I've been wanting to do this one for a while. It's another milestone in a year full of them (both good and bad--this one, needless to say, is goooood): after years of being unable to read as well as write fiction, both logjams finally broke. I can write again! I can read again!
First, because it's Allll About MEEEEE, and also because it keeps the horses fed, here's what's going on on the writing front:
I have a Kickstarter
, as many of you probably know. It's contemporary fantasy, it has horses and magic, and it's set in Tucson. It's about two-thirds of the way toward funding, and I would love to see it go to the three-novella level at least. That's triple the bang for whatever buck a backer contributes.
There's also a new book in print--it came out as an ebook after its own Kickstarter two years ago, and now it's a book you can hold in your hand. Just in time for Giftmas. It's called Living in Threes,
it's YA with Egypt and history and science fiction and time travel, and it's up at Barnes&Noble
, and you should be able to order it from your favorite bookstore as well.
There's a selection of my other ebook titles up at Book View Cafe
, mostly historicals and historical fantasy, including a collection of horse stories (including one that's all new), Nine White Horses.
BVC is pure indie, and I get a 95% share of the proceeds, so that's a great way to support the (relatively) local small business. There are a whole bunch of different authors, genres, and styles in the co-op, and they're all worth checking out.
Aaaaannnd, with that, I'll segue to What I've Been Reading Lately.
If you don't know marthawells
' work, you're in for a serious treat. She's been writing unusual, dense and chewy but highly readable and beautifully worldbuilt speculative fiction for quite some time now, but I just finally got to her stories of the Raksura, beginning with The Cloud Roads
. It bends genre (and sometimes gender) with grand glee. Is it fantasy? Is it science fiction? Does it walk on the ground or does it shapeshift and fly? There's nothing else quite like it out there, and the characters are wonderful. I'm just sorry I've burned through all three novels and the collection of shorter works--but a second collection is forthcoming, so I get to go back to the Three Worlds at least one more time. (Floating islands. Flying ships. Hundreds of totally different and totally distinctive races of sentients. And Raksura! Shapeshifting flying magical people with dominant females and serious attitude!)
I'm heading into her series for younger readers next, with the first one, Emilie and the Hollow World
, waiting right now for me to finish the day's work and curl up with it.
Also on the radar, and the highly-recommended list: Ann Leckie's two (so far) space operas, the first of which, Ancillary Justice
, has swept every award in the genre--and it's that rare book which actually, for me, lives up to its hype. I've read the second volume and eagerly await the third. (There'd better be a third.) This is space opera to end all space operas, and genderbending that can warp your brain in the very best way. "She was male, that was easy, but the others..."
And in a completely different vein, dark but lovely, is Jaime Lee Moyer's paranormal mystery series. It starts with Delia's Shadow,
which I read last year. I read A Barricade in Hell
just a few weeks ago. Strong characters, gripping action, and a lovely historical setting: San Francisco in the World War I era. It's a little like Downton Abbey, with murders. And ghosts. Jaime is stillnotbored
on lj, and we're all in luck: she just today posted the cover for the third in the series.
Different yet again, and back to science fiction, this time YA and dystopia, is Sherwood Smith and Rachel Manija Brown's Stranger
. This book had a rocky route to publication. Its multiple viewpoints, its genderbending, and its gay characters ruffled a few editorial and agential feathers. A good bit of this book and its two sequels (the first of which is coming out realsoonnow) was written at Camp Lipizzan, so I'm quite proud of it. I also love it as a reader--the characters are great, the world is complex and weirdly dangerous (those crystal trees, ye gods), and each volume ups the ante on the last one. This is another lj family party: Sherwood is sartorias
, and Rachel is rachelmanija
The last thing I'll burble about is a reread from a long time ago--Melanie Rawn's Dragon Prince
trilogy. I'm doing this in public over at Tor.com,
where rereads are a way of life. We've wrapped up volume I and have started volume II. I started this to raise awareness that women write epic fantasy and have been for a long time, and also to revisit an old favorite. It has dragons. And sexy princes. And villains who chew the scenery with verve and elan. What's not to love?
In the future-delights department, I've backed a Kickstarter
that ends tomorrow, so there's still a little time to get in on the action. My dear friend and kickass writer C.E. Murphy, aka mizkit
, is writing a novel about Rosie the Redeemer--formerly the Riveter. Set in 1945. The boys are coming from World War II, and bringing the monsters with them. I really want to read this one.
And finally, I'm a Patreon backer for a writer I've come to know recently on twitter. She's a lovely person and her writing is really, really good. Her name is Joyce Chng
, she lives in Singapore (we usually meet as I'm getting up in the morning and she's heading to bed), and she's currently putting up installments of Dragon Physician
for patrons. Well worth taking a look, and checking out her other work as well.
There's more in the TBR pile. Lots more. I'm like Cookie Monster in the Keebler factory. Want to eat ALL THE THINGS.