Aug 172017
 

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

Aug 112017
 

Cover of The Stone in The Skull by Elizabeth Bear.Kirkus: Hoping to build on the dazzling triumph of her Eternal Sky fantasy trilogy (Steles of the Sky, etc.), Bear embarks on a new trilogy set in the same universe. The opening scene, in which a caravan heaves itself across the icy peaks of the Steles of the Sky, takes the narrative, literally and figuratively, out of familiar territory and into the Lotus Kingdoms, the contentious, broken shards of the once-mighty Alchemical Empire.

A panoramic drama that grabs and grips from Page 1 …captivatingly different …vivid, absorbing, and thrilling…stands head and shoulders above nearly everything else.

In an overcrowded field, [The Stone in The Skull] stands head and shoulders above nearly everything else.

Aug 092017
 

Cover of The Gate of Tagmeth by P.C. Hodgell.Publishers Weekly: The enchanting eighth installment of Hodgell’s Chronicles of the Kencyrath (after Sea of Time) continues to follow Jame, who is both sister and heir of Torisen, the Highlord of the Kencyr, and the avatar of the destructive side of the Kencyr’s Three-Faced God. Jame is given command of the fort of Tagmeth as a way to prove herself in lieu of her third year of military school, but her family’s political enemies live between Tagmeth and the Highlord’s forces, making her journey there treacherous-and the ancient evil that the Kencyr’s god has destined them to fight is drawing near from the other direction. The Kencyr live in one of the most deeply realized worlds in fantasy, a rich and complicated space that includes many cultures and riveting, three-dimensional characters.

Full of dark wonder, wry humor, and the quirks of Jame’s inimitable personality, the newest installment in Hodgell’s life’s work demonstrates why it can be worthwhile for a writer to spend 40 years writing the same series.

Aug 042017
 

Cover of The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden.New York Times: Long ago, as one character explains early in Nicky Drayden’s THE PREY OF GODS, the human race was fathered by a god who gave unique powers to each of his children. Though human beings have lost these abilities over the generations since, they remain present in mitochondrial DNA, latent except in a few rare individuals. And except in those humans whose latent DNA has been awakened — which a new street drug called godsend just happens to be able to do.

This is the mytho-scientific premise underlying a madcap, rapid-fire tale of South Africa in the year 2064, where a handful of individuals are suddenly plagued by godhood. One, Nomvula, is a lonely little township girl born with power. Several others acquire their abilities from godsend, to varying degrees of trauma or delight…As a genetically engineered virus spreads and threatens to awaken the latent godhood of billions, these few special individuals come together to decide, ultimately, what manner of gods will rule the future. Oh­ — and also, the technological apocalypse looms as personal robots all over the world quietly become self-aware.

Drayden’s delivery of all this is subtly poignant and slap-in-the-face deadpan – perfect for this novel-length thought exercise about what kinds of gods a cynical, self-absorbed postmodern society really deserves. Lots of fun.

Aug 012017
 

Cover of Gate of Tagmeth by P.C. Hodgell.Destruction is in Jame Knorth’s nature. Literally. She is the avatar of of a god known at That-Which-Destroys, the god of chaos and ruin. Yet Jame is also a noblewoman within an ancient race, and the designated heir of her twin brother Torisen Knorth, High Lord of the Kencyrath. Jame’s people are fleeing, world by world, from a terrible enemy that has pursued them through a multitude of universes. Its name is Perimal Darkling.

Obeying instructions from her brother, Jame sets out with a force of Southron warriors to reestablish the long-fallen castle keep of Tagmeth. By Jame’s side is Lyra, a devious Kencyrath noble girl who is determined not to be forced into a marriage with a man she despises. Jame’s old friends Mark and Brier Iron-thorn stand with her, as well: Marc, steward and organizer of Jame’s household and Brier, the only captain under her command wholly sworn to support Jame no matter the cost. Jame finds more allies in the forest surrounding the ancient keep where the wild people of the woodlands, the Merikit, hold court. And Jame’s adopted mother, Gran Cyd, matriarch and queen of the Merikit, may once again provide the voice of calm that Jame requires to survive her own tempestuous nature.

Jame sets about establishing Tagmeth as an outpost against the gathering power of Perimal Darkling. But Tagmeth hides a secret, a gateway to a mystery that may save this world from eternal darkness—or plunge it to destruction and ruin all the sooner. It is up to Jame to find her way through Perimal Darkling’s traps, and to come to terms with the god of pandemonium and destruction within her who grows stronger every day. If she succeeds it may be that Perimal Darkling can finally be defeated after eons of fear and flight. And if she fails, yet another world will fall to darkness forever.

Jul 312017
 

Czech rights to Robert Jackson Bennett’s CITY OF MIRACLES, Book 3 of The Divine Cities series, to Host, by Milena Kaplarević at Prava I Prevodi, in association with Katie Shea Boutillier at Donald Maass Literary Agency on behalf of Cameron McClure.

Rights to Hugo and John W. Campbell Award Finalist and Compton Crook Award Winner Ada Palmer’s TOO LIKE THE LIGHTNING, to Edesviz Kiado in Hungary, at auction; and to Mag Jacek Rodek in Poland, in a two-book deal, by Milena Kaplarevic at Prava I Prevodi in association with Katie Shea Boutillier at Donald Maass Literary Agency.

Spanish rights to Patricia Anthony’s HAPPY POLICEMAN, to Gigamesh, by Maru de Montserrat at International Editors’, in association with Katie Shea Boutillier at Donald Maass Literary Agency.

Polish audio rights to NYT bestselling author Jim Butcher’s STORM FRONT, FOOL MOON, GRAVE PERIL, SUMMER KNIGHT, and DEATH MASKS, to Storytel, by Milena Kaplarevic at Prava I Prevodi in association with Jennifer Jackson and Michael Curry.

German rights to Daniel Stashower’s THE ADVENTURE OF THE ECTOPLASMIC MAN, to Luebbe, by Sarah Knofius at Thomas Schlueck Agency in association with Katie Shea Boutillier at Donald Maass Literary Agency.

Hungarian rights to World Fantasy Award winner Nnedi Okorafor’s WHO FEARS DEATH  to Agave Konyvek, by Milena Kaplarevic at Prava I Prevodi in association with Katie Shea Boutillier at Donald Maass Literary Agency.

Spanish rights to New York Times bestselling author Jim Butcher’s STORM FRONT and FOOL MOON, the first and second books in the Dresden Files series, to Nosolorol, in a two-book deal, by Maru de Montserrat at International Editors’ Co. in association with Jennifer Jackson.

Spanish rights to New York Times bestselling author Jim Butcher’s and Evil Hat LLC’s Dresden Files RPG Accelerated to Francisco Castillo at Nosolorol by Jennifer Jackson.

 

Jul 282017
 

Author photo of Saladin Ahmed.Saladin Ahmed, Hugo-nominated author of THRONE OF THE CRESCENT MOON, will write for CANTO BIGHT, a Star Wars book by four authors that will focus on creatures from the glamorous casino world of Canto Bight, a setting appearing in the new film The Last Jedi coming this December. The deal was negotiated with Thomas Hoeler at Del Rey Books by Jennifer Jackson.

Jul 262017
 

Cover of The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden.Tor.com: Spinning between the perspectives of multiple main characters, the seemingly divergent storylines of The Prey of Gods soon begin to intersect in unexpected and often delightful ways.

For all its wild subplots and deeper messages, the novel never collapses into (unintentional) camp or heavy-handedness, but underneath the propulsive action is a fleshed-out cast of living, breathing characters whose journeys are as vivid as their costumes.

The skill with which Drayden pulls off her fully realized world, bananas plot, and multivocal narrative is so impressive it’s hard to believe this is a debut novel. And on top of her nearly supernatural ability to juggle something like thirty-seven balls at once, she’s also an inventive and delightful stylist with an eye for the novel metaphor and snappy turn of phrase.

Jul 212017
 

Publishers Weekly: 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 as they seek to regroup, recover a lost weapon, and attempt to prevent worldwide genocide by their erstwhile allies. 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.

Jul 052017
 

Cover of The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden.B&N SFF Review: Her style is utterly unique. There’s a freshness in the tone and pace that ensures The Prey of Gods isn’t just going to be one of the best science fiction (or is it fantasy?) novels of the year, but also, hopefully, a launching point to many more raucous, evocative works from its author.

What Drayden has accomplished is important and impressive, particularly for a debut. She has populated a sci-fi universe with fully fleshed personalities spanning disparate walks of life, some more underrepresented than others, and has made each of them into characters complete and compelling-irreverently funny, beautifully and empathetically drawn. There are depths to The Prey of Gods that make it both an endlessly enjoyable read and the start of something truly promising-not another sci-fi trilogy, but a career to follow.