Oct 27

Gideon the Ninth is on the 2020 British Fantasy Award shortlist!

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir is on the shortlist for the 2020 British Fantasy Award’s Best Newcomer award (the Sydney J Bounds Award)!

Oct 12

Battle Ground by Jim Butcher is a New York Times bestseller!

Battle Ground by Jim Butcher debuted at #2 on the New York Times hardcover bestsellers list, and also at #2 on the hardcover and ebook combined list and #1 on the audio list!

Oct 9

Battle Ground by Jim Butcher is a USA Today bestseller!

Battle Ground by Jim Butcher has debuted at #2 on the USA Today bestseller list!

Oct 2

Locus on Machine

Machine: A White Space Novel by Elizabeth Bear

“One thing about Elizabeth Bear’s Machine, the second novel set in her White Space universe after 2019’s Ancestral Night: it’s sure as hell not either shallow or amoral. It is, in fact, fundamentally engaged in wrestling with questions of ethics, culture, worldview, and how much restitution needs to be made when one does harm in order to do other kinds of good.

Jens is a fascinating character. The narrator of Machine, she is—in all her flaws, determination, skill, friendships, and conviction—very easy to relate to, and to empathise with, in her human complexity, triumphs, and failures.

Though Machine is set in the same world as Ancestral Night—in the Synarche, with its vast diversity of people and species, its peculiar form of government, and its technological advances and social compromises—it has a similarly engaging voice, for all that Jens is a very different character to Ancestral Night’s Haimey, and a similarly engaging approach to pacing: Machine isn’t a short book, but it’s a very fast read for its length. Bear has a striking command of tension and character, and a deep interest in ethics and human behaviour.

It’s impossible, if you’re aware of James White’s Sector General stories and novels, not to see Machine as in conversation with that particular lineage. (I think I’ve read all of one Sector General story, but the influence is clear.) Space opera rarely concerns itself with the medical, and with the challenges of workaday life: it’s an untapped vein, and Bear draws from it with characteristic deftness and skill.

Machine is a fascinating, compelling, and ultimately satisfying space opera in a vast, complex, weird, and interesting universe. I really enjoyed it, and I hope this isn’t the last novel to concern itself with Core General, or with the Synarche at large.”” — Locus

Sep 25

Kirkus on Machine

Machine: A White Space Novel by Elizabeth Bear

“The second novel set in Bear’s sprawling White Space universe—after Ancestral Night (2018)—is an intricately plotted fusion of science-fiction adventure and conspiratorial mystery that revolves around a space station that begins to experience critical mishaps after a rescue mission returns with humans who have been in cryogenic suspension for centuries.

When rescue specialist Dr. Brookllyn Jens—who has dedicated her life to saving and treating any and all species of beings—finds more than 10,000 humans in cryo-containers onboard a derelict generation ship that has been in space for 600 years, she is faced with numerous unanswered questions. How did the ship get to its current location? Why were the passengers turned into “corpsicles”? Why was an android named Helen Alloy left to protect them? Why is a modern vessel docked on the generation ship, and where is the methane-breathing crew? What is the purpose of the crablike machine in the vessel? With these mysteries, and more, unsolved, Jens returns as many rescued passengers as she can to Core General, a state-of-the-art hospital and largest constructed biosphere in the galaxy. Once there, however, Jens begins uncovering some chilling revelations about the purpose of the frozen passengers, the strange craboid walker, and a mysterious virus impacting shipmind AIs. While there are a few sequences in which the momentum flags, Bear’s ability to keep the reader immersed in the various characters’ individual stories and the dynamism among the human and alien characters of the Synarche (the interstellar government that joins together multiple alien races for a collective good) more than compensates. The character arc of Jens—who has a debilitating pain syndrome and is struggling to come to grips with her lack of connection with her daughter—is done with insight and sensitivity.

A page-turning fusion of science fiction and mystery—hopefully Bear will revisit her White Space universe soon.” — Kirkus

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