Aug 21
2017

Publishers Weekly starred review for The Stone in the Skull

The Stone in the Skull by Elizabeth Bear

“With a glorious and dramatic story, Bear begins a stunning new series set in the same world as her Eternal Sky trilogy. South of towering mountains lie the Lotus Kingdoms, an analog of our own Indian subcontinent. The Dead Man, once guard to a caliph who’s now dead himself, and the Gage, a hulking brass automaton, protect a caravan that travels over the mountain passes and down into the Lotus Kingdoms during monsoon season. The pair bear a message from the Eyeless One, a powerful wizard, to Mrithuri, ruling rajni of Sarathai-tia, who seeks a way to put off her powerful male cousins and secure her country. Both Mrithuri and her cousin, Sayeh Rajni of Ansh-Sahal, receive dark omens of further threats to their rule. With sumptuous prose, Bear details the opulence of royal courts, a sodden journey, and intricate rituals. Colors, textures, and aromas enrich her descriptions of lands that stand on the brink of war. Bear’s worldbuilding stretches from the Cauled Sun in the heavens to the vast ecosystem of Mother River Sarathai, and her characters nod to fantasy archetypes while remaining individual.” — Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Aug 18
2017

Locus on Blood Enemies

Blood Enemies by Susan R. Matthews

“Susan R. Matthews’ Blood Enemies is the long-awaited conclusion to her Under Jurisdiction series.

Matthews remains fundamentally interested in the problem of atrocity: the nature of bad bargains and complicity; the cost of self-knowledge and the price of atonement. She remains, too, interested in exploring the nature of honour and loyalty, of right action and indeed of love in situations where people are pulled in multiple different directions.

Matthews’ characters have always been the biggest draw of her books for me. I find Andrej Kosciusko perhaps a little more compelling than any torturer really ought to be, and the other characters that populate this series are equally interesting. Matthews’ language is well chosen, and Blood Enemies rattles along towards its conclusion with admirable tension despite its scattered threads. It’s really gratifying to finally see how it all turns out.” — Locus

Aug 16
2017

Jim Butcher nominated for two Dragon Awards

Congratulations to Jim Butcher, who is a double-nominee for the Dragon Award to be given at DragonCon!

Best Comic Book:

The Dresden Files: Dog Men by Jim Butcher, Mark Powers, Diego Galindo

Best Graphic Novel:

Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files: Wild Card by Jim Butcher, Carlos Gomez

Aug 14
2017

Locus on All Systems Red

All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries 1) by Martha Wells

“A damaged android on an exploratory mission takes center stage in this entertaining SF novella, the first book in the Murderbot Diaries series.

There’s some tense action, and a few of the scientists turn out to be more interesting and less helpless than they initially appear, but it’s the character of Murderbot that really makes the story come alive, a mix of flat robot personality with some surprising quirks, serious combat skills, a talent for coming up with effective plans – and a deep need to discover who it really is.” — Locus

Aug 3
2017

Booklist on The Stone in the Skull

The Stone in the Skull by Elizabeth Bear

“Readers familiar with Bear’s work will recognize the city of Messaline and the names of the Lotus Kingdoms, but this is the farthest she’s delved into this shattered empire. As usual, the setting is wonderfully realized; the characters are possessed of depth, personality, and individuality; the threads of politics that drive the plot are a fascinating knot to try to unravel. This is a promising beginning indeed for an epic; there are many lines of story left to follow, and it will no doubt be a magnificent journey.” — Booklist

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