Category: free stuff

Awards eligibility and recs post

- 0 comments

Awards eligibility and recs post

He, what would you know, it’s January again (aka, wow, where did all the time go, and arggggggg I am so late on things!). The main thing I published in 2015 was my novel (I know, kind of hard to miss :p), The House of Shattered Wings, aka magical intrigues, deadly creatures and elusive wonders in a decadent turn-of-the-century Paris ravaged by a magical war, which got starred reviews from Publishers’ Weekly and Library Journal. It’s eligible for the Hugos and Nebulas (and on the BSFA Award longlist).

I can’t provide a copy of the complete text, but I have put together a short sampler of the first three chapters: bits and pieces of this have appeared online, but this is the first time that you can actually read all of it (I think? The kindle sampler is shorter than this, ending mid-chapter two). You can download it here in EPUB, MOBI, or PDF (if you need DOC or RTF, drop me a line via the contact form, and I’ll be quite happy to provide a copy. I just am not a big fan of putting Word formats online–too easy to modify them by mistake…). ETA: if you’re a SFWA member, Roc will kindly provide you with print or digital reading copies, see here in the forums.

If you came here wanting whole stories (which I can understand!), I do have a Xuya short story online, “Three Cups of Grief, by Starlight”, which is at Clarkesworld (and is getting reprinted in Dozois’s Year’s Best). You can also download EPUB or MOBI.

And if anyone is interested and a Hugo or Nebula voter, contact me and I’d be quite happy to email you a copy of my novella “The Citadel of Weeping Pearls”, which appeared in Asimov’s Oct/Nov and is now a tad hard to find.

And now for the bulk of this, aka, the stuff that I read from 2015 and want to recommend. (this list is a slightly modified and expanded version of one I wrote for the Book Smugglers. I would urge you to go read it: these recs for 2015 are more up to date, but the Book Smugglers post also has my 2016 TBR pile, and it really looks awesome. I made a slight headstart on said TBR pile thanks to friends, and so far I haven’t been disappointed!).

Short stories
“Variations on an Apple”, Yoon Ha Lee (Tor.com, October). It’s no secret that I love Yoon Ha Lee’s stuff, and this clever retelling of the Trojan war is no exception. Tackles mathematics, desire, and the consequences of decisions that aren’t always wisely made. Also, Illium and Helen are both awesome in different ways.

“Milagroso”, Isabel Yap (Tor.com, August). In a future where food is grown in labs and always perfect, there is still room for the miracles of saints… By turns exuberant and heartbreaking, this is a story of what we take for granted, how we seek to protect our children, and the price we pay.

“The Star Maiden”, Rokshani Chokshi. Tala’s grandmother used to be a star maiden, annd tells her granddaughter stories of longing for the sky. But Tala grows up and starts questioning the veracity of the story–and becomes ashamed of her grandmother’s oddness. There’s nothing really surprising in this one, but it’s very very well done (as in I broke down and cried at the end), and encapsulates the heartache of growing up.

“The Monkey House”, Tade Thompson (Omenana, March). The narrator returns to work after a breakdown–and finds that everything is *almost* normal. I love the sense of creeping unease of this one, the feeling that everything looks almost quite right (and that 1% “not right” that is downright unsettling). I’m not usually much of a reader for horror or dark, but this is perfect.

“If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler”, by Xia Jia (Clarkesworld, Nov). I love Xia Jia’s stuff, and this short story about a poet and her legacy–and how people handle it in the age of the internet and social media–is lovely and sharp.

Continue reading →

Free stories: In Morningstar’s Shadow

- 2 comments

Free stories: In Morningstar’s Shadow

I originally made In Morningstar’s Shadow available as a reward for people who had preordered The House of Shattered Wings (and shifted quite a few copies, thanks to everyone who took advantage of that!).

Since the book has been out for a while (a month which feels like a lifetime, wow), I figured I would make it available for free, as a sampler of what you can get if you buy the novel.

You can either download files below, or go to most online retailers and get it for free. Please note that I’ve done my best to encourage Amazon to price-match, but I can’t promise that all the countries followed suit: it’s free for sure in the US and UK, or you can download the MOBI file directly below if you can’t find it for free in your part of the world.

Download Now: EPUB | MOBI.
Download from retailers:

Download now.

Or read online here.

(and if you’ve read the novel and want more short fiction set in the same universe, why not check out Of Books, and Earth, and Courtship, the adventure/courtship story featuring Emmanuelle and Selene?)

The House of Shattered Wings on BBC, and free ebook offer extension!

- 0 comments

So… many many thanks to everyone who’s signal boosting The House of Shattered Wings: it’s pretty amazing to see the book in people’s hands!

I wanted to give people a heads-up that I recorded for the BBC World Service: it’s a roundtable on magic chaired by Tim Marlow and featuring Scott Penrose (head of the Magic Circle in the UK), Kevin O’Regan (experimental psychologist) and me as the fantasy novelist :). You can listen to it here, or it’ll be broadcast tomorrow at 8:00 GMT in the UK.

Also, because it’s been amazing, and because I put it late, I’m extending the preorder offer for another two weeks: get back to me with a picture of the book/your ebook reader with the book on it/the audiobook before September 8th, 23:59 GMT +1, and you can get a FREE copy of In Morningstar’s Shadow, an exclusive ebook of short vignettes that illuminates corners of the world and characters of the novel. For more info on the ebook see here.
ETA: this is for either the US or UK edition.

The caveat is that this is basically run solely by me and that I’m running a bit ragged: I will do my best to get back to you as soon as I can–if I don’t, I beg for your patience.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Proof of purchase (photo or screen capture of receipt required, 2MB maximum)

captcha

(if you’re seeing this on LJ or DW, please go to the original post to send the form: the captcha isn’t working in crossposts).


Still undecided? You can sample a bit before making up your mind.
Read Chapter One!
Read excerpt from Chapter Three!
Read excerpt from Chapter Four!
Buy Now

Coming up this week: Worldcon, a roundup of stuff I’ve been doing on the web, and some bonus House of Shattered Wings art!

US release day for THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS

- 0 comments

So… I’m on a plane so I can’t really do much except fret (and write book 2!), but in the meantime, today is the release day for The House of Shattered Wings in the US, from Roc Books. So happy book day to everyone who was kind enough to preorder it or who’s going to pick up a copy soon–hope you enjoy!

(and if you send a picture of you with the book or ebook, you can have a special ebook to go with it!)

And in case you’re hesitating: here’s Niall Alexander at Tor.com:

There’s an intelligence—and, yes, an elegance—to The House of Shattered Wings that is as rare and precious as angel essence.

It’s a wonder, in a word, and I for one want more.

(and yes, there’s more coming! The book is the first of a duology tentatively titled “Dominion of the Fallen”)

Buy Now

Pre-order special offer!

- 0 comments

Pre-order special offer!

So… with apologies for the delay (I meant to do this earlier, and then I got a little, er, overwhelmed with stuff). I know this is a bit last minute, but still…

Pre-orders for books are a bit like release week for movies: they’re important for how a book performs and therefore pretty important for the author. On the other hand, I’m well aware of how much trust you put in me as a writer, when you order a book a long time before you actually get *anything* in your hands. Accordingly, I would like to offer a little incentive…

If you preordered or preorder The House of Shattered Wings in any form (ebook or physical), you’ll get a free, exclusive ebook: a series of vignettes set in the world of The House of Shattered Wings, hopefully to whet your appetite. They start during the Great Houses War in 1917, and go up to twenty years before the start of the book; a condensed prequel with a glimpse at characters beyond the scope of the book.

Here’s a little teaser of each section:

  1. The Face of Heaven (House Silverspires, Ile de la Cité 1917, during the Great Houses War)
    If one was dedicated, and silent, and watchful, one could learn to see angels again.
  2. Paid Debts (Houseless areas near Galeries Lafayette, 1925)
    Imadan wasn’t a fool, ordinarily. He knew the rules and the strictures of post-war Paris; he knew all the dangers that should be avoided.
  3. What has to be done (House Silverspires, Ile de la Cité, 1958)
    Emmanuelle woke up, still woozy with sleep; and then felt it.

(the actual ebook wouldn’t have come into fruition without Tade Thompson and Rhiannon Rasmussen-Silverstein, who provided cover art and lettering for said cover art in record speed–I know everyone is very busy and am very thankful. Any issues with actual formatting, I’m afraid, are solely at my door…).


So… how do you get this?

It depends. In the UK/Commonwealth, Gollancz is very kindly running this: see below for details. If you preordered/preorder the UK ebook or the physical book (aka “the one with the multicoloured wings”), then follow the instructions there.
ETA: for accessibility reasons, the address is gollanczgeeks followed by the @, followed by “orionbooks.co.uk”.

If you ordered the US edition (US edition only please–the one with the burning feathers :p), then fill in the contact form below and I’ll email you EPUB/MOBI/PDF versions of the ebook. Because I’m at Worldcon anyway, I’m going to let this run on the same timescale as the Gollancz promotion (the deadline is 11:59pm GMT on August 19th), so you can actually order the US edition on release day or shortly after and you’ll still get the ebook.

ETA: if you have the actual book (which is either happening because you got an early UK edition at, say, Fantasy in the Court or Nine Worlds or some booksellers, or because it’s August 18th/19th in the US, or some other reason I’m not privy to :)), email me a picture of the book as your proof of purchase.

The caveat is that this last bit is basically run solely by me and that I’m running a bit ragged: I will do my best to get back to you as soon as I can–if I don’t, I beg for your patience (also, I literally cobbled this form together this morning, so I hope it works).

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Proof of purchase (photo or screen capture of receipt required, 2MB maximum)

captcha


Still undecided? You can sample a bit before making up your mind.
Read Chapter One!
Read excerpt from Chapter Three!
Read excerpt from Chapter Four!
Buy Now

Giveaway winners: signed hardcovers of THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS

- 0 comments

Giveaway winners: signed hardcovers of THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS

So… by the magic of Rafflecopter, the following people have won a signed hardcover of The House of Shattered Wings:
-Peter S K
-Michelle Clarke
-Jessie M

Congratulations!

Yeah, I added a third hardcover as there were so many entries! Really delighted at the enthusiasm for this.

If you feel like you missed out: the RT Book Reviews giveaway of 5 ARCs is still on-going here. (and even if you don’t, there’s an extra excerpt with the giveaway, featuring geeky alchemist Madeleine and Head of House Hawthorn Asmodeus).

Other House of Shattered Wings news: Freda Warrington at Book Riot lists it as one of 5 books to get into paranormal fantasy (honored to be in the same list as NK Jemisin!):

One of the darkest and strangest fantasies I’ve ever read, containing the creepiest villain ever, the appalling Asmodeus, it haunts you long after you’ve finished it.

(yes, the same Asmodeus that’s in the excerpt. Isn’t life fun? :) )

Shattered Wings Thursdays: the Immortals

- 0 comments

Welcome back to Shattered Wings Thursdays, the weekly feature of art related to The House of Shattered Wings. 40 days to release of the Roc hardcover edition (and 42 days to the Gollancz trade paperback). Getting closer and closer!

So I promised something about other magical beings: here’s one set. The Immortals (tiên) live in the Far East, in Annam. Unlike Fallen, they’re humans who have ascended through meditation, knowledge and merit, and joined the court of the Jade Emperor. Their powers derive from manipulating the khi currents, the manifestations of the five elements (fire, earth, wood, water and metal).

Being an Immortal doesn’t mean, however, being safe–people have been cast out of the court of the Jade Emperor for various offences (mostly breaches of order). One such former Immortal is Philippe, one of the main characters in the book…

Previous iterations of this:
1. Meet nuked Paris
2. The Fallen
3. The Houses

Read Chapter One!

Buy Now

Full Pinterest board:
Follow Aliette de Bodard’s board House of Shattered Wings on Pinterest.

Today’s surprise mention of The House of Shattered Wings: was very flattered to hear Justin Landon mention the book as restoring his faith in Science Fiction and Fantasy on his awesome podcast Rocket Talk!

Shattered Wings Thursdays: the Houses

- 0 comments

Welcome aboard for another episode of Shattered Wings Thursdays, the time of the week where I pick a particularly nice or evocative picture from the Pinterest board for the novel, and provide some teasers on plot, worldbuilding and characters. 47 days until the release of the Roc edition of The House of Shattered Wings in the US, and 49 days until the Gollancz edition in the UK/Commonwealth!

Today is this picture:

Spire of Notre Dame

In the world of The House of Shattered Wings, life revolves around the Great Houses: once safe havens built to protect the Fallen in their infancy from those who would prey on them, the Houses in post-war Paris have become fortresses, hoarding their wealth and dependents and fighting each other for scraps of power.
A House actually encompasses a small area of Paris: it’s not a building, but generally a series of streets and associated buildings. For instance, House Silverspires, the setting of much of the novel, covers the entirety of Ile de la Cité. Each House has a formal uniform with different colours, a coat of arms (and a motto etc.), as well as a … slightly different philosophy in its dealings with others, which is mainly due to the policy pursued by the head of the House. House Silverspires’s colours are red and silver, and its motto is “Look to the risen sun” (yeah, House founder Morningstar wrote the motto. You can rely on him not to be subtle in the least).

More next week!
Previous installments of this:
1. Meet nuked Paris
2. The Fallen

Read Chapter One!

Buy Now

Full Pinterest board:
Follow Aliette de Bodard’s board House of Shattered Wings on Pinterest.

Chapter one of The House of Shattered Wings online

- 0 comments

Just a quick heads-up that I put chapter one of my upcoming Gollancz/Roc release The House of Shattered Wings online for your reading pleasure :)

It is almost pleasant, at first, to be Falling.

The harsh, unwavering light of the City recedes, leaving you in shadow, leaving only memories of relief, of a blessed coolness seizing your limbs. Nothing has turned yet into longing, into bitterness, into the cold that will never cease, not even in the heat of summer.

Read more here!

Some of the references in the names of Xuya mindships

- 0 comments

Some of the references in the names of Xuya mindships

I shared this on twitter recently, but I thought I’d repost here for those who weren’t around on Sunday.
A few years ago, I started the custom of naming Xuya mindships after literary allusions or metaphors–because, in a society where literary culture is still very important and scholars drive the creation of mindships, it felt like a natural process. Of course, if you’re not familiar with Chinese/Vietnamese culture, a lot of these probably fall flat–so accordingly, I’ve provided a summary of those references I can remember.

“The Frost on Jade Buds” (in “The Frost on Jade Buds” in Solaris Rising 3) comes from a proverb that I can’t remember exactly. I think it’s beauty cold enough to shatter jade.
“The Tiger in the Banyan” (in “Three Cups of Grief, by Starlight”): the tiger in the tale of Cuội, who uses banyan leaves to heal her dead cub (in the version I remember, the tiger lays her dead cub in the hollow of the banyan tree, which always made more sense to me when you consider what a banyan looks like
“The Dream of Millet” (in “Three Cups of Grief, by Starlight”): a dream Lã Động Tân/Lü Dongbin had while his millet cooked, which convinced him to renounce the world and become an Immortal.
“The Sea and Mulberry” (in “A Slow Unfurling of Truth”, in Carbide-Tipped Pens: in Vietnamese, “sea and mulberry” means a big upheaval in the affairs of men (from a Chinese legend where every thirty years, the sea turned to mulberry fields, and the mulberry fields to the sea).
“The Turtle’s Citadel” (from “The Waiting Stars” in The Other Half of the Sky): Âu Lạc, a citadel that was built with the help of the Golden Turtle Spirit (the walls kept collapsing until the king called for the help of the Golden Turtle, who led him to an evil spirit nearby). The citadel was also defended by a magical crossbow made with one of the claws of the Golden Turtle, and could not fall so long as the crossbow remained there (there’s another reference to this tale in “The Citadel of Weeping Pearls”, where a mindship is called “The Turtle’s Golden Claw”).
“The Cinnabar Mansions”(from “The Waiting Stars” in The Other Half of the Sky): basically a creative English translation of 紅樓 “Red Chamber” (from “Dream of the Red Chamber”).
“The Fisherman’s Song” (from “Ship’s Brother” in Clarkesworld Magazine): the song of Trương Chi, which earned him the love of a mandarin’s daughter, and later her tears after his death. I was this close to making it “The Fisherman’s Lament”, but I thought it was a bit pessimistic a name to give a midship :)

NB: In On a Red Station, Drifting, of course all the stations are named after the Three Blessings in Vietnamese/Chinese: Longevity, Prosper(ity) and Felicity (Good Fortune).