Oct 202017
 

Cover of The Stone in The Skull by Elizabeth Bear.B&N SFF Blog: From its opening pages, Elizabeth Bear’s The Stone in the Skull wears its virtues on its sleeve, introducing us to two characters, Dead Man and the Gage, who are immediately enigmatic, yet also compelling and achingly human (doubly impressive for the Gage, a towering automaton powered by a human soul).

And this is where the book truly excels, beyond the magic-laced action scenes and top-tier worldbuilding­in the way Bear loads layered relationships between a whole host of characters into a relatively slim page count.

With every new story, Bear leaves her mark on the world. There is a weight to her worldbuilding, to the subtlety of her characterizations. Hers is a mark that identifies the boundlessness of epic fantasy, of worlds created by a singular mind, but shared and enjoyed by many.

The Stone in the Skull begins a fantastic new saga, reminding us that Elizabeth Bear is truly one of the premier fantasists of her generation. If you’ve yet to discover her work, there’s no better time.

Oct 172017
 

Cover of An Amish Proposal by Jo Ann Brown.Pregnant and without options, Katie Kay Lapp is trapped between two worlds—abandoned by her baby’s Englisch father, not ready to return to her Amish family. With nowhere to go, she’s rescued by the unlikeliest of heroes—the man whose heart she shattered. Months ago, Micah Stoltzfus courted her, envisioned a future with her, until she chose the big city over him. Now bound by duty to protect mother and child, Micah offers a solution—marriage. Though his heart never healed, he still cares for the Amish beauty. He knows he’ll be the father Katie Kay’s baby needs…but can he show her he’s also the love she’s always wanted?

Oct 162017
 

Cover of The Stone in The Skull by Elizabeth Bear.Locus: Full disclaimer: I haven’t read Elizabeth Bear’s first trilogy set in the Eternal Sky world (Range of Ghosts, etc.) but am also not sure it matters. While I’m sure a reading of The Stone in the Skull would be enhanced by knowing about this world before dropping into it, that knowledge is not required to enjoy the visit there. And it is enjoyable.

The story opens with the Gage, a brass automaton, and the Dead Man, a drifter, of sorts, trudging over ice-choked mountains to deliver a message to a queen in the damp land of Sarathai-tia. Mrithuri, said queen, is undertaking a public ritual involving lotus flowers – and the results of said ritual indicate that changes are about to come. Thus, the plot is launched.

What works so well in just about every Bear book are her characters, which always feel finely drawn and solidly connected to the story they are in. The plot hews closely to the whole band-of-rogues-assemble-to-fight-stronger-band-of-foes, but this is a feature rather than a bug. Bear noodles around that trope like a jazz master and takes the story to some interesting places where she can examine privilege, toxic pasts, and gender identities – with, of course, magic and mayhem and mud. Lots and lots of mud.

It’s hard to talk about the first book in a trilogy, if only because it isn’t intended to feel like it comes to a complete closure. This book ends by setting the next part of the story up well and making this reader wish she had the next book within arm’s reach so that she can find out what happens next.

Oct 132017
 

Cover for Jim Butcher's Wild Card, a Dresden Files graphic novel.DLMA congratulates Jim Butcher on winning two 2017 Dragon Awards!

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

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

Oct 112017
 

Cover of The Stone in The Skull by Elizabeth Bear.RT Reviews: Bear skillfully weaves a brand-new saga into the landscape of her famed worlds from previous novels, hinting at the histories but not relying on them. The new stories and characters are fresh and captivating, from the young monarch with the creepiest drug addiction, to the elderly poet-warrior with the subversive skillset. There is little to critique here, though the romances can seem extraneous and unnecessary. The near-apocalyptic cliffhanger leaves the reader anxious for more. A definite must-read, and one to highlight in anticipation for the sequel.

The Gage and the Dead Man carry a message of great importance­ if only they can make it through the Steles of the Sky without being halted by weather, ice wyrms, or war. The recipient of their message, the Rajni of the Lotus Kingdom, has received foreboding auguries from every corner of her domain, and new threats seem to approach every day. Can they come together and decipher the message before the auguries come to pass?

Oct 102017
 

Cover of The Stone in The Skull by Elizabeth Bear.Hugo Award–winning author Elizabeth Bear returns to her critically acclaimed epic fantasy world of the Eternal Sky with a brand new trilogy.

The Stone in the Skull, the first volume in her new trilogy, takes readers over the dangerous mountain passes of the Steles of the Sky and south into the Lotus Kingdoms.

The Gage is a brass automaton created by a wizard of Messaline around the core of a human being. His wizard is long dead, and he works as a mercenary. He is carrying a message from a the most powerful sorcerer of Messaline to the Rajni of the Lotus Kingdom. With him is The Dead Man, a bitter survivor of the body guard of the deposed Uthman Caliphate, protecting the message and the Gage. They are friends, of a peculiar sort.

They are walking into a dynastic war between the rulers of the shattered bits of a once great Empire.

Oct 062017
 

Cover of The Stone in The Skull by Elizabeth Bear.Library Journal: Bear’s outstanding worldbuilding includes an India-inspired land, where the night sky is lit by a wash of stars brighter by far than the dark sun that rises each day. The diverse cast includes plenty of strong women, and the Dead Man and Gage are a team readers will want to follow for many more adventures.

VERDICT: “The Eternal Sky” trilogy (Range of Ghosts; Shattered Pillars; Steles of the Sky) is one of the great fantasy epics of the last decade, and Bear triumphantly returns to that setting, albeit a small corner that she has not previously explored.

Sep 292017
 

German rights to David Gerrold’s mix of backlist titles including WHEN HARLIE WAS ONE, for e-book rights only, to Heyne, in a five-book deal, by Sarah Knofius at Thomas Schlueck Agency in association with Katie Shea Boutillier.

German rights to NYT bestselling author Brent Weeks’s THE BURNING WHITE (Book 5 in the Lightbringer series), to Blanvalet, by Bastian Schlueck at Thomas Schlueck Agency in association with Katie Shea Boutillier.

Hungarian rights to Robert Jackson Bennett’s CITY OF MIRACLES, Book 3 of The Divine Cities trilogy, to Agave Konyvek, by Milena Kaplarevic at Prava I Prevodi in association with Katie Shea Boutillier on behalf of Cameron McClure.

Czech rights to Michael R. Fletcher’s BEYOND REDEMPTION, THE MIRROR’S TRUTH and SWARM AND STEEL, to Fantom Print, in a three-book deal, by Milena Kaplarevic at Prava I Prevodi, in association with Katie Shea Boutillier on behalf of Cameron McClure.

Estonian rights to New York Times best-selling author Jim Butcher’s STORM FRONT and FOOL MOON, the first and second books in the Dresden Files series, to KIRJASTUS FANTAASIA OU via Milena Kaplaveric at Prava I Prevodi in association with Jennifer Jackson.

Hungarian rights to USA Today bestselling author Kaira Rouda’s BEST DAY EVER, to Alexandra, by Milena Kaplarevic at Prava I Prevodi in association with Katie Shea Boutillier.

French rights to Yoon Ha Lee’s Hugo- and Nebula-nominated NINEFOX GAMBIT, to Denoël, by Anna Jarota and Juliana Miasso at Anna Jarota Agency in association with Jennifer Jackson and Michael Curry.

Simplified Chinese rights to Nnedi Okorafor’s WHO FEARS DEATH, to Winshare, by Gray Tan at The Grayhawk Agency in association with Katie Shea Boutillier.

Italian rights to Margaret Doody’s ARISTOTLE AND THE HOUSE OF WINDS, to Sellerio, by Stefania Fietta at Donzelli Fietta, in association with Katie Shea Boutillier.

Portuguese rights (Portugal only) to World Fantasy, Nebula and Hugo Award winning author Nnedi Okorafor’s WHO FEARS DEATH, to Saida de Emergencia, by Maru de Montserrat at International Editors’ in association with Katie Shea Boutillier.

Sep 012017
 

Cover of The Stone in The Skull by Elizabeth Bear.Publishers Weekly: With a glorious and dramatic story, Bear begins a stunning new series set in the same world as her Eternal Sky trilogy. South of towering mountains lie the Lotus Kingdoms, an analog of our own Indian subcontinent. The Dead Man, once guard to a caliph who’s now dead himself, and the Gage, a hulking brass automaton, protect a caravan that travels over the mountain passes and down into the Lotus Kingdoms during monsoon season. The pair bear a message from the Eyeless One, a powerful wizard, to Mrithuri, ruling rajni of Sarathai-tia, who seeks a way to put off her powerful male cousins and secure her country. Both Mrithuri and her cousin, Sayeh Rajni of Ansh-Sahal, receive dark omens of further threats to their rule.

With sumptuous prose, Bear details the opulence of royal courts, a sodden journey, and intricate rituals. Colors, textures, and aromas enrich her descriptions of lands that stand on the brink of war. Bear’s worldbuilding stretches from the Cauled Sun in the heavens to the vast ecosystem of Mother River Sarathai, and her characters nod to fantasy archetypes while remaining individual.

Aug 312017
 

Turkish rights to Nebula-nominated Martha Wells’ ALL SYSTEMS RED and ARTIFICIAL CONDITION, the first two installments in The Murderbot Diaries, to Ithaki, by Nazli Çökdü at the ONK Agency in association with Jennifer Jackson and Michael Curry.

German rights to New York Times bestselling author Jim Butcher’s WORKING FOR BIGFOOT, collecting together three stories in the Dresden Files series that feature Bigfoot, to Feder & Schwert, by Bastian Schlück at the Thomas Schlueck Agency in association with Jennifer Jackson.

Polish rights to New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop’s ETCHED IN BONE, the 5th and final book in the Other series featuring Meg Corbyn the blood prophet, to Initium, by Milena Kaplarevic at Prava I Prevodi in association with Jennifer Jackson.

Rights to World Fantasy Award winner Nnedi Okorafor’s WHO FEARS DEATH (recently optioned as a TV series for HBO, with executive producer George R. R. Martin), to Polirom in Romania, at auction; to Muza in Poland, at auction; and to Host in Czech, by Milena Kaplarevic at Prava I Prevodi; to Crononauta in Spain, and to Oceano in Latin America and Spanish US market, at auction, by Maru de Montserrat at International Editors’ in association with Katie Shea Boutillier.

Italian rights to New York Times Bestselling author Jim Butcher’s and Evil Hat LLC’s Dresden Files RPG Accelerated to Nicola Urbinati at Dreamlord Press by Jennifer Jackson.