Very Quick Review: MADE THINGS by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Tor.com)

Tchaikovsky-MadeThingsAn interesting new fantasy novella from one of the most versatile, talent (and consistent) authors writing today

Making friends has never been so important.

Welcome to Fountains Parish — a cesspit of trade and crime, where ambition curls up to die and desperation grows on its cobbled streets like mold on week-old bread.

Coppelia is a street thief, a trickster, a low-level con artist. But she has something other thieves don’t… tiny puppet-like companions: some made of wood, some of metal. They don’t entirely trust her, and she doesn’t entirely understand them, but their partnership mostly works.

After a surprising discovery shakes their world to the core, Coppelia and her friends must re-examine everything they thought they knew about their world, while attempting to save their city from a seemingly impossible new threat.

I’m always eager to read any new novella (or full-length novel) by Adrian Tchaikovsky. Long-time readers of CR will know how much I enjoy his work, and that I’ve enjoyed everything of his that I’ve read. Made Things is no exception: this is an engaging, imaginative story in a new fantasy setting. Continue reading

Upcoming: UPRIGHT WOMEN WANTED by Sarah Gailey (Tor.com)

GaileyS-UprightWomenWantedI enjoyed Sarah Gailey‘s American Hippo novellas — a fun, interesting and imaginative take on the alternate history western genre. (If you haven’t tried them, yet, I’d highly recommend giving them a try.) Next February, the author returns with Upright Women Wanted, another pulpy western:

“That girl’s got more wrong notions than a barn owl’s got mean looks.”

Esther is a stowaway. She’s hidden herself away in the Librarian’s book wagon in an attempt to escape the marriage her father has arranged for her—a marriage to the man who was previously engaged to her best friend. Her best friend who she was in love with. Her best friend who was just executed for possession of resistance propaganda.

The future American Southwest is full of bandits, fascists, and queer librarian spies on horseback trying to do the right thing.

Upright Women Wanted is due to be published by Tor.com in North America and in the UK, on February 4th, 2020. Gailey’s latest novel, Magic For Liars, is also out now.

Also on CR: Interview with Sarah Gailey (2017); Review of River of Teeth

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Upcoming: PROSPER’S DEMON by K.J. Parker (Tor.com)

ParkerKJ-ProspersDemonJust a quite post to draw your attention to this, the latest novella by master of the form K.J. ParkerProsper’s Demon is out in late January 2020, and is easily one of my most-anticipated books of next year. Here’s the synopsis:

In a botched demonic extraction, they say the demon feels it ten times worse than the man. But they don’t die, and we do. Equilibrium.

The unnamed and morally questionable narrator is an exorcist with great follow-through and few doubts. His methods aren’t delicate but they’re undeniably effective: he’ll get the demon out — he just doesn’t particularly care what happens to the person.

Prosper of Schanz is a man of science, determined to raise the world’s first philosopher-king, reared according to the purest principles. Too bad he’s demonically possessed.

Parker’s novellas are among some of my favourite reads of the past few years. The Devil You Know, in particular, cemented his place among the ranks of my favourite authors.

Prosper’s Demon is due to be published by Tor.com in North America and in the UK, on January 28th, 2020.

Also on CR: Reviews of The Devil You KnowThe Last Witness, and Downfall of the Gods

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads

Interview with FONDA LEE

LeeF-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Fonda Lee?

A novelist, martial artist, action movie aficionado, recovering corporate strategist, and Eggs Benedict enthusiast.

Your latest novel, Jade War, was recently published by Orbit – who have also announced the follow-up: Jade Legacy. They are the second and third novel in your Green Bone Saga series. How would you introduce the series to a new reader? And what can fans of the first novel expect from the middle and third books?

The Green Bone Saga is an epic urban fantasy Asia-inspired gangster family saga. I’ve referred to it as “The Godfather with magic and kung fu.” Fans of the first novel can expect the second book, Jade War, to be bigger in every way — not simply in terms of page count, but because the scope of the story broadens onto an international stage. Jade Legacy is going to take place over a longer period of time and gives the conflicts introduced in the earlier books intergenerational aspects and repercussions. Continue reading

Interview with MIKE SHACKLE

ShackleM-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Mike Shackle?

I’m a Brit who’s lived and worked all over the world but has settled in the wonderful city of Vancouver with my family. In my time, I’ve sold washing machines, cooked for the Queen, designed a few logos and made a lot of ads for some of the biggest brands in the world. But I’ve always been a dreamer and I’m happiest disappearing into made-up worlds, full of dark and interesting characters, whether that’s in my own writing or enjoying our people’s novels.

Your debut novel, We Are The Dead, is due to be published by Gollancz in August (one of my most-anticipated debuts of the year). How would you introduce it to a potential reader? Is it part of a series?

We Are the Dead is the first book in the Last War trilogy. As per the blurb, it’s a story full of crunching revolutionary action, twisted magic, and hard choices in dark times. It’s about what happens when the bad guy wins and there are no heroes left to come and save the day. It’s a tale about a coward, a teenage psychopath, a single mother and a crippled soldier forced to stand up and fight when it matters most. It’s grim and it’s dark but, at its heart, it’s a story about families and hope. Continue reading

Interview with BREANNA TEINTZE

TeintzeB-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Breanna Teintze?

I’m a mom, a nurse, and I once set myself on fire cooking peas (it’s okay, I put it out, I was fine). I write books about the sort of people who have also probably set themselves on fire cooking peas.

Your debut novel, Lord of Secrets, will be published by Jo Fletcher Books in July. It looks really interesting: How would you introduce it to a potential reader? Is it part of a series?

When I was writing Lord of Secrets I described it as my “puzzles and explosions” book. If you like fast action, creepy temples, snarky humor, and magic people grappling with family difficulties, you’ll like this book. Also: skeletons.

It’s the first book in a series called The Empty Gods. I’m working on edits for book two in the series at the moment, which could be described as Relationship Goals But Also There’s Mummies. Continue reading

Interview with ALEXANDER DAN VILHJÁLMSSON

VilhjalmssonAD-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Alexander Dan Vilhjálmsson?

I am an Icelandic fantasy author, who currently lives in Reykjavík. I write in both Icelandic and English and translate my own work (by necessity).

Your next novel, Shadows of the Short Days, is due to be published by Gollancz in July. It looks really interesting: How would you introduce it to a potential reader? Is it part of a series?

Shadows of the Short Days is set in a fantastical, alternate version of Iceland called Hrímland. The story follows two outcasts, Sæmundur and Garún. Garún is a revolutionary activist slash visual artist, who uses psychoactive, sorcerous graffiti to alter the world. She is fighting for a better society for herself and others who are oppressed by the colonial rules of Hrímland, the Kalmar Commonwealth. Sæmundur is a drug-addicted, outcast galdramaður, a magician who will do anything to reach full mastery and understanding of the extremely dangerous type of magic he practices. Both of them will sacrifice anything to reach their goals, pay any price. Continue reading