New Website!

Well, so, it’s been quiet over here, except a couple of weeks ago folks may have noticed some phantom “new post” tweets and Tumblr posts, which linked back either to a page that couldn’t be found, or some placeholder Lorem Ipsum sort of text. That was because the inestimable Jeremiah Tolbert, of the fabulous Clockpunk Studios, was redoing my website, and I forgot to warn him about my crossposter plugin, which, it turns out, is different from whatever any of his other clients use. So, sorry about that! But now the new site is live and beautiful!

I’ve been doing Stuff, most of it wonderful. I had lovely visits to Left Bank Books, and to the University City Public Library. Just the other evening I was out at the Washington, MO Public Library, thanks to local bookstore Neighborhood Reads. I had a great time, and met lots of lovely people!

Oh, and I taught a week of Clarion West! It was a great week, and I had a lovely time. I’m looking forward to you all being able to read the work of the wonderful writers I worked with there.

I’ve also been learning (kind of) how to draw and paint. For folks who are inexplicably interested in seeing my messy daily sketches, I’ve started a sideblog over on Tumblr where I post photos of my practice. HEADS UP: I’m taking a figure-drawing class (and also practicing at home using Youtube videos of people posing for figure-drawing practice, did you know there were videos for that?) so there are a fair number of pictures of naked people.

If you missed it, the anthology The Mythic Dream (edited by Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe) came out recently, with stories by lots of wonderful people, and even a story by me!

And speaking of short stories. This coming summer The Book of Dragons comes out from Harper Voyager. It’s edited by Jonathan Strahan, and contains lots of stories and some poetry–about dragons! One of those stories is by me and Rachel Swirsky. I can’t wait for you all to be able to read it.

I’ve also been reading some books–I’ll give details in another blog post, hopefully soon, because I’m behind in recommending things I really liked. I will say, though, that it’s entirely possible that I’ve read the Murderbot novel already, even though it doesn’t come out till next year, and more than possible that it’s just as fun as you hope it is.

Where I’ll be next week (and a bit beyond)

I haven’t been updating much, even by my own standards, sorry!

Anyway, The Raven Tower is coming out in paperback, and if you’re in St Louis or St Charles next week, you can come see me! I’ll be at

Left Bank Books, Tuesday October 1 at 7pm
399 N. Euclid Ave.
Saint Louis, MO 63108

and

St Charles City-County Library, Kisker Road Branch, Wednesday October 2 at 7pm
1000 Kisker Rd
St Charles, MO 63304

If you’re near either of those places on those dates, stop in and say hi!

And if you miss me, I’ll also be at the University City Library on Monday, October 28 at 7pm.

I hope to see you there!

Some Books I’ve Read

For various reasons, which I won’t go into here, I haven’t been blogging much, or tweeting much, or tumbling much. Sorry! I have been doing things, though. I’ve read some books! And I recommend these particular ones to your attention.

Finder by Suzanne Palmer

Fergus Ferguson has been called a lot of names: thief, con artist, repo man. He prefers the term finder.

His latest job should be simple. Find the spacecraft Venetia’s Sword and steal it back from Arum Gilger, ex-nobleman turned power-hungry trade boss. He’ll slip in, decode the ship’s compromised AI security, and get out of town, Sword in hand.

Fergus locates both Gilger and the ship in the farthest corner of human-inhabited space, a backwater deep space colony called Cernee. But Fergus’ arrival at the colony is anything but simple. A cable car explosion launches Cernee into civil war, and Fergus must ally with Gilger’s enemies to navigate a field of space mines and a small army of hostile mercenaries. What was supposed to be a routine job evolves into negotiating a power struggle between factions. Even worse, Fergus has become increasingly—and inconveniently—invested in the lives of the locals.

It doesn’t help that a dangerous alien species Fergus thought mythical prove unsettlingly real, and their ominous triangle ships keep following him around.

Foolhardy. Eccentric. Reckless. Whatever he’s called, Fergus will need all the help he can get to take back the Sword and maybe save Cernee from destruction in the process.

This book is some good old-school adventure fun–lots of fights and explosions and suspense. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I gather it’s the first of a trilogy, so there’s more to look forward to!

The Border Keeper by Kerstin Hall

She lived where the railway tracks met the saltpan, on the Ahri side of the shadowline. In the old days, when people still talked about her, she was known as the end-of-the-line woman.

In The Border Keeper, debut author Kerstin Hall unfolds a lyrical underworld narrative about loss and renewal.

Vasethe, a man with a troubled past, comes to seek a favor from a woman who is not what she seems, and must enter the nine hundred and ninety-nine realms of Mkalis, the world of spirits, where gods and demons wage endless war.

The Border Keeper spins wonders both epic—the Byzantine bureaucracy of hundreds of demon realms, impossible oceans, hidden fortresses—and devastatingly personal—a spear flung straight, the profound terror and power of motherhood. What Vasethe discovers in Mkalis threatens to bring his own secrets into light and throw both worlds into chaos.

This is lovely! In fact, I blurbed it. I said it was “”Beautifully and vividly imagined. Eerie, lovely, and surreal.”

Terminal Uprising by Jim Hines

Human civilization didn’t just fall. It was pushed.

The Krakau came to Earth in the year 2104. By 2105, humanity had been reduced to shambling, feral monsters. In the Krakau’s defense, it was an accident, and a century later, they did come back and try to fix us. Sort of.

It’s been four months since Marion “Mops” Adamopoulos learned the truth of that accident. Four months since she and her team of hygiene and sanitation specialists stole the EMCS Pufferfish and stopped a bioterrorism attack against the Krakau homeworld. Four months since she set out to find proof of what really happened on Earth all those years ago.

Between trying to protect their secrets and fighting the xenocidal Prodryans, who’ve been escalating their war against everyone who isn’t Prodryan, the Krakau have their tentacles full.

Mops’ mission changes when she learns of a secret Krakau laboratory on Earth. A small group under command of Fleet Admiral Belle-Bonne Sage is working to create a new weapon, one that could bring victory over the Prodryans … or drown the galaxy in chaos.

To discover the truth, Mops and her rogue cleaning crew will have to do the one thing she fears most: return to Earth, a world overrun by feral apes, wild dogs, savage humans, and worse. (After all, the planet hasn’t been cleaned in a century and a half!) What Mops finds in the filthy ruins of humanity could change everything, assuming she survives long enough to share it.

Perhaps humanity isn’t as dead as the galaxy thought.

This is the second book of Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse, and you want to start with Book 1, which is Terminal Alliance. Both books are great fun, and I’m looking forward to Book 3.

The True Queen by Zen Cho

When sisters Muna and Sakti wake up on the peaceful beach of the island of Janda Baik, they can’t remember anything, except that they are bound as only sisters can be. They have been cursed by an unknown enchanter, and slowly Sakti starts to fade away. The only hope of saving her is to go to distant Britain, where the Sorceress Royal has established an academy to train women in magic.

If Muna is to save her sister, she must learn to navigate high society, and trick the English magicians into believing she is a magical prodigy. As she’s drawn into their intrigues, she must uncover the secrets of her past, and journey into a world with more magic than she had ever dreamed.

This is a delightful follow-up to the equally delightful Sorcerer to the Crown. I highly, highly recommend both.

Her Silhouette, Drawn in Water by Vylar Kaftan

All Bee has ever known is darkness.

She doesn’t remember the crime she committed that landed her in the cold, twisting caverns of the prison planet Colel-Cab with only fellow prisoner Chela for company. Chela says that they’re telepaths and mass-murderers; that they belong here, too dangerous to ever be free. Bee has no reason to doubt her—until she hears the voice of another telepath, one who has answers, and can open her eyes to an entirely different truth.

I loved this novella. Vy’s written a lot of great short fiction, and if you’re not familiar with her work this would be a good time to remedy that.

Steerswoman by Rosemary Kirstein

If you ask, she must answer. A steerswoman’s knowledge is shared with any who request it; no steerswoman may refuse a question, and no steerswoman may answer with anything but the truth.

And if she asks, you must answer. It is the other side of tradition’s contract — and if you refuse the question, or lie, no steerswoman will ever again answer even your most casual question.

And so, the steerswomen — always seeking, always investigating — have gathered more and more knowledge about the world they traveled, and they share that knowledge freely.

Until the day that the steerswoman Rowan begins asking innocent questions about one small, lovely, inexplicable object…

Her discoveries grow stranger and deeper, and more dangerous, until suddenly she finds she must flee or fight for her life. Or worse — lie.

Because one kind of knowledge has always been denied to the steerswomen:

Magic.

Actually I didn’t just read The Steerswoman, I read all four books (currently) in the series. These were first published starting in the late eighties, but Kirstein has recovered the rights and reissued them. In the back of the last one it said she was working on book 5, which I hope is the case? I enjoyed these a lot.

Raven Tower Giveaways!

The Raven Tower is out next week!

And Orbit is running some cool giveaways! Copies of The Raven Tower, and some cool swag!

There’s an Orbit Loot giveaway here, that runs until the 28th, and a Goodreads giveaway that runs till the 25th! And keep an eye on Orbit’s Instagram for another chance to win!

In the meantime, if you haven’t already, check out this excerpt, and this sample from the audiobook read by the always awesome Adjoa Andoh!

And if you’re into the fanworks thing, check out the various days in this Raven Tower release event! I’m looking forward to seeing what cool stuff the participants come up with! My readers are awesome.

The Raven Tower Tour–Not

So, one of the things I’ve really been looking forward to is touring for the release of The Raven Tower. I love to visit the bookstores and meet the people who keep us all in great books to read, and I love getting to meet my readers, who in my experience so far are a delightful bunch of folks.

Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, I can’t do that this time. I was all set to, dates were finalized and announced, we were ready to go, but…some things have happened that make it impossible for me right now.

I’m not going to go into specifics, but so no one is unduly concerned–no one has died, no one is dying. I and my family are safe and sound.

I can’t tell you how unhappy I was when I realized I had to cancel my appearances. I will miss meeting you all so much. But there was just no way to make it work.

In the meantime, I can’t wait for you all to be able to read The Raven Tower, and I do hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Raven Tower Giveaway (US and UK only)

Wanna win this stuff? (The stuff in the picture is a black tote bag with a white silhouette of a raven and the words “There Will Be A Reckoning” on it, a Raven Tower bookmark, a lapel pin, and a copy of the book itself.)

If you’re in the US or the UK you can enter a giveaway to win this loot! Here’s the US link and here’s where you go if you’re in the UK.

I just got a big box of finished copies, and boy are they beautiful! I can’t wait for you all to read it.

Also, I will be touring, not all the dates are finalized, but as soon as I know my schedule I’ll post it here.

Coming Soon: The Raven Tower

I’ve been quiet lately, not just here, but my other social media hangouts. Sorry about that! Things are a bit chaotic at Casa Leckie just now.

But! My novel The Raven Tower will be out February 26! In fact, if you’re in St Louis you’ll be able to find me at Left Bank Books! It’s part of their SF STL series, which honestly you should be checking out, if you’re in the area and into SFF. In February alone they’ll be having the fabulous Charlie Jane Anders, and Jasper Fforde!

Anyway. The Raven Tower! Advance copies have been going around, and there have been some very flattering reviews.

And as if all that isn’t exciting enough, the audiobook is narrated by the amazing Adjoa Andoh. And you can hear a sample of the first five minutes right here. She’s a wonderful reader and I can’t tell you how happy I was to hear she’d agreed to do The Raven Tower.

Anyway, there you go. It’s getting to be Book Countdown time. I seriously can’t wait for you all to be able to read this, and I hope you enjoy it.

Giveaway–Advance Reading Copies of THE RAVEN TOWER

So, my next book comes out at the end of February. But I have a box of advance reading copies, and I am in the mood to give presents. So!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Beginning today, December 4, until December 11, I’m raffling off three copies of The Raven Tower! It works like this: click the link above, and provide your email address and answer the question. (It’s a very simple question.) When the raffle closes I’ll randomly choose three winners. If you win, you’ll need to provide me with a snail mail address so I can send you the book. I’ll send books anywhere the USPS lets me. Good luck!

(I will not keep any of your information, or give it to anyone else. One entry per person, please.)

Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate

So, there’s this band. They’re called Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate. They’re a London rock band, and they’ve got science fictiony sensibilities–like, check out their 2016 album When The Kill Code Fails.

So, their newest release is Out of Mind, and one of the tracks is called “When I Was A Ship” and yes, they do mean that ship.

This song was inspired by Ann Leckie’s Ancillary series. The main character had once been a warship, whose artificial mind had been distributed within the ship, and also within many ancillaries – prisoners who have had their minds wiped. The ship itself and all of the other ancillaries was destroyed, leaving just one fragment of the mind left in one body.

So, like, that’s a thing that happened.

You can hear “When I Was A Ship” on Spotify. You can also purchase it at Bandcamp, along with When The Kill Code Fails and their other albums. I’ve been listening to WtKCF for the past few days and really enjoying it.