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Next Legacy book?

A reader asks, "When is the next Legacy book coming out? I can't believe you left us on another cliff hanger!"

The next Legacy book, tentatively titled The Third Path, will be by me and Melissa. We've turned in our full outline to MGM, so we're waiting for approval on the outline to get started. Once we get that, it will take us about six months to write the book. So I would guess it will be the end of the spring/beginning of the summer next year. I'm hoping they'll like the outline. I think it's really exciting and fun!


Just Plain Fun

Numinous World
And then there are the books that are just plain fun! This year's Lambda Literary Award winner in LGBT science fiction/fantasy is one of those. Death By Silver is a glorious romp through a Victorian London that isn't quite our own, where magic (or metaphysics, as they call it) is a respectable profession and young men up from school sometimes have to take on unpleasant clients to make ends meet. When Ned Mathey takes on a commission for the father of an old school bully, and his client suddenly winds up dead of a magical curse, Ned has to call upon the assistance of Julian Lynes, private detective and schoolboy crush. The results are (dare I say it?) magical!

If you enjoy steampunk, urban fantasy with a twist, or slightly traumatized repressed young men, Melissa Scott and Amy Griswold have delivered a very, very enjoyable fantasy novel in Death By Silver.

Right now, as part of the We're Not at Worldcon sale, it's 60% off! It's almost like being in London!

It'll never happen

Lost Things
In the future, women will wear trousers and men will walk around with telephones on their belts....

A New Vision

Numinous World
Sometimes a book comes along that could have been written for you. An adult female protagonist who is mother and lover as well as engineer and freedom fighter, a fascinating world and strong supporting characters -- and did I mention the main character is bi? If Geonn Cannon had set out to punch my buttons, Railroad Spine would be the book.

Dice is exactly the protagonist I've been waiting for and his worldbuilding is beautiful. This isn't cookie cutter steampunk. This isn't your average "rebelling against evil overlords". His characters take it way beyond this into a thoughtful exploration of freedom, hope, and the compelling journey of a mother who will not give up on her lost child.

Analog's review says it perfectly, "While this story wears the trappings of steampunk, it's no mere adventure tale ... there's a lot more going on under the surface: questions of freedom and rebellion and a fundamental belief in the power of knowledge. The story is well told and the characters are compelling. Join Dice Bodger on her journey of discovery; you won't regret it."

Right now, as part of the We're Not at Worldcon sale it's $1.99 on Amazon. Give it a try. I guarantee Geonn Cannon is someone you'll be hearing a lot more about in the years to come!

I love this.

A summary of Unascended by silverbullet27! Yes, this about sums it up! :D


An Old Favorite

Numinous World
In the spring of 1989 I read an extraordinary book. I was in my junior year of college, and I expect I read a great many books that semester, but this is the one that sticks with me. It was called The Armor of Light by Melissa Scott and Lisa A. Barnett.

At first glance it looked like alternate history fantasy, a fun book about a magical plot to kill Queen Elizabeth the First and the efforts of Sir Philip Sidney and Christopher Marlowe to thwart it. Cool. I'd had Sidney the semester before in literature, and Dr. Faustus and I were old friends. It sounded sparkly, so I bought it.

And then I discovered it was something extraordinary. First, it had a gay hero. Marlowe was gay, a thing never mentioned by my high school English teacher and only in the most passing and shameful terms by the big survey of British literature book for my college class. But Marlowe, in the context of his own time, glowed like a cabochon ruby -- translucent and opaque at once, beautiful and strange and familiar all at once, a denizen of that night world I was only beginning to explore in my own life. Like a Mary Renault character, he didn't belong to our world. Instead, he ruled in his.

But that wasn't the only extraordinary thing about the book. Like Katherine Kurtz's Deryni books, it contained an explicitly Christian system of magic. Sir Philip Sidney, magician, is a Christian warrior who sees no conflict in serving his Queen both with sword and wand. One is no less "good" than the other, though magic is still grossly misunderstood and it is incredibly dangerous to be caught at because The Armor of Light isn't an alternate world. It's a secret history of a world in which Sidney didn't die young, and from that progresses all the changes in events.

That's the third thing -- from one action, from one person having a few more years, comes extraordinary changes because Sidney uses those years to do good. It makes one consider what our world might be if such a small thing were altered.

Three things -- three things done well that made me think, that I found profoundly moving. I read the book twice, put it down and said, "I want to do that. I want to write like that." Unlike the sublime glories of Renault or Tolkien, this seemed attainable. I could write like these women -- not right now, but maybe someday. If I worked hard. If I wrote every day, if I tried to look at the world transformatively every day of my life, if I explored the Night World fearlessly and dreaded no hidden knowledge, but walked forward knowing that I wore the armor of light indeed.

I didn't dare imagine that someday I would write a book with Melissa Scott. Not a book. Eight books and counting. But I have. And this is where it began, where I wanted to, the point where I said, "I can do that."

Right now, as part of the We're Not at Worldcon sale, The Armor of Light ebook is on sale for $.99! There's no better time for me to share this book with you.

The Great We're Not At Worldcon Sale!

Emperor's Agent
I'm not at Worldcon in London! Neither are some of my favorite authors. So we decided to have a sale just because.

Today through Sunday the ebook of The Emperor's Agent is on sale for $.99 through my publisher! If you've been wondering if you'd like my non-Stargate books, or if you've been reading the Order of the Air but haven't dipped your toe into my other historical fantasies, now is the time to give it a try. At $.99 how can you lose?

Courtesan, actress, medium -- spy.

1805: Europe stands poised on the brink of war.

Elza is content with her life in the demi-monde, an actress and courtesan in the glittering society of France's First Empire, but when her former lover is arrested for treason, Elza is blackmailed into informing on her friends and associates. She has one alternative -- to become the secret agent of the most feared man in Europe, Napoleon Bonaparte!

France's invasion of England is imminent, but a spy in the camp of the Grand Army threatens the secret plans. Taking the Emperor's commission to catch the spy means playing the deadly game of spy versus counterspy. However, this is no ordinary espionage, but backed by the power of the witches of England determined to hold England's sea wards against invasion. Only an agent who is herself a medium can hope to unravel their magic in time -- with the life of the man Elza loves hanging in the balance.

From the theaters of Paris to the sea cliffs that guard the Channel, from ballrooms and bedrooms to battlefields corporeal and astral, Elza must rely on her wits, her courage, her beauty, and her growing talents as a medium for she must triumph -- or die!

Here are all the other great books on sale this weekend, including works by Robert Slater, Melissa Scott and Lisa A. Barnett, Don Sakers, Amy Griswold, Geonn Cannon, Steven H. Wilson and Blair McGregor. Each day of Worldcon I'll be focusing on a different book that's on sale, as this list has some favorites of mine.

So give Elza a try! If you like the Lodge magic in the Order of the Air, you'll be fascinated by this Lodge a century earlier.

Why the Great Depression?

Steel Blues
A reader asks, "I'm curious as to why you chose to set the Order of the Air books in the Great Depression. There aren't many books that are."

Oh good question! There are several reasons this setting appeals to me. (Melissa will have to answer for herself.) First of all, the atmosphere of the Great Depression is very much like today -- a time of rising tensions, economic instability, and social unrest following major changes in the way ordinary people live. It's a horrible time, frankly. Every newspaper, radio and newsreel is blaring hate or news of the terrible things people are doing to one another, with leaders to Left and Right shouting hard-line sound bites about no compromise. Meanwhile, people are starving. Millions are unemployed or faced with debts they will never be able to repay while their children go without doctors and face no better prospect tomorrow. Meanwhile, the wealthy elites enjoyed an ever increasing range of expensive consumer goods, shopped for colleges to produce the new elite -- the College Man -- and lay down in droves for the newest status symbol, psychoanalysis.

And yet we survived it. The world survived the thirties and the decade that came after, and the world that was built was better for it. And some, though not all, of the individual survived it. People survived purges Left and Right, ethnic and racial violence on a scale never before seen, not to mention the displacement of millions, and ongoing poverty and coming wars. People survived by working together, by taking care of each other, by giving what they could and by trying to do right. And some survived by becoming predators.

I wanted to write about these choices. I wanted to write about people facing the kind of challenges we do today and that we will face in the coming decade and explore how good people can get through them by making good choices. I wanted to talk about how to be a hero here and now, how to save the world when you don't have magic swords or Ancient superweapons. I wanted to talk about how people heal from heartbreaking things and go on, a little broken, but stronger where the breaks have healed. That's Mitch and Stasi, Alma and Lewis, Jerry and Iskinder. And it's us.

A Book Meme

Numinous World
A book meme, borrowed from selenak.

Give me a letter and I will hold forth on one of the following topics:

A. Author You’ve Read The Most Books From
B. Best Sequel Ever
C. Currently Reading
D. Drink of Choice While Reading
E. E-Reader or Physical Books
F. Fictional Character You Would Have Dated In High School
G. Glad You Gave This Book A Chance
H. Hidden Gem Book
I. Important Moments of Your Reading Life
J. Just Finished
K. Kinds of Books You Won’t Read
L. Longest Book You’ve Read
M. Major Book Hangover Because Of
N. Number of Bookcases You Own
O. One Book That You Have Read Multiple Times
P. Preferred Place to Read
Q. Quote From A Book That Inspires You/Gives You Feelings
R. Reading Regret
S. Series You Started and Need to Finish
T. Three Of Your All-Time Favorite Books
U. Unapologetic Fangirl For
W. Worst Bookish Habit
V. Very Excited For This Release More Than Any Other
X. Marks The Spot (Start On Your Bookshelf And Count to the 27th Book)
Y. Your Latest Book Purchase
Z. ZZZ-Snatcher (last book that kept you up WAY late)

Wind Raker -- World Enough and Time

Lost Things
The other day I was talking with a reader about Gull and Neas' 20th century incarnations appearing in Wind Raker, so I thought I'd share just a little bit for her. This is a Mitch point of view section about halfway through, after a shared working with a lodge in Hawaii. I would so love to hear what you think!

World Enough and TimeCollapse )