It begins in an unnamed city nicknamed “the Fairest”, it is distinguished by many things from the river fair to the mountains that split the municipality in half; its theaters and many museums; the Morgue Ship; and, like all cities, but maybe especially so, by its essential unmappability. [more inside]
Lynesse is the lowly Fourth Daughter of the queen, and always getting in the way. But a demon is terrorizing the land, and now she's an adult (albeit barely) with responsibilities (she tells herself). Although she still gets in the way, she understands that the only way to save her people is to invoke the pact between her family and the Elder sorcerer who has inhabited the local tower for as long as her people have lived here (though none in living memory has approached it). But Elder Nyr isn't a sorcerer, and he is forbidden to help, and his knowledge of science tells him the threat cannot possibly be a demon...
The second book in Marlon James' Dark Star trilogy and sequel to Black Leopard, Red Wolf. [more inside]
Motherland: Fort Salem: All Of Season 2 Season 2, Ep 0
Conflicts and alliances among the military, civilian oversight, new enemies, and witch society further emerge and roil our characters. Streaming on Hulu and some other services in the US. This season includes an in-universe TV ad, the introduction of nonbinary witch M portrayed by nonbinary performer Ess Hödlmoser, a mystical mycelial network, battles, romance, and the scenery-chewing villain Alban Hearst, portrayed with glee by Bob Frazer. [more inside]
Alliances reshape and a new order emerges in the culmination of Ada Palmer's "Terra Ignota" series, which is on the Hugo ballot for the "Best Series" award.
In The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer, singer-songwriter, actor, fashion icon, activist, and worldwide superstar Janelle Monáe brings to the written page the Afrofuturistic world of one of her critically acclaimed albums, exploring how different threads of liberation—queerness, race, gender plurality, and love—become tangled with future possibilities of memory and time in such a totalitarian landscape…and what the costs might be when trying to unravel and weave them into freedoms. [more inside]
The sorcerer Alder fears sleep. The dead are pulling him to them at night. Through him they may free themselves and invade Earthsea. Alder seeks advice from Ged, once Archmage. Ged tells him to go to Tenar, Tehanu, and the young king at Havnor. They are joined by amber-eyed Irian, a fierce dragon able to assume the shape of a woman. The threat can be confronted only in the Immanent Grove on Roke, the holiest place in the world, and there the king, hero, sage, wizard, and dragon make a last stand. (Book 6 of the Earthsea cycle) [more inside]
The tales of this book explore and extend the world established by the Earthsea novels—yet each stands on its own. It contains the novella “The Finder”, and the short stories “The Bones of the Earth”, “Darkrose and Diamond”, “On the High Marsh”, and “Dragonfly”. (Book 5 of the Earthsea cycle) [more inside]
Years before, they had escaped together from the sinister Tombs of Atuan—Tenar, an isolated young priestess, and Ged, a powerful wizard. Now she is a farmer's widow, having chosen for herself the simple pleasures of an ordinary life. And he is a broken old man, mourning the powers lost to him not by choice. A lifetime ago, they helped each other at a time of darkness and danger. Now they must join forces again, to help another—the physically and emotionally scarred child whose own destiny remains to be revealed. (Book 4 of the Earthsea cycle) [more inside]
Darkness threatens to overtake Earthsea. As the world and its wizards are losing their magic, Ged—powerful Archmage, wizard, and dragonlord—embarks on a sailing journey with the highborn young prince, Arren. They travel far beyond the realm of death to discover the cause of these evil disturbances and to restore magic to a land desperately thirsty for it. (Book 3 of the Earthsea cycle) [more inside]
Tenar is chosen as high priestess to the ancient and nameless Powers of the Earth, and everything is taken from her—home, family, possessions, even her name. She is now known only as Arha, the Eaten One, and guards the shadowy, labyrinthine Tombs of Atuan. Then a wizard, Ged, comes to steal the Tombs’ greatest hidden treasure, the Ring of Erreth-Akbe. Tenar’s duty is to protect the Ring, but Ged possesses the light of magic and tales of a world that Tenar has never known. Will Tenar risk everything to escape from the darkness that has become her domain? (Book 2 of the Earthsea cycle) [more inside]
I'm thinking monthly for the remaining five books, but I'm open to other ideas. [more inside]
Ged was the greatest sorcerer in Earthsea, but in his youth he was the reckless Sparrowhawk. In his hunger for power and knowledge, he tampered with long-held secrets and loosed a terrible shadow upon the world. This is the tumultuous tale of his testing, how he mastered the mighty words of power, tamed an ancient dragon, and crossed death's threshold to restore the balance. (Book 1 of the Earthsea cycle) [more inside]
Naomi Novik, author of the Temeraire novels as well as Spinning Silver and Uprooted, kicks off a new series with a bang. A school for magic, you say, I’ve heard that tune before. Not like this... [more inside]
Would anyone be interested in a reread of Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea cycle? [more inside]
First contact happens in the year 2007. Cora Sabino, a college dropout and daughter of a famous whistleblower, unwillingly ends up in the center of it all, acting as an interpreter for the aliens.
The Light Brigade: it’s what soldiers fighting the war against Mars call the ones who come back…different. Dietz, a fresh recruit in the infantry, begins to experience combat drops that don’t sync up with the platoon’s. And Dietz’s bad drops tell a story of the war that’s not at all what the corporate brass want the soldiers to think is going on. Is Dietz really experiencing the war differently, or is it combat madness? [more inside]
Humanity clings to life on January--a colonized planet divided between permanently frozen darkness on one side, and blazing endless sunshine on the other. Two cities, built long ago in the meager temperate zone, serve as the last bastions of civilization--but life inside them is just as dangerous as the uninhabitable wastelands outside. Sophie, a young student from the wrong side of Xiosphant city, is exiled into the dark after being part of a failed revolution. But she survives--with the help of a mysterious savior from beneath the ice.
I'm planning on going ahead with doing the Hugo Awards club again, doing one post a week between May 1st and July 31st. [more inside]
Ambassador Mahit Dzmare arrives in the center of the multi-system Teixcalaanli Empire only to discover that her predecessor, the previous ambassador from their small but fiercely independent mining Station, has died. But no one will admit that his death wasn't an accident. Now, Mahit must discover who is behind the murder, to save herself and her way of life. Arkady Martine, scholar of Byzantine, history brings all her knowledge of intricate political maneuvering to bear in her debut space opera. [more inside]
(This is for the first book, see below) In his four-volume series Return to Nevèrÿon, Hugo and Nebula award-winner Samuel R. Delany appropriated the conceits of sword-and-sorcery fantasy to explore his characteristic themes of language, power, gender, and the nature of civilization. Wesleyan University Press has reissued the long-unavailable Nevèrÿon volumes in trade paperback. The eleven stories, novellas, and novels in Return to Nevèrÿon's four volumes chronicle a long-ago land on civilization's brink, perhaps in Asia or Africa, or... [more inside]
In his four-volume series Return to Nevèrÿon, Hugo and Nebula award-winner Samuel R. Delany appropriated the conceits of sword-and-sorcery fantasy to explore his characteristic themes of language, power, gender, and the nature of civilization. Wesleyan University Press has reissued the long-unavailable Nevèrÿon volumes in trade paperback. The eleven stories, novellas, and novels in Return to Nevèrÿon's four volumes chronicle a long-ago land on civilization's brink, perhaps in Asia or Africa... [more inside]
From the winner of the 2017 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, Ada Palmer's 2017 Compton Crook Award-winning political science fiction. Mycroft Canner is a convict. For his crimes he is required, as is the custom of the 25th century, to wander the world being as useful as he can to all he meets. Carlyle Foster is a sensayer--a spiritual counselor in a world that has outlawed the public practice of religion, but which also knows that the inner lives of humans cannot be wished away.
Jamaican author Marlon James’ epic fantasy novel, set in an imaginary land that draws from African placenames, languages, and mythos, is his followup to 2014’s Man Booker prizewinning “A Brief History of Seven Killings” and is intended as the first work in a trilogy. [more inside]
The youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it. But when his father and three sons in line for the throne are killed in an "accident," he has no choice but to take his place as the only surviving rightful heir. [more inside]
Deep below the University, there is a dark place. Few people know of it: a broken web of ancient passageways and abandoned rooms. A young woman lives there, tucked among the sprawling tunnels of the Underthing, snug in the heart of this forgotten place. Her name is Auri, and she is full of mysteries. The Slow Regard of Silent Things is a brief, bittersweet glimpse of Auri’s life, a small adventure all her own. At once joyous and haunting, this story offers a chance to see the world through Auri’s eyes. And it gives the reader a chance to learn things that only Auri knows.
My name is Kvothe. I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. You may have heard of me... So begins the tale of a hero told from his own point of view—a story unequalled in fantasy literature.
The riveting first-person narrative of a young man who grows to be the most notorious magician his world has ever seen. From his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, to years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime- ridden city, to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that transports readers into the body and mind of a wizard. It is a high-action novel written with a poet's hand, a powerful coming-of-age story of a magically gifted young man, told through his eyes: to read this book is to be the hero.
For Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard, business, to put it mildly, stinks. So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry's seeing dollar signs. But where there's black magic, there's a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry's name.
I recently started listening to ars PARADOXICA (via collectallfour's AskMe) and am really enjoying it. Is there any interest in adding it to the FanFare podcast feeds? [more inside]
Continuum: Minute of Silence Season 3, Ep 9
Someone is stealing cutting-edge technology and using it to commit crimes. A man wakes up in a Vancouver hospital with amnesia. The only name he remembers: "Kiera Cameron." [more inside]
Continuum: So Do Our Minutes Hasten Season 3, Ep 8
Carlos gets some. Travis is missing because he's traveled to Toronto to meet with Siobhan. Other things happen, but I've already forgotten what they were. [more inside]