I want to see something that makes me ponder diffferent possibilities. I’m so tired of the world being only America! Write about the rest of the world please! Yes, we exist too!


Admittedly, nothing really happens. It feels like what it is – a lot of different novelletes or even short stories, welded together into a book. It tells about a world that is very different from yours, but also strikingly similar. It doesn’t tell of a plot though. And I felt like that’s where the story lost some of its charm. That’s why only 3.5 stars!

I thank Tachyon Publications and Edelweiss for giving me a free copy in exchange to my honest review. You can grab it here at Book Depository, and yep, that’s an affiliate link, so it supports my blog!

Have you read Central Station? Maybe you have other non-Western scifis to recommend to me?

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4 years ago

This is one of the many, many stale ARCs clogging my Kindle that I really ought to get to.

4 years ago

It came out in the States in May of last year.

The Orangutan Librarian

Ooh I legitimately love what you said about the diversity being natural- yes please! And the Strigoi make me curious! The world building in this sounds great- it’s just such a shame it was uneventful. Might check it out anyway though. Great review!

4 years ago

Ooh, this sounds really good! There you go with making me add more Non-Western scifi to my TBR.

Lashaan Balasingam
4 years ago

Great review, Evelina. I do love the sound of a “diverse” book that doesn’t force it into the story! I see wayyyyy too much of that and I am sort of tired that everyone is now forcing it into the story only to please certain people… And that space vampire that prefers data over blood is fascinating! :O

Sim @Flipping Thru the Pages

Nothing to suggest you in sci-fi genre 🙁

4 years ago

This is on my wishlist, but I haven’t picked it up yet. Lack of plot sometimes works really well for me, and sometimes falls flat.

4 years ago

Maybe I’ll pick it up on audio then. Thanks for the suggestion.

Jackie B.
4 years ago

I can totally understand why you might be intrigued with this book based purely on the synopsis and background. I personally have always saught non-Western fantasy… but never sci-fi! I honestly never thought about it… But, I guess that’s because I feel like my sci-fi TBR is SO LONG. I’ve got to get to those classics first! Did you find that you recognized all the sci-fi references, or did you have to look them up? Sometimes I feel a bit left out when I’m reading books full of references. It’s a shame that the plot is basically non-existent. That is… Read more »

Andrea J
4 years ago

Central Station was wonderful, I need to reread it so I can enjoy it again. You’re 100% right, that nothing really happens. This isn’t so much a novel as it is a bunch of interconnected stories. The author wrote them over the course of I don’t know, maybe 5 years? and when he wrote the first one I don’t know if he knew he was going to write more. So treat it as a collection of short stories that all take place in the same city, rather than a novel with an over arching story line. I loved how characters… Read more »

4 years ago

I bought a copy of this one, but haven’t read it yet. I think it will help to go into it expecting a bunch of connected stories but not a lot happening. I like weird slice of life sometimes :).

I’ve read “Osama” by Lavie Tidhar before, which was weird and sad and probably still very relevant in a world full of terrorism and war.


[…] can’t handle dark at the moment. Tomorrow Factory was imaginative, and while it reminded me Central Station, it also had the same drawback that that book had – being cold and unattached to the characters. […]