Archive by Author

Guest Post: Tremontaine’s Karen A. R. Lord shares her Philosophy of the Sword

18 Oct

This blog post originally appeared at Serial Box, where you can find serialized fiction released in episodes week after week. Karen Lord is one of the writers on Tremontaine season 3.

Tremontaine is the critically acclaimed prequel to Ellen Kushner’s beloved Riverside novels, which developed a cult following beginning with Swordspoint in 1987. The “Fantasy of Manners” focuses on decadent world building and interpersonal intrigue, and has been noted for its progressive expression of gender and sexuality. Team-written by some of today’s most exciting authors, Tremontaine season 3 is brought to you by Ellen Kushner, Joel Derfner, Karen Lord, Delia Sherman, Racheline Maltese, Paul Witcover, Tessa Gratton, and Liz Duffy Adams. The first episode is available for free at Serial Box and can be found here.

Being a writer is like being a director with a crowd of characters demanding ‘So, what’s my motivation?’ Like real-life actors, they don’t always listen when you tell them your plans, which is why flexible plots and rewrites are a part of my process.

It’s a process that works when I’m writing a book by myself, but a joint writing project like Tremontaine is a different beast. The world belongs to Ellen Kushner, the characters belong to Ellen and the full team of Tremontaine writers, and being on the same page is not a mere metaphor, but an absolute necessity. The Tremontaine writers are passionate about the world and the characters, and it’s been an exciting experience to work with them. Continue reading


Book Review: At the Table of Wolves by Kay Kenyon

11 Oct

Spies and Espionage are a genre of novels that is irresistible to science fiction and fantasy writers who want to mix some peanut butter in their chocolate. Cloak and Dagger, hidden agendas, betrayals, allegiances, loyalty and the glamour and seduction of the spy’s life. James Bond and his competitors, clones and remakes are just a fraction of what can be tapped, especially once someone adds science fiction and fantasy to the mix.

At the Table of Wolves by Kay Kenyon is the newest in that tradition, combining 1930s British espionage with superpowers. In the world of Kenyon’s novel, superpowers, here called Talents, started appearing after the devastation of World War I. How and why precisely this Bloom occurred is not explained in detail. It’s taken as a fact, and the repercussions of that event are playing out, more than a decade later. Intelligence agencies, governments, and just plain ordinary people are dealing with the fact that some people can now show feats of precognition, or reading objects, or seeing crimes, or, perhaps, having the preternatural ability to get people, without their volition, to spill things they would never dreaming of confessing. And it is that last talent that brings us to the heroine of the novel. Continue reading

Behind the Scenes of the Clan Chronicles Take 3: The Science by Julie Czerneda (Guest Post)

5 Oct


On a previous stop on my tour, I began answering readers’ questions about the series’ content. On another, about my writerly process. Last, and far from least, comes the group about the science beneath my work. For those unfamiliar, my background and passion is biology, plus space science, occasional physics, geology, chemistry…it’s all so FUN, there isn’t time in a life. A very good thing, therefore, that I write SF. Continue reading

Book Review: The Tiger’s Daughter by K Arsenault Rivera

4 Oct

The relationship, told in letters and looking backward from the present, of two extraordinary women and their evolving relationship is the heart of The Tiger’s Daughter, the debut novel by K Arsenault Rivera. Far from the Great Wall of Europe, The Tiger’s Daughter uses models of medieval China and the steppe cultures beyond it as its social model, political models, and its fantastic and mythological elements as well.

Shefali is a member of the Qorin, a warrior people of the steppe who have been powerful enough at times to severely threaten the more settled Hokkarans and their Empire. Inside that Empire, Shizuka is the niece of the Emperor, and so the putative Heir to that Empire. Brought together at a young age, their fateful meeting sets them both on courses that will part, intersect, and ultimately change both the steppe and the Empire in ways neither of them can predict, or even intend. Continue reading

Book Review: Horizon by Fran Wilde

27 Sep

The Compton Crook award-winning, Nebula-nominated Updraft by Fran Wilde landed her acclaim, accolades and a very fine YA novel to start the novel portion of her writing career. Focusing on a New Weird world above the cloud of flyers, skymouths and towers of bone, Updraft was one of the most memorable books I read in 2015. Cloudbound, which came out in 2016, took the world of the Bone Towers and its characters in new and intriguing directions. Somewhere in there, the series got a reboot of covers, too.

Now, with Horizon, Fran Wilde completes the trilogy. After the revelations of Cloudbound, and the instability that the Bone Tower society has undergone after the events of Updraft, Horizon brings us to the ground, literally and figuratively, in this concluding volume. Continue reading

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