NPR Review

Jan. 29th, 2019 06:18 am
marthawells: (Reading)
The Murderbot Diaries: All Systems Red got reviewed on the NPR site:

https://www.npr.org/2019/01/27/688354123/sulky-cynical-murderbot-is-one-of-sci-fis-most-human-characters

It's the wonder of the character — that something so alien can be so human. That everyone who has ever had to hide in a crowded room, avert their eyes from power, cocoon themselves in media for comfort or lie to survive can relate. It's powerful to see that on the page. It's moving to ride around in the head of something that is so strong and so vulnerable, so murder-y and so frightened, all at the same time.
marthawells: (The Serpent Sea)
I'm going to re-post some things here that got deleted with my tumblr:

Here's one of my favorite reviews of The Books of the Raksura


Review by Na'amen Gobert Tilahun of The Harbors of the Sun
http://strangehorizons.com/non-fiction/reviews/the-harbors-of-the-sun-by-martha-wells/

A quick and dirty description of the series as a whole that I’ve seen Wells herself use is “bisexual, polyamorous, matriarchal, shapeshifting flying lizard people.” This is absolutely correct. However it’s also more of the “who” than the “what” of the series. The what of the Raksura books is more complicated and subtle. If you had asked me what the series was about before reading The Edge of Worlds and The Harbors of the Sun, I would have answered that it was about a young man finding a home and his people after being on his own for too long. I would have said it was about rediscovering family and learning to trust again. Those answers are all still true, but now I realize that this series is also very much about a community constantly under attack, how they deal with trauma and continue fighting to survive and find a safe space.

Without giving away too much, Moon starts the series isolated and ignorant of his people because of an attack on his birthplace; and the results and reactions to this and other attacks that happen within the books affect every character deeply and in different ways. In between the exciting action scenes, characters are dealing with feelings of abandonment, PTSD, and the reverberations of sexual assault through whole families and communities. These heavy subjects are no less well depicted for the series’ being set in a secondary fantasy world. Wells handles them with subtlety and grace, so they slowly build almost within the background of the series, book by book. For example, there are a few characters in the series that are born as the result of sexual assault and while this is never ignored, it’s also not focused on too closely. However, in The Harbors of the Sun we, along with the characters, are forced to confront more directly what life would be like for those taken and forced to impregnate their captors and where they might find some consolation. (That sentence is a great call out to the book, so after you read it? Make sure to come back and marvel at my brilliance.) Wells never glosses over the pain and the after effects of terrible things; she treats these horrors with the respect they deserve unlike many other writers who linger over sexual assault and other violations to both eroticize the acts and use them to shock the reader.

Another great aspect of the series is the casual queerness of the characters. What I mean by a casual queerness is that the world itself is queer, so sexuality is a non-issue most of the time and since most of the characters are bisexual there is no single queer character for the whole of a complex identity to be pinned upon. As mentioned above, the Raksura are polyamorous, and though Moon’s main relationship is with the queen, Jade, he also has a strong and loving relationship with the male mentor-turned-warrior Chime. Chime is explicitly described as Moon’s favorite multiple times in the books. None of this is a main focus of the books but it is wonderful to see a world where queer sexuality is so accepted that it need not necessitate any conversation or explanation. Though it is thankfully becoming more common, it is still thrilling to see a world where queerness doesn’t exist as a way to isolate a character or to give them a tortured past. While many of Wells’s characters do have dark pasts, none of these are the result of their sexuality.

The series as a whole deserves all the accolades it has received and more, and The Harbors of the Sun acts as a lovely and fitting final book in the series. The adventure is thrilling and fast paced, moving you along at a steady pace that will make you rage at any real life interruptions. As always with Wells, the worldbuilding is top-notch and interesting, featuring unique species and fascinating flora and fauna that feel both fantastic and also oddly realistic. The interpersonal relationships between characters and the intrigue between both different species and political factions will keep you wondering until the very end. It’s always hard when a beloved series ends, but The Harbors of the Sun brings the Books of the Raksura to a satisfying end, one that leaves most characters in very different places emotionally than they were at their introduction. The world that Wells built still feels open and alive; so that this is more of a gentle tapering off than a firm end. Moon will certainly have many more adventures, even if we never get to see them.
marthawells: (The Serpent Sea)
So, The Murderbot Diaries: Exit Strategy was reviewed in the New York Times! https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/30/books/review/martha-wells-exit-strategy.html

I came late to these novellas, and during a difficult month this year I read almost nothing else. Murderbot’s voice, a beautiful blend of exhausted cynicism and deep, helpless love, was the only thing that felt like both a match to my mood and an appropriate response to the events provoking it. Murderbot has no illusions about the way the world works and will say so blisteringly, but remains so passionately committed to the people it loves and doing what’s right that I kept welling up in response. Its angry, poignant point of view, wrapped up in sharp, short bites of space adventure, is utterly addictive, and I’m genuinely delighted — as well as a little relieved — that the series’ success has greenlit a full-length Murderbot novel, so that I don’t yet have to bid it goodbye.


And I posted some pictures of my office this morning because I was bored: https://marthawells.tumblr.com/post/180651790382/pictures-of-my-office
marthawells: (Reading)
Here's a quote from Roque Protocol, the third novella in The Murderbot Diaries, for Book Quote Wednesday (#bookqw on Twitter)

https://marthawells.tumblr.com/post/172342855952/its-bookqw-book-quote-wednesday-on-twitter-and


And Artificial Condition (coming out May 8) got a great review in the upcoming April issue of Booklist:

"Murderbot is one of the most delightful characters in current science fiction: a killing machine who chooses to be a good person, a robot who suffers from crippling social anxiety, a sarcastic misanthrope who really just wants to be left alone to watch TV. The relationship between Murderbot and ART (the intelligent ship) adds an entertaining The Odd Couple element to the story."
marthawells: (Teyla)
Not too spoilery review of the next two stories in The Muderbot Diaries here:

https://www.tor.com/2018/02/06/sleeps-with-monsters-the-adventures-of-murderbot/ Review of Artificial Condition and Rogue Protocol

Wells brings a strong sense of character to Murderbot. Deeply socially anxious, immensely awkward about talking to Actual People, and constantly insisting that they don’t care (when it becomes obvious that they do), Murderbot is a very human sort of bot—despite their occasionally assertion that they’re not really a person.

Wells' pacing is sharp, and the world of the Murderbot Diaries is atmospheric and filled with cool shit. And the individuals who appear on the pages of these stories, however briefly, all feel like fully-rounded people. These are delightful books, and I sincerely hope that Wells writes many more of them—because I definitely want to find out what happens next.



And if you're nominating for the Hugo Awards, All Systems Red is eligible in the novella category, and the Books of the Raksura series is eligible in the series category because The Harbors of the Sun came out last year. Though this will be its last year of eligibility.
marthawells: (Stargate)
My post on the Barnes & Noble blog: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/sci-fi-fantasy/8-books-blend-science-magic-minus-fantasy-tropes/ Fantasies that Blend Magic and Science

I also somehow missed that there was a Publishers Weekly review for The Harbors of the Sun: https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-59780-891-0

I removed the one mildy spoilery bit:

The beautiful fifth Raksura fantasy begins immediately after the events of The Edge of Worlds, tracing the various journeys of Moon, Jade, and the rest of the now-scattered Raksuran archaeological expedition.... Having done the heavy lifting of characterization in earlier books in the series, Wells is able to focus here on exploring how the Raksura fit into the wider world, dealing with the prejudices that result from their previous isolation, their shape-shifting ability and other magic, and their biological connection to the predatory Fell. The Fell themselves give rise to some of the more intriguing social explorations, as more is revealed about the half-Fell/half-Raksurans who were raised among the predators. Wells’s worldbuilding strengths are on display, and she knows just what to explain and what to imply, making this volume accessible to newcomers as well as longtime readers.


Now I'm going back to my aerobics class and hope I don't have any trouble from my back, my hands, my feet or any of the other bits of me that are falling off.
marthawells: (Reading)
Book Recs

(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.)


* Story: Ravana's Children by Ian Muneshwar


* Preorder: Jade City by Fonda Lee
When a powerful new drug emerges that lets anyone -- even foreigners -- wield jade, the simmering tension between the Kauls and the rival Ayt family erupts into open violence. The outcome of this clan war will determine the fate of all Green Bones -- from their grandest patriarch to the lowliest motorcycle runner on the streets -- and of Kekon itself.


* Shattered Warrior by Sharon Shinn, illustrated by Molly Knox Ostertag
It is eight years after Colleen Cavanaugh's home world was invaded by the Derichets, a tyrannical alien race bent on exploiting the planet's mineral resources. Most of her family died in the war, and she now lives alone in the city. Aside from her acquaintances at the factory where she toils for the Derichets, Colleen makes a single friend in Jann, a member of the violent group of rebels known as the Chromatti. One day Colleen receives shocking news: her niece Lucy is alive and in need of her help. Together, Colleen, Jann, and Lucy create their own tenuous family.


* Preorder: The Murders of Molly Southbourne by Tade Thompson
or as long as Molly Southbourne can remember, she’s been watching herself die. Whenever she bleeds, another molly is born, identical to her in every way and intent on her destruction. Molly knows every way to kill herself, but she also knows that as long as she survives she’ll be hunted. No matter how well she follows the rules, eventually the mollys will find her. Can Molly find a way to stop the tide of blood, or will she meet her end at the hand of a girl who looks just like her?


* Substrate Phantoms by Jessica Reisman
Jhinsei and his operations team crawl throughout the station, one of many close-knit working groups that keep Termagenti operational. After an unexplained and deadly mishap takes his team from him, Jhinsei finds himself—for lack of a better word—haunted by his dead teammates. In fact, they may not be alone in taking up residence in his brain. He may have picked up a ghost—an alien intelligence that is using him to flee its dying ship. As Jhinsei struggles to understand what is happening to his sanity, inquisitive and dangerous members of the station’s managing oligarchy begin to take an increasingly focused interest in him.


* The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
As the daughter of a time traveler, Nix has spent sixteen years sweeping across the globe and through the centuries aboard her father’s ship. Modern-day New York City, nineteenth-century Hawaii, other lands seen only in myth and legend—Nix has been to them all. But when her father gambles with her very existence, it all may be about to end.


Other Stuff

My cold was better enough that we were able to go out last night and visit one of our friends in the hospital (we have a lot of friends in the hospital right now). He was doing really well for someone whose arm was broken in three places.

Murderbot still seems to be doing well (knock on wood) and I hope the second printing arrives soon. There's also going to be an audiobook (I don't have any other details yet).

Some reviews:

- LadyBusiness

- Pretty Terrible

- Amazon Book Review: The Best SF & F of May: 6 Top Picks

- The Qwillery
marthawells: (Reading)
So The Murderbot Diaries: All Systems Red came out yesterday and I was pretty nervous, but so far things look good.

• Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #888 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
• #10 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Hard Science Fiction
• #12 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Hard Science Fiction
• #36 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Action & Adventure > Science Fiction

And the Barnes&Noble rank is 326 this morning.

I think these are the best ranks I've ever had for a debut book.

It's weird to think how different it is now from when my first book came out in 1993. We had email lists and bbs but that was about it. When the book came out you had a party with your friends at a bookstore and that was it. You didn't find out about how well it was selling for months, if then. If you were lucky you could afford to go to WorldCon and see how your publisher/editor treated you at their party, that was your only sign. (In my case, it was somewhere between blah and meh.)

And there were some really nice reviews:

http://www.tor.com/2017/05/01/barnes-noble-booksellers-picks-for-may-2017/

http://www.tor.com/2017/05/01/book-reviews-all-systems-red-by-martha-wells/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/sci-fi-fantasy/meet-favorite-depressed-since-marvin-systems-red/


New Book Wednesday


(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.)


* Star Fang: Rise of the Clan by Joyce Chng
Is a clan captain going to sacrifice everything for her clan? Tasked to kill Yeung Leung by her parents, powerful rival clan leader of the Amber Eyes, Captain Francesca Min Yue sets out across the galaxy to hunt her prey, only to be thrown into a web of political intrigue spreading across the stars. Is Yeung Leung collaborating with the reptilian shishini and playing a bigger game with the galaxy as a price? Is Francesca’s clan at stake? Welcome to Starfang: Rise of the Clan, where merchants and starship captains are also wolves.


* A Tyranny of Queens by Foz Meadows
Saffron Coulter has returned from the fantasy kingdom of Kena. Threatened with a stay in psychiatric care, Saffron has to make a choice: to forget about Kena and fit back into the life she’s outgrown, or pit herself against everything she’s ever known and everyone she loves.. Meanwhile in Kena, Gwen is increasingly troubled by the absence of Leoden, cruel ruler of the kingdom, and his plans for the captive worldwalkers, while Yena, still in Veksh, must confront the deposed Kadeja. What is their endgame? Who can they trust? And what will happen when Leoden returns?


* The House of Binding Thorns by Aliette de Bodard
The multi-award-winning author of The House of Shattered Wings continues her Dominion of the Fallen saga as Paris endures the aftermath of a devastating arcane war... As the city rebuilds from the onslaught of sorcery that nearly destroyed it, the great Houses of Paris, ruled by Fallen angels, still contest one another for control over the capital. House Silverspires was once the most powerful, but just as it sought to rise again, an ancient evil brought it low. Phillippe, an immortal who escaped the carnage, has a singular goal—to resurrect someone he lost. But the cost of such magic might be more than he can bear.


* Beneath by Kristi DeMeester
When reporter Cora Mayburn is assigned to cover a story about a snake-handling cult in rural Appalachia, she is dismayed, for the world of cruel fundamentalist stricture, repression, glossolalia, and abuse is something she has long since put behind her in favor of a more tolerant urban existence. But she accepts the assignment, dredging up long-buried memories as she seeks the truth. As Cora begins to uncover the secrets concealed by a veneer of faith and tradition, something ancient and long concealed begins to awaken. What secrets do the townsfolk know? What might the handsome young pastor be hiding? What will happen when occulted horrors writhe to the surface, when pallid and forgotten things rise to reclaim the Earth?


* The Last Good Man by Linda Nagata
Army veteran True Brighton left the service when the development of robotic helicopters made her training as a pilot obsolete. Now she works at Requisite Operations, a private military company established by friend and former Special Ops soldier Lincoln Han. ReqOp has embraced the new technologies. Robotics, big data, and artificial intelligence are all tools used to augment the skills of veteran warfighters-for-hire. But the tragedy of war is still measured in human casualties, and when True makes a chance discovery during a rescue mission, old wounds are ripped open. She's left questioning what she knows of the past, and resolves to pursue the truth, whatever the cost.


* The Song of the Dead by Carrie Patel
With Ruthers dead and the Library Accord signed by Recoletta, its neighbours, and its farming communes, Inspector Malone and laundress Jane Lin are in limbo as the city leaders around them vie for power. A desperate attempt to save Arnault from execution leads to Malone’s arrest and Jane’s escape. They must pursue each other across the sea to discover a civilization that has held together over the centuries. There they will finally learn the truths about the Catastrophe that drove their own civilization underground.


* A Purely Private Matter by Darcie Wilde
The Rosalind Thorne Mysteries—inspired by the novels of Jane Austen—continue as the audacious Rosalind strives to aid those in need while navigating the halls of high society... Rosalind Thorne has slowly but assuredly gained a reputation as “a useful woman”—by helping respectable women out of some less-than-respectable predicaments."


* Meddling and Murder by Ovidia Yu
There is nothing Rosie ‘Aunty’ Lee, amateur sleuth and proprietor of Singapore’s best-loved restaurant, loves more than solving other people’s problems. So when Beth Kwuan, an ambitious businesswoman, tells Aunty Lee her maid has disappeared, Aunty Lee is happy to let her own maid, Nina, help.
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.
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.
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

Mar. 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

Jul. 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.
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

Dec. 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

Feb. 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.
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

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

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.

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