Tag: locus

The House of Shattered Wings on Locus Recommended Reading List

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The House of Shattered Wings on Locus Recommended Reading List

So…
Locus just released its 2015 Recommended Reading list, and The House of Shattered Wings is on there, under Best Fantasy Novel. Which is, er, kind of amazing.
(equally amazing is that I also have “The Citadel of Weeping Pearls” under Best Novella, “In Blue Lily’s Wake” and “Three Cups of Grief, by Starlight” under Best Short Story. That list also has a lot of my friends–congrats to everyone on it!)

And here’s some quotes from the Locus summation of 2015:

“[a novel] which featured some of the most striking and memorable fantasy settings of the year, Aliette de Bodard’s House of Shattered Wings, with its ruined Paris haunted by fallen angels” Gary K Wolfe

“Aliette de Bodard delivered her best novel to date, with The House of Shattered Wings. I’m not usually one for tales of fallen angels, but this story of Europe in ruins, where Lucifer and his cohort have taken up residence in Paris was a page-turner and deserves to stand among the fantasies of the year.” Jonathan Strahan

“I (…) had fun spotting Parisian landmarks and learning about Vietnamese dragon lore in Aliette de Bodard’s The House of Shattered Wings.” Cheryl Morgan

“Aliette de Bodard’s The House of Shattered Wings (Roc) reimagined Paris after a devastating war, as seen from several different vantage points in society. It’s not de Bodard’s first novel, but it is surely the one that will propel her to the recognition she deserves.” Graham Sleight

The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard is a novel I’d like to call epic, though its particular subgenre is impossible to pin down. Set in a Paris that never was – decayed from the aftermath of a great and terrible war, possessed of a baroque, fin-de-siècle air – ruled by fallen angels and magicians, it’s a novel of secrets and murder, outsiders and alchemists, power and change. Difficult to describe, but fantastic to read. Although a sequel is alleged to be forthcoming, it stands alone – which always makes for a pleasant change.” Liz Bourke

The Locus Poll and Survey for 2015 is also open–come and check it out and vote for your favourite fiction of the year (I’m going to be on auto-repeat, but don’t hesitate to vote in that kind of poll even if you don’t think you’ve read enough in the field this year: everybody’s votes count, and “I’m not voting because I’m not well-read enough” is a very common way people, especially those from non-dominant cultures, exclude themselves)

Interview in August Locus

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Locus kindly interviewed me for their August edition. You can find an excerpt from the interview here (and a neat picture that handily disguises the snakelet bit of the equation).

Many thanks to Liza Groen Trombi, Francesca Myman and the rest of the Locus team (and wow. If anyone had ever told me I’d share a cover with Kim Stanley Robinson…).

Locus (Rich Horton) on “The Weight of a Blessing”

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Aliette de Bodard’s ‘‘The Weight of a Blessing’’ (Clarkesworld, March) tells of a mother’s last visits with her daughter, who is being exiled. The point of the story is the slow revelation of the reason for this exile. The mother is a refugee from a planet torn by civil war. Her culture was trampled, in essence, and she’s made a life on her new planet, married and divorced a local man, tried to fit in. But her daughter has rejected all this and embraced a culture she never knew, and has protested the way the dominant culture of her new planet has, in essence, rewritten history. All this reads to me as a fairly straightforward allegory of Vietnam/US relations, post war. It’s well done and challenging, but despite the offworld setting and some technology that allows speaking with a version of dead ancestors, I wasn’t excited, science-fictionally. Still, one can’t deny its engagement with important contemporary issues.

Uh. Interesting. I didn’t see the main point of the story being the revelation of the reason for the exile (which is pretty self-evident about halfway through, I think? For me, it’s quintessentially a story about ancestors and memory and what memories mean and how they’re passed on), but I suppose everyone takes something different away from a story 🙂

Misc. self-promotion items

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The Locus Recommended Reading List for 2012 is out: many, many familiar names on that list (very happy to see Lavie Tidhar, Vandana Singh, and anthologies like AfroSF, Robots: The Recent AIThe Future is Japanese and Breaking the Bow on the list of recommended materials). I’m also on it for my two Clarkesworld stories “Scattered Along the River of Heaven” and “Immersion”, and for my novella On a Red Station, Drifting (which is mentioned by both Rich Horton and Gardner Dozois).

The February issue of Locus also contains Rich Horton’s review of that selfsame novella:

I recently saw two very strong novellas that might be easy to miss. Aliette de Bodard’s On a Red Station, Drifting, is another in her Xuya alternate history, in which the Chinese and Mexica (i.e. Axtecs) have become great space-based powers. Several recent stories have been set in a colonized galaxy and on space stations, some controlled by the Dai Viet. This one is set on a remote station, Prosper, controlled by an obscure branch of a powerful family, and run by a Mind, who is also one of the family’s ancestors. To this station comes Linh, a cousin, fleeing an uprising against the Emperor. Linh has spoken out against the Emperor for his failure to confront the rebels, and so is potentially a traitor, and is also racked with guilt for leaving her previous post under threat. Quyen is the leader of Prosper, but is not confident in her abilities, and also worried that the station’s Mind seems to be decaying. All this seems to portend disaster, amid small betrayals and slights between everyone involved. The authentically (to my eyes) non-Western background powerfully shapes an original and ambitious tale.

Which is pretty, er, nice with a side of awesome? Speaking of which, if you don’t feel like ordering the hardback of the novella, can I point out that you can get an exclusive ebook copy by donating $100 or more to the World SF Travel Fund?

Either way, we’re 60% funded and could use some help meeting our goals, in order to send awesome writers Rochita Loenen-Ruiz and Csilla Kleinheincz to World Fantasy 2013. Go check us out; and spread the word!

Back, and looking for a Locus copy

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The weather was sort of nice (ie not too much rain). I dunked the H into the Brittany sea (a harsh experiment when all your swimming has been done south of Bordeaux, where the water is markedly warmer); we cycled to a few nice places (with raincoat on), and we did some shopping for clothes and shoes and stuff. And slept a lot. A nice, eventless holiday 🙂

Saw the cover and TOC for the September issue of Asimov’s, which will contain my non-fiction piece “The View From The Other Side” on non-Western, non-Anglophone SF. Happy to be sharing a TOC with Nancy Fulda and Mary Robinette Kowal (and, wow, why am I occupying so much space on that cover…?)

In other news, would anyone happen to have a copy of the latest (July) Locus? I’m told there are nice reviews of “The Jaguar House in Shadow” (which was in the July issue of Asimov’s) in both the Gardner Dozois and the Rich Horton column, and obviously I forgot to renew my subscription at this key moment… Thanks in advance!
ETA: didn’t realise I’ve been unclear–I just wanted a peek at the review contents, not the copy itself (wouldn’t want to despoil anyone here…)
ETA: thanks to the awesome Cate Gardner, my curiosity is now suitably sated.