marthawells: (John Green Trees)
Here's a couple of new reviews of The Murderbot Diaries: All Systems Red:

This one isn't new but I missed it when it first came out: James Nicoll I’m Not Just One of Your Many Toys

What keeps this from being an unrelentingly grim tale of slavery and dismemberment is Murderbot itself. Murderbot might note that rending the puny humans limb from limb is well within its operational parameters, but this is a purely theoretical observation about performance capabilities. Murderbot has no desire to have its personal body count go any higher. Despite the name it calls itself, Murderbot is not very murder-ish at all. It’s really quite pleasant, if you get to know it.

And this one is a video review on a YouTube show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfIqIybTpGs&feature=youtu.be&t=4m42s

***

In other news, I'm going to try to post more, or to get back to posting more like I used to. It just feels like I've been horrendously busy, and low-key depressed, forever, and I feel like I haven't had much energy for anything outside work. I've had some pain in my hands again, though not nearly as bad as at the beginning of the year when I had to get the shots with the giant needles. I'm nearly done with Murderbot 3: Electric Boogaloo (that's not what it's called) and I did manage to get my backyard mostly into shape this year. Tasha the cat has been a bit sick for the past two days, but she did eat some tuna and dry food, and some bodily functions have resumed, so that's good.

And today I did get my author copies of All Systems Red today, so that was awesome.

Murderbot Reviews

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017 12:30 pm
marthawells: (Miko)
A couple of early reviews for my upcoming novella The Murderbot Diaries: All Systems Red:


* A starred review from Publishers Weekly! This is really good:

http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-7653-9753-9
Nebula finalist Wells (Edge of Worlds) gives depth to a rousing but basically familiar action plot by turning it into the vehicle by which SecUnit engages with its own rigorously denied humanity. The creepy panopticon of SecUnit’s multiple interfaces allows a hybrid first-person/omniscient perspective that contextualizes its experience without ever giving center stage to the humans.


* From review blog A Dragon in Space: https://adragoninspace.wordpress.com/2017/03/22/book-review-all-systems-red/

I laughed, I giggled, and I was on the edge of my seat. The way All Systems Red was written stroke a chord with me and it left me deeply content, thankful for such a nice story. Even while writing this review and rereading all the passages I had highlighted (or rather, the PAGES), I was laughing and hurting that I couldn’t quote everything or even hand this novella to everyone just like that.

YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016 11:32 am
marthawells: (Indeed)
So, this is AWESOME: The Edge of Worlds is reviewed in N.K. Jemisin's New York Times book review column.

The venerated pulp spirit in science fiction and fantasy has dwindled since the golden age of the 1920s to ’50s. Yet an atavistic craving for adventure remains, and it is this need that Wells’s books in general and the Raksura books in particular satisfy. The stories are straightforward adventure, but what makes Wells’s “new pulp” feel fresh is its refusal to take the easier storytelling routes of its forebears. Rather than thinly veil an existing human society as alien others, for example, Wells — a master world builder — creates a multicultural world of humanized monsters.

So obviously, I've never been reviewed in the NYT before, and I'm so excited I'm freaking out. I'm trying to get the Raksura Patreon story posted today, and that might be the only thing I get done.

Review

Thursday, March 17th, 2016 03:48 pm
marthawells: (Default)
There's a great non-spoilery review of the next Raksura book, The Edge of Worlds, at Skiffy and Fanty: http://skiffyandfanty.com/2016/03/16/book-review-the-edge-of-worlds-by-martha-wells/

For those of you who are new to Wells’ fiction, or her Three Worlds novels, let me open up this treasure of wonders for you. Imagine a fantasy world filled to the brim with more sentient species than a Talislanta corebook, and more diverse than the various types of hominids on Niven’s Ringworld. A fantasy world whose roots run deep, where ancient ruins of cities from civilizations long dead hold treasures, wonders and dangers. Where the foul Fell, an all-consuming race who view all other races as prey, seek to spread and devour the world.

The Three Worlds is a place where the shapeshifting Raksura, dwellers inside of mighty tropical trees, seek to survive in a world that often sees them as dangerous as the Fell even if the Raksura are arguably their greatest enemy. The Raksura are composed of an interlocking set of castes and types, from the matriarchal ruling Queens, through their breeding consorts, through the warriors to the flightless and more tool-oriented Arbora types. Personal conflicts, political machinations both within and without of the colony, strong characters, interesting problems and evolving and shifting ground underneath them means that life in a Raksura colony is rarely boring for long, not given the world they inhabit.

Book Recs

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015 08:04 am
marthawells: (The Serpent Sea)
Great review this morning of the Books of the Raksura: Sky's the Limit

A fantasy story about a human culture dominated by a from-birth caste system, ruled by physically strong women who take beautiful, docile male consorts – a culture that lacks a concept of marriage, where all children are raised collectively and which has no taboos against either polyamory or queer relationships, and where both are treated as normative – would instantly read as blasphemous to some or utopian to others; but either way, we’d likely interpret such narrative choices as being overtly political. But because the Raksura are demonstrably a different species to us – and because, just as importantly, their culture isn't presented as secondary to, exoticised by or in direct contrast with a more "normal" human society – it’s much, much easier to accept these elements of the story at face value: as things that just are, instead of things that need to be constantly questioned or remarked upon.

The art pictured is by Matthew Stewart, who won a Chesley Award for the cover of The Cloud Roads.

***

Book recs

* In Midnight's Silence by T. Frohock
1930's Spain is the backdrop for the tale of supernatural beings, a dark bargain, and a struggle for autonomy, fatherhood, love, and perhaps the future of the world.

* Shades in Shadow: An Inheritance Triptych by N.K. Jemisin
Three brand new short stories by Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy Award nominated author N.K. Jemisin, set in the world of the Inheritance trilogy.

* Legenda Maris by Tanith Lee
Legenda Maris comprises eleven tales of the ocean and her denizens, including two that are original to this collection – ‘Leviathan’ and ‘Land’s End, The Edge of The Sea’ – which were among the last stories Tanith Lee wrote. In this treasure chest of tales, the author works her beguiling, linguistic sorcery to conjure mermaids who are as deadly as they are lovely, the hidden coves of lonely fishing villages harbouring mysteries, and fantastical ships that haunt the waves. She explores the relationship between the sea and the land, and the occasional meetings between those who dwell above and below the waters – meetings that are sometimes wondrous and sometimes fatal, often both.

* Our Lady of the Ice by Cassandra Rose Clarke (up for preorder)
The Yiddish Policeman’s Union meets The Windup Girl when a female PI goes up against a ruthless gangster—just as both humans and robots agitate for independence in an Argentinian colony in Antarctica.

* Bone Swans by C.S.E. Cooney
Fabulous story collection: A swan princess hunted for her bones, a broken musician and his silver pipe, and a rat named Maurice bring justice to a town under fell enchantment. A gang of courageous kids confronts both a plague-destroyed world and an afterlife infested with clowns but robbed of laughter. In an island city, the murder of a child unites two lovers, but vengeance will part them. Only human sacrifice will save a city trapped in ice and darkness. Gold spun out of straw has a price, but not the one you expect.

* The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard (up for preorder)
Multi-award winning author Aliette de Bodard, brings her story of the War in Heaven to Paris, igniting the City of Light in a fantasy of divine power and deep conspiracy...

* Court of Fives by Kate Elliott (up for preorder)
In this imaginative escape into an enthralling new world, World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott's first young adult novel weaves an epic story of a girl struggling to do what she loves in a society suffocated by rules of class and privilege.

Links and Book Recs

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015 07:37 am
marthawells: (Reading)
I had a great time on Saturday at ApolloCon, and in lieu of a more substantial post, here's some links:


Novelocity: Jeannette Kathleen Cheney talks about Nicholas Valiarde as part of an article on paternal figures.

Great review of Stories of the Raksura vol II: The Dead City & The Dark Earth Below on Roqoo Depot. They give it five out of five metal bikinis!

And a review of Stories of the Raksura vol I at Fantasy Cafe.


There's a fundraiser to film a prequel to Nalo Hopkinson's Brown Girl in the Ring

New story collection The Fox's Tower and Other Tales by Yoon Ha Lee

Great review of
In Midnight's Silence by T. Frohock which is out today.

SF Signal: Tansy Rayner Roberts on Fantasy, Female Writers & The Politics of Influence
There’s this odd sort of conversation that keeps circling the internet, and it usually starts with a question. Where are all the women, in epic fantasy? Where are the female authors? Why is it all so dominated by men?

As Australians we tended to bat our eyelids in confusion, because the idea of commercial fantasy authors being a mostly male species is completely alien to us – for the last twenty years, our conversation, our publishing scene, has been rich with female authors of influence. Successful, bestselling female fantasy authors. If anything, the big name male fantasy author has been the rare special snowflake.

But this isn’t just a cultural issue. It’s not the case that US publishing only recently discovered that ladies can write about dragons too. Whenever someone asks, where are all the women, I’m not just confused because I’m an Australian.

Because, seriously. They were here a minute ago. Why can’t you see them?

News of me

Friday, December 12th, 2014 08:29 am
marthawells: (Reading)
If you follow me (or try to follow me) on Facebook, in 2015 there are going to be changes that will keep me from posting about my books there. Facebook will classify as advertising:
Updates about a new book release.
Updates about a book launch and/or event.
Updates about Rafflecopter and other giveaways.

If I post any information about my books, I can be charged for it or thrown off the site. As another author pointed out, depending on how aggressively they pursue this, people who try to pass on information about new books, book launches, make book recs, reviews, etc, may find themselves being asked for money or have their account deleted as well. It also sounds like bookstores won't be able to post info about their signings and events, etc.

Since Facebook already restricts what it shows you on your feed, especially posts with links, this will make it pretty impossible for me to continue to post. I just can't afford to pay their fees.

This journal or the mirror on Dreamwidth are the best way to keep up with any news I have about new stories and books, and what little there is up my life that doesn't involve stories and books. I also post on twitter: https://twitter.com/marthawells1 (note I'm marthawells1 -- there are other marthawells who aren't me), and http://marthawells.tumblr.com/ (though I post a bunch of other stuff there so my updates might get lost in the mix).

I do a mailing list on my web site http://www.marthawells.com/addname.htm where I post specifically about book releases, new stories, or other big news.

***

In other news the WorldBuilders auctions for Heifer International end Sunday.

I also have some signed books in the general rewards pool of the fundraiser. The instruction post for contributing to the fundraiser is here.

***

Our kickstarter for Six by Six is going along pretty well so far. I'll have a new Nicholas and Reynard story in it, "Night at the Opera," set before The Death of the Necromancer

***

Neat review of Stories of the Raksura I. He says you should read the books first, but "the world building here is really quite astounding, right from the concept for the Raksura themselves, to the construction of their world, to the social hierarchies, to the gender politics."

***

I finished a new short story last night which will hopefully be in an anthology (cross your fingers). Still need to do a last revision pass on it after it sits a while. Plus I need to start making a map for the Three Worlds cause it turns out I need one, at least for my own reference.
marthawells: Cover for the Cloud Roads, Art by Matthew Stewart (The Cloud Roads 2)
Here's a review of Stories of the Raksura I on the Finnish SF/F blog Rising Shadow:

Ever since I read The Cloud Roads, I've been fascinated by the Raksura and also by the biology of the Raksura, because they're totally different from other species and races found in modern fantasy novels. Their different forms still continue to amaze and thrill me, because it's genuinely interesting to read about them, their lives and their fates. Although they're shapeshifting beings, there's something humane about them that makes it easy for the reader to care about them.

...

The characters in these stories are just as complex, diverse and sympathetic as in the novels. Their gender roles are explored believably, their actions are also believable and they have realistic problems. In my opinion the character interaction in these stories works perfectly. The author has managed to write about the characters in a realistic way that gives depth to them and fleshes out their different traits and feelings. The relationships and tensions between the characters are handled admirably.

Links

Thursday, February 27th, 2014 07:34 am
marthawells: (The Serpent Sea)
I got a lot of stuff done yesterday, and I don't know how, because I didn't feel all that productive. I've typed my passwords wrong so many times I expect if I ever get one right on the first try, the site's not going to let me in because it's going to think it's someone impersonating me.

links:

* Kate Elliott: The Squee of Ile-Rien: Comments on Martha Wells’ Fall of Ile-Rien Trilogy which is also mirrored on Live Journal. I really needed to see this yesterday. It hasn't been a good week for me. And it's hard for me to look back on the trilogy in some ways, because they were the books that killed my career for a while.


* There are GoodReads giveaways for both Emilie and the Hollow World and Emilie and the Sky World.


* Sarah Rees Brennan: Ok, don't get me wrong because it's just curiosity, but I have to ask:
When someone is traditionally published after writing fanfiction, they get treated like trash, both by people who think fanfiction is weird rubbish and by people who themselves like to write and read fanfiction. I've had this happen to me too, and I can tell you it's really not fun, especially when it comes at you from people you really didn't expect it from.


* A follow-up by Jennifer Lynn Barnes: On fandom, parasocial relationships, and what we don’t know
Oh, the fictional friends I have made! But this tendency also has the potential to come with a variety of side-effects, because while fiction is often purposefully written to make certain we know tons of stuff about the personalities, backgrounds, inner workings, flaws, strengths, moral status, and emotional cores of the characters on the page, this is not true of parasocial interactions with real people. When your brain tricks you into thinking that you really know a fictional character, there are many ways in which that is true. But when real people are involved?

It’s not true. It’s not true at all.

(no subject)

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013 10:44 am
marthawells: (Default)
New review of "The Other Half of the Sky" feminist SF/F anthology: The F Word

Quote about my Raksura story: All manner of strikingly original creatures, technologies and universes are rendered with thoughtful detail - I particularly enjoyed Martha Wells' gruesomely sophisticated predator-prey interactions." YES! Someone who gets me.

Weekend

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013 07:35 am
marthawells: (John Green Trees)
This weekend I mostly wrote (self-employed writers generally don't get days off), did some housecleaning, and caught up on Inspector Lewis. Now that Doctor Who and Elementary are done for a while, I'm waiting for the third season of Luther (which I don't know when it's coming out, I just know it's been filmed) and for Broadchurch with David Tennant, which should start airing on BBC America soon.

Yesterday I made a pot roast with a cumin and red wine braising liquid, and it made a delicious gravy.

Links:

* Steve Gould's introduction to presenting the Andre Norton Award for YA SF/F: What I Said
A reading from the sacred texts of my people. As you are brought to remembrance, recite them with me.

* Ocean Sole a company that makes toys out of discarded flipflops collected off beaches in Kenya.

Books coming out with sample chapters:

* Meridian Six by Jaye Wells

* Blade Reforged by Kelly McCullough

Reviews of my books: (a lot was going on last month so I'm not sure I remembered to link to these)

* Emilie and the Hollow World

* The Wizard Hunters

* Wheel of the Infinite

* And, Emilie and the Hollow World got sqeed about on the SF SqueeCast

Weekend

Monday, May 6th, 2013 07:41 am
marthawells: (The Serpent Sea)
I was at the DFW Writers Conference this weekend, which went really well. It's different from an SF/F con in that it's all about development for writers, with classes and panels on various aspects of writing and publishing by writers, editors, and agents, plus attendees can sign up for short pitch sessions with agents and editors. I taught two classes, one on worldbuilding and one on dialog basics. About the only problem was in getting there and then getting away from it, because the highway leading to the convention center and hotel was a massive construction site from which all signage and exits had been carefully removed. It was about a four hour drive to get back, so I was pretty beat when I got home last night.

I haven't seen Doctor Who or Iron Man 3 yet, so I'll probably be scarce online to avoid spoilers until I can do both those things.

* If there are new friended people here from the conference, the Links to Information Sites for Beginning Writers section on my web site is here.

* There's a giveaway drawing of Emilie and the Hollow World at YA Books Central. You can enter to win all through May and it's open to international entries.

Reviews

* Adventures Fantastic reviewed Emilie and the Hollow World.

* YA author Craig Laurance Gidney reviewed The Serpent Sea.

Book Recs

* You can preorder the paperback of Queen's Hunt by Beth Bernobich, which will be out in June.

* And The Golden City by J. Kathleen Cheney which comes out in November.

(no subject)

Friday, April 19th, 2013 01:57 pm
marthawells: (Default)
So among the miasma of bad news, this happened:

EMILIE & THE HOLLOW WORLD [STARRED REVIEW!]
Author: Martha Wells

Running away from home never sounded so good, especially when it involves stowing away on a ritzy, cloaked-in-magic ship.

Under the conservative tyranny of guardians who are convinced she’ll become a harlot, 16-year-old Emilie decides it’s time to run away. Inspired by her cherished serial adventure books, she delights in the romance of escape—until she forms blisters, gets hungry and, after spending too much on snacks, can’t afford the ferry ticket to reach her cousin’s home. There’s only one logical thing to do: jump off the docks, swim to the nearest boat and hope for the best. After boarding what she hopes is the right ship, she witnesses a pirate attack, saves a scaled man and watches as a merging of magic and science transports the ship to a legendary world within a world. Competing explorers, a cunning mer-queen regnant, more than one dirigible and plenty of well-aimed punches make for an adventure that would titillate Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Though Emilie’s homeland of Menea is fictional, it has all the makings of Victorian England. As in the Victorian era, sexism is prevalent, but that doesn’t stop a roster of ripsnorting female characters (first among them Emilie) from wielding pistols, captaining ships and slyly defeating enemies. At one point, after escaping a prison cell, Emilie thinks, "If I’d known it was going to be that hard, I’d never have tried," a phrase that embodies the honesty and humor that make this read worthwhile.

A swashbuckling escape for avid readers that trades buttoned-up boundaries for unbridled adventure. (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Kirkus Reviews

(no subject)

Friday, March 29th, 2013 09:51 am
marthawells: (Reading)
Last night I made baked flounder with a hollandaise sauce and fried potatoes for dinner, and it was very tasty. I think I will do it again at some point soon.

Also got a really nice reader email about the Raksura books. Very good to read.

Had a couple of links I wanted to pass on:

* The Death of the Necromancer made this list of The Best Fantasy Novels You (Probably) Haven’t Read on Flavorwire! With its brand new ebook cover! (Thanks to Kyle Gillette for letting me know!)

* I think I forgot to link to this earlier (but maybe I linked to it and then forgot that -- it's been that kind of month), but: Rachel Neumeier reviewed The Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy Tremaine is my favorite character EVER! She is right up there with my other favorite-ever characters, like Miles Vorkosigan and Vlad Taltos and Eugenides. She is prickly, sarcastic, ruthlessly practical, sometimes insecure, occasionally suicidal, and doesn’t have a romantic bone in her body. You know that discussion a week or two ago about books with female protagonists but without a lot of romance? This is that book. I mean, there is romance — but it starts late in the series and it is never, but never, a gushy obsessive romance.

* And I posted kitten photos of Tasha on Tumblr.

Lots of Links

Monday, March 18th, 2013 08:01 am
marthawells: (John Green Trees)
I'm hoping to have the ceiling holes fixed today, at least the initial dry wall, which should stop the rain of dust and dead bugs.

If you missed my plumbing disaster, some of the photos are here: http://marthawells.tumblr.com/post/44548024765/more-plumbing-photos (that's actually not all the holes) and the story is mostly here and here.

(Insurance is thankfully going to cover part of it, but we still have to pay a big chunk, so if you know anybody who might be interested in cheap ($2.99 US) DRM-free reprint ebooks of The Element of Fire, The Death of the Necromancer, City of Bones, Wheel of the Infinite on Kindle, Nook, or Kobo. (It does help to buy and rec the other books too, but with the reprints I get paid monthly by the retailers. With the others, if the book has earned out, it might be six months to a year to never before I get paid.))


Book rec:

* Tor.com: An excerpt of A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar

* Kickstarter: Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction From the Margins of History
Most written chronicles of history, and most speculative stories, put rulers, conquerors, and invaders front and center. People with less power, money, or status—enslaved people, indigenous people, people of color, queer people, laborers, women, people with disabilities, the very young and very old, and religious minorities, among others—are relegated to the margins. Today, mainstream history continues to perpetuate one-sided versions of the past while mistelling or erasing the stories of the rest of the world.

* Black Gate: The Land The Ravens Found and Naomi Mitchison

Me:

* A new review of Emilie and the Hollow World which will be out on April 2.

Links:

* Salon.com My Amazon bestseller made me nothing
This past summer, my novel, “Broken Piano for President,” shot to the top of the best-seller lists for a week. After Jack Daniel’s sent me a ridiculously polite cease and desist letter, the story went viral and was featured in places like Forbes, Time magazine and NPR’s Weekend Edition. The New Yorker wrote one whole, entire, punctuated-and-everything sentence about me! My book was the No. 6 bestselling title in America for a while, right behind all the different “50 Shades of Grey” and “Gone Girl.” It was selling more copies than “Hunger Games” and “Bossypants.” So, I can sort of see why people thought I was going to start wearing monogrammed silk pajamas and smoking a pipe.

But the truth is, there’s a reason most well-known writers still teach English. There’s a reason most authors drive dented cars. There’s a reason most writers have bad teeth. It’s not because we’ve chosen a life of poverty. It’s that poverty has chosen our profession.

Even when there’s money in writing, there’s not much money.

* Daily Fig: Five Ingredients for a Spectacular Writing Group by Alaya Dawn Johnson

* Black Gate: My Characters Don’t Give a Damn by Violette Malan, on the uses of profanity in fantasy.

* Lee Moyer: R E S P E C T Artist Lee Moyer on sexism in fantasy art:
If you draw a man you make a picture, but if you draw a woman you make a statement.
This is a cultural thing and it is probably fading away as we speak, but for now it still seems to be true. Which is why a picture of Conan can be accepted at face value as what the character looks like and what he wears, but a picture of a scantily dressed woman is seen not as a depiction of a character, but as a statement about women.


* Cracked.com 5 Moments That Prove Mr. Rogers was the Greatest American

* Washington Post: Food stamps put Rhode Island town on monthly boom-and-bust cycle

(no subject)

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013 10:40 am
marthawells: (The Serpent Sea)
C.S.E. Cooney said something very nice about The Serpent Sea:
Martha Wells makes great monsters. And great everything else too. Plot, pacing, character arc and empathy, subterranean battles, leviathans, love scenes. Everything at once muscular and delicate. Subtleties. Sensitivities. I want to breathe the air of her worlds - and fly with the Raksura there.

I really needed to read that this morning. I've got a bad headache, either sinus from the rapid cold-warm fronts that have been coming through, or from the dust from the open ceiling, or both. I see a lot of vacuuming and mopping in my immediate future.


Book rec:

A Turn of Light by Julie E. Czerneda
A young woman trapped between two worlds must risk everything to save both in Czerneda’s charming character-driven fantasy of rich magic, multilayered characters, and dangerous choices. Jenn Nalynn longs to travel far beyond the remote village of Marrowdell to find adventure and true love. Unfortunately Jenn is “turn-born,” born in the narrow Verge where the mortal world and a magical realm overlap, and bound to the land by her birth; any attempt to leave Marrowdell will release the Verge’s wild magic, bringing chaos and death to both worlds. As Jenn’s 19th birthday approaches, along with the eclipse called the Great Turn, Jenn is drawn toward the dangerous Verge and torn between the two men she loves: an exiled prince and a disgraced dragon-turned-human sent by forces across the Verge to guard her. Science fiction author Czerneda (the Stratification series) will charm fantasy readers with multidimensional characters, a vivid setting, and powerful themes of hope and renewal. Publishers Weekly

Link:

NYT: What Not to Ask a Transgender Friend This is helpful info for friends who want to be supportive but have no idea how.
marthawells: (John and Ronon)
I got blood drawn this morning and still retain my superpower of being able to make my veins disappear. Just one more doctor's appointment today and I'm done for the week.


Something I forgot to post earlier:

Con Or Bust is getting started with their annual auction.
Con or Bust helps people of color/non-white people attend SFF conventions. It is administered by Kate Nepveu under the umbrella of the Carl Brandon Society, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

Con or Bust is funded through donations and an online auction held each February. Learn how to support Con or Bust, or donate money through PayPal now:


Reviews:

* The Cloud Roads was listed by Web Genii as one of her "Best of 2012" novels on Slice of Sci-Fi TV

* Star Wars News site Roqoo Depot did reviews of the Books of the Raksura: The Cloud Roads, The Serpent Sea, The Siren Depths. They gave each one five out of five chainmail bikinis!

Some Things

Thursday, January 17th, 2013 09:55 am
marthawells: (Default)
* A great review from The Book Smugglers on The Siren Depths
The world-building is unquestionably well-established and thought-through, the Raksura a wholly different species without being completely alien.

It also features a matriarchal society of completely badass women, a different type of Consort that doesn’t mind being protected AND saved by his Queen but who wishes he can be more proactive, friendship bonds, reasoned and negotiated romance, as well as moments of pain and loss mingled with beauty and inspiration.


As I mentioned on here before, since the publisher has let The Cloud Roads go out of print, there won't be any more Raksura books. It is still available in ebook and audiobook, for now.

* SF Site is having their annual Vote for your favorite SF/F books of the year.

* Book rec: John R. Fultz' sequel to Seven Princes is out: Seven Kings
Book two in Fultz’s imaginative visionary tale is the epitome of fantasy. His worldbuilding is in a class by itself. His battle scenes explode with inconceivable actions, his imagery and descriptive narrative gives voice and life to his awe-inspiring characters and his heroes and nightmarish creatures give face to his epic tale. The novel stands well alone, but the series should be read in order.

* Weird internet things: Manti Te’o’s Dead Girlfriend, The Most Heartbreaking And Inspirational Story Of The College Football Season, Is A Hoax This kind of thing always seem so incredible, except for the fact that I know of someone who has done this sort of scam several times, for attention, for fun, and for money.

(no subject)

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013 08:15 am
marthawells: (Default)
Book rec:

Still Life with Shapeshifter by Sharon Shinn
This is a sequel to The Shape of Desire, and again it's not an action-packed urban fantasy, but a realistic story of what it would actually be like to live with shapeshifters in the real world. The main character, Melanie, has bent her whole life to taking care of and watching over her shapeshifter half-sister Ann. The secondary story is about Janet, whose life comes to revolve around a shapeshifter lover. The Shape of Desire was about love and obsession and lust, but this book is more about what you do for love, what you give up for it, and when to give it up. Or if you can give it up.

Some of the many things I enjoyed most about this book is the friendship between female characters, finding out more about how shapeshifting works in this world, and the whole feel of magic fitting into and woven around everyday life.

Links:

Teresa Frohock: Gender Bending: the Big Reveal Commenters were asked to read a selection of prose and then guess if the author was male or female.
My opinion here is simply this: No matter how much we analyze story, prose, or word usage, none of us can say with any certainty whether a specific piece is written by a man or woman unless the author stands up and accepts responsibility for the story.

Mazarkis Williams: Quick Observations Regarding the Gender Bending Contest
Some who guessed male or female then offered a reason why. Though some went off into the realm of the weird, and some were just gaming it (figuring that if more male authors were participating, they'd be more likely to win by guessing male), on the whole the guessers were helpful and insightful. I sorted the reasons into eight general categories.
I've heard the one about women writers only writing about clothes and shoes before. Someone said it in a bookstore, to my face.

Book Recs: The Year of Magical, uh, Magic
The Books of the Raksura were on this list: It’s the kind of fantasy Wells takes very seriously, indeed. This is not your intellectually or emotionally stunted quest fantasy, full of unintentional phallic imagery and stupid-ass names full of improbable hyphens and apostrophes. It’s lush, and mature, and intentionally ambiguous. The exploration of gender roles is particularly exciting.
marthawells: (Reading)
It got down to 26 last night, reminding me how I hate cold weather. Also, we put up a Christmas tree (just the tree, nothing on it yet) and Jack has not destroyed it yet.

* I'm answering general Raksura questions in this post here and have had some good ones.

* I did a Smugglivus guest post at the Book Smugglers here, where I talked about books and other things I liked this past year, and what I'm looking forward to next year.

* There's a great long review of The Siren Depths here on Rising Shadow.net

* The Serpent Sea made it to the next round of The Ranting Dragon's cover battle.

* One of the books I'm looking forward to reading just came out today: Howard Andrew Jones' Bones of the Old Ones. This is the second book in the Dabir and Asim series, fantasy adventure/mysteries set in 8th century Arabia.

* The TCM Remembers short for 2012, if you want a little cry this morning.

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