marthawells: (Reading)
(If you've been following my book rec and new book listing posts for a while, you may have noticed this already, but while most book lists emphasize books by popular straight white men, this one emphasizes everybody else. I include books by straight white men, but in about the same percentage that other book lists include everybody else. I also try to highlight books that are less well known.)

(I only link to one retail outlet in the book's listing, but most books are available at multiple outlets, like Kobo, iBooks, international Amazons, Barnes & Noble, etc. The short stories are usually on free online magazines.)


* Short story A Town on the Blighted Sea by A.M. Dellamonica


* A Blade So Black by LL McKinney
The first time the Nightmares came, it nearly cost Alice her life. Now she's trained to battle monstrous creatures in the dark dream realm known as Wonderland with magic weapons and hardcore fighting skills. Yet even warriors have a curfew. Life in real-world Atlanta isn't always so simple, as Alice juggles an overprotective mom, a high-maintenance best friend, and a slipping GPA. Keeping the Nightmares at bay is turning into a full-time job. But when Alice's handsome and mysterious mentor is poisoned, she has to find the antidote by venturing deeper into Wonderland than she’s ever gone before. And she'll need to use everything she's learned in both worlds to keep from losing her head . . . literally.


* Medusa's Touch by Emily Byrne
Medusa Pilot Captain TiCara X273, ex-street kid and former bondslave, thought she wanted nothing more than to be captain of her own starship. Or, at least, that was all that she thought she wanted until Sherin Khan came back into her life. A bar singer turned corporate rep, Sherin is now working for Ser Trin Vahn, one of TiCara's best clients and head of Vahn Corp. Once they are thrown together on TiCara's ship, TiCara and Sherin can no longer deny their simmering attraction to each other. A simple mission to transport the ailing Vahn to the legendary asteroid, Electra 12, for medical treatments turns dark and dangerous as betrayal leads to betrayal. TiCara's greatest enemy is pursuing them, there's a traitor on her crew and Sherin has a secret that can tear them apart. Can they learn to trust each other before it's too late?


* Short Story Monologue by an unnamed mage, recorded at the brink of the end by Cassandra Khaw


* The Fall of Io by Wesley Chu
When Ella Patel's mind was invaded by the Quasing alien, Io, she was dragged into the raging Prophus versus Genjix war. Despite her reservations, and Io's incompetence, the Prophus were determined to train her as an agent. It didn't go well. Expelled after just two years, Ella happily returned to con artistry, and bank robberies. But the Quasing war isn't done with them yet. The Genjix's plan to contact their homeworld has reached a critical stage, threatening all life on Earth. To complete the project they need Io's knowledge - and he's in Ella's head - so now they're both being hunted, again.


* Short Story: A Catalog of Storms by Fran Wilde


* Novella The Haunting of Tram Car 015 by P. Djeli Clark
Cairo, 1912: The case started as a simple one for the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities — handling a possessed tram car.
Soon, however, Agent Hamed Nasr and his new partner Agent Onsi Youssef are exposed to a new side of Cairo stirring with suffragettes, secret societies, and sentient automatons in a race against time to protect the city from an encroaching danger that crosses the line between the magical and the mundane.



* Short story Raney's Hounds by Jessica Reisman
marthawells: Atlantis in fog (Atlantis)
Time to get back to work, though actually I got more done while I was supposed to be resting than I have in a while. Yesterday I finished a short story I've been struggling with for a while, so that was a huge relief.

I need to get moving on the book again and get some more done for the Patreon.

New Doctor Who tonight!

Oh, and tor.com reprinted this essay, which I'm not sure I ever linked here:

https://www.tor.com/2019/01/01/life-lessons-from-a-murderbot/
Life Lessons From a Murderbot by Anya Johanna DeNiro

I was tearing up at the end of All Systems Red, and I wasn’t sure why. Yes, it was sad that Murderbot was leaving its friends and colleagues, and a promised life of safety, behind. But there was something more, something to do with the entire arc of Murderbot’s journey from a SecUnit—seen more or less as a lethal appliance—to a trusted and capable member of a team of humans.

For me as a trans woman, All Systems Red’s concoction of heartbreak and ever-present anxiety felt achingly familiar to me (even as Murderbot’s narration and dry delivery cracked me up more often than not), as I looked back at various pressure points in my own transition. The novella has a lot to say about building a personal identity on the fly.
marthawells: (Reading)
* There's an interview with me here, about the Murderbot novellas and novel: http://kmsuweeklyreader.mnsu.edu/current-episode/

It's the KMSU Weekly Reader, which is a radio show and a podcast.


* I did a Year in Review post already here https://marthawells.dreamwidth.org/450290.html

My updated total of finished written words for the year is 136,500. That doesn't count discarded revisions. Most of that was on Magic: the Gathering, three short stories, my Raksura Patreon, and half a Murderbot novel.

Name Drop

Dec. 28th, 2018 07:39 am
marthawells: (SGA laughing)
So the writer of this New Yorker article mentions listening to the Murderbot Diaries while cooking for the holidays! (I’m not the friend Martha she also mentions which yes confused me too) https://www.newyorker.com/culture/kitchen-notes/what-to-cook-between-christmas-and-new-years

Xmas

Dec. 27th, 2018 07:14 am
marthawells: (Manly Hug)
We had a good xmas. We had one out of town friend come to stay and we went out in a group for our traditional Christmas eve sushi on Monday night, then looked at some lights on the way home, then watched a movie. Christmas Day we had two more out of town friends come in for lunch/dinner. We got a late start (which for us is after 7 am) so we didn't have time to do presents or stockings before I had to start cooking.

I was more organized this year about what I needed help with, and the same two friends had helped me last year, so they knew what to do this time. We also were a lot more organized about cleaning the used pans and bowls etc and getting them dried and put away while the cooking was going on, so it was a lot easier for me to concentrate and find places to put things. We had paprika marinated roast leg of lamb with mint sauce and gravy, crock pot thyme potatoes, collard greens with bacon, garlic, and shallots, popovers, stuffed mushrooms, and pickled cucumbers. I made everything except the desserts, which were two pies my husband made the day before and a Yule Log cake friends brought from L'Madeliene in Houston. (Photos on Twitter: https://twitter.com/marthawells1/status/1077683297688453122)

We ate about 2:30 - 3:00 and then just hung out for the rest of the day. Yesterday I went back to work and actually got a nice section done on the Murderbot novel. I've had a lot of anxiety for about the past month, which is causing physical symptoms like acid reflux, and the writing is like taking out my own kidney with a spoon. So it was nice to have a day where it actually went pretty well.
marthawells: (John Green Trees)
Sorry it's taken me so long to start getting to these, I've just been really distracted lately. Also, I went ahead and deleted my tumblr last night.


[personal profile] bravolimapoppa3 asked The Three Worlds is one of my favorite fantasy settings - largely because it's got such mind blowing scenery (a graphic novel or coffee table book would be amazing). Are there any landscapes or scenes that you didn't get a chance to use?

I always wanted to do more with the shallow seas, like having someone travel across one by wading from sandbars to islands to weird floating platforms. I never got to really go anywhere alone or explore much when I was a kid, so I guess I've been fascinated by being able to go someplace interesting by just walking through it.


[personal profile] ecmwrites asked I am working on the 2nd draft of my own first novel. I have shifted the POV from 1st person to 3rd because of world building issues. I am finding it harder to write the characters in 3rd - less intimate and more exposition required.

Could you comment on your approach to this? I was engaged by both Moon and Murderbot but must admit to feeling closer to Murderbot. (LOL where but here would I get to write that sentence? )


When I was first working on my first novel (The Element of Fire) which was in third person, I felt like I was having a lot of trouble really getting into the characters, like it was much less intimate and distancing. But I really didn't like writing in first person, because I didn't feel I was getting the character voices right and I guess at the time it was too intimate for me. What I've evolved into is what's usually called "third person personal" where you stay very tight in the characters point of view, and color your third person prose so it sounds like that character's thoughts, even though it's not in first person.

Before Murderbot, I'd experimented a bit with first person but had only published one story in it, back in 1995. I'm not sure why I did Murderbot in first person -- I think it was just the whole structure of the stories needed that extra level of intimacy.

I think it just takes a lot of writing and experience to find a style that works for you.


[profile] playswithworm I'm fascinated by the idea of the Aeriat and Arbora being a blended species (reminds me of some of the research on human evolution and evidence that early human branched out into different species and then interbred again, more a braided stream than a branching tree) and was wondering if you have anything worked out on how that went down originally?

I haven't really come up with any story scenarios, but I do kind of imagine that the Arbora were native to the Reaches, and the Aeriat actually traveled there from somewhere else and encountered them.


[personal profile] mizstorge My husband used to be a security consultant, and he loves your Murberbot books. You got the details right, and he's very curious as to where you learned the business so well...?

Oh cool, I'm glad he thought so! I haven't worked in security, but I have worked in software development and computer support back in the 90s and early 2000s, and had to deal with security for computer systems online and also in physical spaces, and that probably helped a lot.

ETA:

[personal profile] spatz asked Feel free not to answer if spoilery, of course, but do you know how old Murderbot is? I imagine even it doesn't know with the memory wipe(s), but the way it talks about SecUnits being expensive and the equipment descriptions and stuff, it could be decades old? It's so cynical and jaded, of course, but I can't tell if that's 'I've seen too much shit over the years' old hand style, or young, hollow-eyed, jaded veteran style.

I haven't worked it out exactly, but I think it would have to be at least two to three decades old. The memory wipes really do confuse the issue. But I imagine SecUnits, especially ones that have built up a lot of client experience, as being really expensive and hard to replace so the company would go to a lot of effort to keep them operational. And the longer Murderbot had been part of the company system, the more chances it would have had to pick up the code that would eventually allow it to hack itself.

Xmas

Dec. 24th, 2018 07:11 am
marthawells: (Stargate)
I did the last (hopefully last) holiday grocery shopping yesterday early in the morning. This is a college town and a lot of people have left after the end of the semester, so the store was nearly deserted. For tomorrow I'm going to make our now-traditional paprika roast leg of lamb, which is actually pretty easy. It gets marinaded today, sits in the fridge over night and then stuck in the oven tomorrow. There's a mint sauce that goes with it, and gravy, and I make thyme potatoes in the crock pot, collard greens with bacon, garlic, and shallots, popovers, stuffed mushrooms, and this year I'm adding pickled cucumber. My husband is making two pies today, pumpkin and chocolate, and our friends are bringing a Yule Log cake from L'Madeliene in Houston.

We have a friend coming in to stay with us today, and we'll go out for the traditional Xmas sushi tonight. Then tomorrow three more friends will come over for dinner and second dinner. Then I get to start reading Yuletide stories.
marthawells: (SGA laughing)
So yesterday I took time off in the morning and went to see Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse. I absolutely loved it. So funny, so much heart and great action. It had a serious emotional core and didn't gloss over the fact that being spider-man is dangerous, but I laughed out loud in the theater several times. I definitely recommend it.

Holidays

Dec. 21st, 2018 08:27 am
marthawells: (John Green Trees)
I think I've got the bulk of the holiday cleaning done, :knock on wood: I have a few things left to do in the guest room and the kitchen, but I think that's it. We have one friend coming in to stay with us over Christmas, and three more coming for Christmas day, and I'll be cooking our now traditional Food Network recipe Moroccan leg of lamb, plus collard greens, crock pot butter and thyme potatoes, popovers, stuffed mushrooms, lamb gravy, and a chocolate Yule Log cake from L'Madeliene, and possibly one to two pies that my husband bakes. This year, I'm hoping to avoid side dish creep, where we keep adding things at the last minute until we have way too much food.

There is no Doctor Who Xmas special this year, which is very sad, as it was a great cap-off to the day and we watched it while having leftovers for second dinner.

I'm going to try to answer some more questions later today, too.
marthawells: (Reading)
(If you've been following my book rec and new book listing posts for a while, you may have noticed this already, but while most book lists emphasize books by popular straight white men, this one emphasizes everybody else. I include books by straight white men, but in about the same percentage that other book lists include everybody else. I also try to highlight books that are less well known.)

(I only link to one retail outlet in the book's listing, but most books are available at multiple outlets, like Kobo, iBooks, international Amazons, Barnes & Noble, etc. The short stories are usually on free online magazines.)


* Free Short Story: If At First You Don't Succeed, Try Again by Zen Cho


* Sooner or Later, Everything Falls into the Sea by Sarah Pinsker
Sooner or Later Everything Falls into the Sea is one of the most anticipated sf&f collections of recent years. Pinsker has shot like a star across the firmament with stories multiply nominated for awards as well as Sturgeon and Nebula award wins.


* Fire and Heist by Sarah Beth Durst
In Sky Hawkins's family, leading your first heist is a major milestone--even more so than learning to talk, walk, or do long division. It's a chance to gain power and acceptance within your family, and within society. But stealing your first treasure can be complicated, especially when you're a wyvern--a human capable of turning into a dragon.


* Miranda in Milan by Katharine Duckett
After the tempest, after the reunion, after her father drowned his books, Miranda was meant to enter a brave new world. Naples awaited her, and Ferdinand, and a throne. Instead she finds herself in Milan, in her father’s castle, surrounded by hostile servants who treat her like a ghost. Whispers cling to her like spiderwebs, whispers that carry her dead mother’s name. And though he promised to give away his power, Milan is once again contorting around Prospero’s dark arts.


* Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim
Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she'll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There's just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.


* Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Juie C. Dao
Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng's majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high? Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins--sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute.


* List Pull List Best Comics of 2018


* The Silver Scar by Besty Dornbusch
When Trinidad was twelve, his Wiccan parents blew themselves up in an ecoterr attack that killed several Christians. Orphaned and disillusioned, he fled his home and his best friend Castile to become a soldier for the powerful Christian church operating inside the fortress city of Boulder, Colorado. Raised by a priest and trained by a godless warrior, Trinidad learned the brutal art of balancing faith and war. He is the perfect archwarden, disciplined and devout.


* The Black Khan by Ausma Zehanat Khan
To fight against the cruel and superstitious patriarchy known as the Talisman, members of the resistance group known as the Companions of Hira have risked their lives in a failed attempt to procure the Bloodprint—a dangerous text that may hold the secret to overthrowing the terrifying regime. Now, with their plans in ashes, the Companions of Hira have scattered, and the lives of two brave women at the center of the plot—Arian and Sinnia—face unprecedented danger.
marthawells: (Reading)
Here's the online version of "Compulsory: A Murderbot Story" in Wired Magazine. https://www.wired.com/story/future-of-work-compulsory-martha-wells/
marthawells: (The Serpent Sea)
It's starting to ship now, so I can finally announce: I have a short (very short) story in the January issue of Wired Magazine! It's part of an SF feature and the other writers are Charlie Jane Anders, Ken Liu, Nisi Shawl, Laurie Penny, Charles Yu, and Adam Rodgers. It's sort of a short Murderbot Diaries prequel.

I'm pretty stoked about it. :)
marthawells: (Stargate)
[profile] kjbooklog asked: It seems that Arbora are very curious about the outside world, but are almost never allowed to leave their court. Do they ever run away?

No, because they aren't human, and don't think/feel about it like humans would. They live in a very hostile environment, and they would find being alone outside a court terrifying and exhausting, partly because of their subliminal mental connections to the court and the queens. Living in tightly knit groups is part of their evolution and culture, even pre-Aeriat.


And now that they're trading with groundlings who make flying boats, will we start to see small groups of Raksura (Aeriat and Arbora) running around having adventures?

There were always small groups of Raksura who had adventures. The first contact with the Golden Isles was made by Solace and Sable, a queen and consort pair who led explorations for long distances around Indigo Cloud's eastern colony, which was how Stone knew to send Jade and the others there to get help. It's not uncommon, particularly in large healthy courts.



[personal profile] dranon asked: The probably silly one first. I love the Raksura (and will eventually figure out how to make a good costume wing), but I've never quite been able to get a feel for their size. Are the Raksura (and other races) more or less human sized, and the colony trees absolutely enormous, or are the colony trees about the size of large redwoods and the Raksura scaled to match?

Ooh, I hope you can make a costume because that would be awesome.

They're more or less human-sized, and the mountain-trees are that enormous. Think about an average big city skyscraper, but maybe three to four times as wide, and that's what the trunks are like.


The writing-related one, which I hope I haven't asked too badly. You've commented that Murderbot was rough going for you to write. Are you happy with the stories and the novel deal in spite of that? I, and many others, think the results were well worth it (and your Hugo looks very festive in the picture you posted the other day), but writing is hard enough already.

I'm actually very happy. When All Systems Red came out, I was completely not expecting my weird little robot novella would take off like this. At most I've hoping it would get some more attention and readers for the Raksura series. This has been a wild ride and I am dealing with some anxiety issues because I'm used to a certain level of attention as a writer and it's going to take some time to get used to more. But while the writing is hard, it's very rewarding in a lot of ways. I'm happy with the result, even when it's take two to three times the work to get there.


***

If you have any questions, general questions about publishing (how it works, agents, etc), or a writing advice question, or a question about my writing, or my books, or cats, or anything else I've been doing, ask in this post and I'll try to answer it.
marthawells: (John Green Trees)
[personal profile] bedlamsbard asked I'm on a Raksura reread (which I do at least twice a year!), and one thing I've been wondering is if queens mate with Arbora? I know we mostly get Moon's POV on consorts and Arbora (and producing mentors and warriors), but is it equally common for queens and Arbora, or is that something much rarer?

It's not common, but it would happen, if the Arbora ended up with a bloodline that needed to be combined back into the royal Aeriat bloodline. And a queen mating with a mentor would probably be more likely to produce queens or consorts than a queen mating with a regular Arbora.


[personal profile] nenya_kanadka asked Was there anything that struck you as different about the process of writing and/or publishing YA vs adult SFF?

I think YA is a lot bigger and produces a lot more income for publishers than people outside publishing realize. I still have people telling me confidently "kids don't read anymore" when anybody who's seen a library (or been to the ALA) knows this absolutely is not true. School and public libraries buy tons of books, and if I'm remembering right, YA and other books for younger readers tend to sell more in hardcover than ebook and audio. (Audio is much bigger than it used to be, now that you can get audiobooks on your phone or MP3 player, but it trends more for adults who can now listen to books while doing other things.) Libraries tend to buy truckloads of YA, sometimes 3-5 copies of a book per library. (Not for the whole library system, but for each individual library.)

With adult books, you can have any age range of character from babies to ancient, but in YA publishers usually want a character who's an older teenager. Also some publishers really want you to hit a particular tone: not too young (which puts the book back a few years into middle grade) and not too old (which might put it forward into adult). But you do see a lot of YA books that have crossover with middle grade and vice verse, and a lot of adult and YA crossover. (There's an attempt to categorize the last one by calling it New Adult, but it doesn't take in the number of books with older characters that are still popular in the YA market.)

I think the interesting thing about YA is a lot of it is hard to characterize, which goes back to its origin of librarians pulling adult books for readers who had aged out of the children's section. It can be any genre, literary, romance, SF/F, mystery, or combination of genre. It's very unique in commercial publishing and I think that's why there's so many attempts to categorize it very specifically, and then YA books that don't fit those specific characterizations will pop up and become bestsellers.

This is very rambly, but basically YA can be more difficult to succeed in than adult books, not because the audience is difficult, but because publishers often have very different ideas of what YA is and what YA needs to be popular.



***

If you have any questions, general questions about publishing (how it works, agents, etc), or a writing advice question, or a question about my writing, or my books, or cats, or anything else I've been doing, ask in this post and I'll try to answer it.
marthawells: (SGA Team)
It's really cold and windy but we're going to see the historic downtown holiday parade tonight. Hopefully it won't rain.

The roast beast is in the freezer ready for Christmas day but I've still got food shopping, present wrapping, and house cleaning to do next week.

And I'm looking forward to the Yuletide exchange. I don't participate except to read a bunch of the stories, but it's something I look forward to every year.
marthawells: Atlantis in fog (Atlantis)
[personal profile] muccamukk asked If the Fell wanted to live like Raksura, could they?

Let's see, I'll try not to be spoilery with this answer.

I think they could. There's really no biological reasons that they live the way they do, so they could settle down somewhere, if the progenitors wanted to. Moon speculates at one point that there are Fell who left their flights and were living hidden away somewhere. We don't know if there are entire flights who decided to settle somewhere isolated.

I don't think the Fell who come to the Reaches will want to live exactly like Raksura, but living in a colony tree, even without any luxuries, is going to be way more comfortable for the dakti and kethel than moving around constantly. I think they would probably evolve into a culture that was similar to the Raksura but not a copy of it.



***

If you have any questions, general questions about publishing (how it works, agents, etc), or a writing advice question, or a question about my writing, or my books, or cats, or anything else I've been doing, ask in this post and I'll try to answer it.

Questions

Dec. 12th, 2018 07:35 am
marthawells: (Miko)
I haven't done this in a while (according to the tag, since 2017!) so:

If you have any questions, general questions about publishing (how it works, agents, etc), or a writing advice question, or a question about my writing, or my books, or cats, or anything else I've been doing, ask in this post and I'll try to answer it.
marthawells: (Reading)
(If you've been following my book rec and new book listing posts for a while, you may have noticed this already, but while most book lists emphasize books by popular straight white men, this one emphasizes everybody else. I include books by straight white men, but in about the same percentage that other book lists include everybody else. I also try to highlight books that are less well known.)

(I only link to one retail outlet in the book's listing, but most books are available at multiple outlets, like Kobo, iBooks, international Amazons, Barnes & Noble, etc. The short stories are usually on free online magazines.)


* Where Oblivion Lives by T. Frohock
Born of daimon and angel, Diago Alvarez is a being unlike all others. The embodiment of dark and light, he has witnessed the good and the horror of this world and those beyond. In the supernatural war between angels and daimons that will determine humankind’s future, Diago has chosen Los Nefilim, the sons and daughters of angels who possess the power to harness music and light.


* A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine
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—or that Mahit might be next to die, during a time of political instability in the highest echelons of the imperial court. Now, Mahit must discover who is behind the murder, rescue herself, and save her Station from Teixcalaan's unceasing expansion—all while navigating an alien culture that is all too seductive, engaging in intrigues of her own, and hiding a deadly technological secret—one that might spell the end of her Station and her way of life—or rescue it from annihilation.


* All the Fabulous Beasts by Priya Sharma
The debut short story collection from acclaimed U.K. writer Priya Sharma, “All the Fabulous Beasts,” collects 16 stunning and monstrous tales of love, rebirth, nature, and sexuality. A heady mix of myth and ontology, horror and the modern macabre.


* Paper Girls, Vol 5 by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang (Artist), Matthew Wilson (Artist)
Can anyone escape fate? That’s what Mac and her fellow newspaper delivery girls must discover as they escape the year 2000 and travel to the distant future.


* The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty
Nahri’s life changed forever the moment she accidentally summoned Dara, a formidable, mysterious djinn, during one of her schemes. Whisked from her home in Cairo, she was thrust into the dazzling royal court of Daevabad—and quickly discovered she would need all her grifter instincts to survive there. Now, with Daevabad entrenched in the dark aftermath of a devastating battle, Nahri must forge a new path for herself. But even as she embraces her heritage and the power it holds, she knows she’s been trapped in a gilded cage, watched by a king who rules from the throne that once belonged to her family—and one misstep will doom her tribe.


* The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo
Quick-witted, ambitious Ji Lin is stuck as an apprentice dressmaker, moonlighting as a dancehall girl to help pay off her mother’s Mahjong debts. But when one of her dance partners accidentally leaves behind a gruesome souvenir, Ji Lin may finally get the adventure she has been longing for. Eleven-year-old houseboy Ren is also on a mission, racing to fulfill his former master’s dying wish: that Ren find the man’s finger, lost years ago in an accident, and bury it with his body. Ren has 49 days to do so, or his master’s soul will wander the earth forever. As the days tick relentlessly by, a series of unexplained deaths wracks the district, along with whispers of men who turn into tigers. Ji Lin and Ren’s increasingly dangerous paths crisscross through lush plantations, hospital storage rooms, and ghostly dreamscapes.


* The True Queen by Zen Cho
When sisters Muna and Sakti wake up on the peaceful beach of the island of Janda Baik, they can’t remember anything, except that they are bound as only sisters can be. They have been cursed by an unknown enchanter, and slowly Sakti starts to fade away. The only hope of saving her is to go to distant Britain, where the Sorceress Royal has established an academy to train women in magic.


* Finders by Melissa Scott
Desperate for a job, salvagers Cassilde Sam and Dai Winter accept help from Summerlad Ashe, their former partner and lover, who betrayed them during a war between the worlds of the Entente and the Verge. Ingenious adaptations of the technologically advanced relics of humanity’s Ancestor and Successor predecessors form the foundation of civilization, and Ashe’s theories about a particular section of the Ancestor sky palace being open for salvage leads the trio to a Gift, a legendary Ancestor healing device. Space travel and faster-than-light drives blend with world mythology as Sam, Winter, and Ashe race to stay ahead of an underground group that hunts for Gifts across the settled worlds.
marthawells: (SGA laughing)
The Murderbot Diaries: All Systems Red's Best Novella Hugo award is dressed up for the holidays: https://marthawells.tumblr.com/post/180952200352/the-murderbot-diaries-all-systems-reds-best

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