Stargate Monuments


Martha Wells

The Invisible Woman

Stargate Monuments

Guide Post

This is a brief introduction post for this journal.Collapse )

I also post at Tumblr, Twitter, and Dreamwidth.


Raksura Answers

pilgrim3 asked: tool use by the Aeriat. I know that the Arbora use tools (anvils, etc., have been mentioned), but it seems rare that the Aeriat use tools at all. Is not using tools the norm for them? Or are there exceptions lurking in future books?

And an odd question - what is your next favorite race to write about in the 3 Worlds setting?

They do when they need to, but it's more from necessity, where the Arbora always used tools for things like making their living spaces more comfortable, making art, etc. The Arbora make all the material goods for the colony because they put a high priority on both having those things and the effort and talent it takes to make them. Without the Arbora, the Aeriat probably would only bother with the minimum they needed to survive.

Favorite race other than the Raksura: it might be the Kek, because they're a lot of fun to work with, because they're very different from the Raksura, and they're very different from humans, too. I ought to do a short story from the Kek's perspective, at some point.

Stargate Monuments

Good News and Various

YAY!!!! I just got a great Publishers Weekly review for Stories of the Raksura: The Dead City & The Dark Earth Below! "The Raksura world features innovative and alien creatures; Wells thinks far outside the humanoid fantasy box. The line between animal and person is drawn extremely thin, and the power structure among the races resembles nature more than it resembles any human civilization. With a strong sense of adventure, horror, and mystery, this is an enjoyable read for fantasy fans seeking a new series to sample."

I also got an invite to be on the WorldCon program, so I decided to go ahead and bite the bullet and go. (Bite the bank account, actually, because the hotels are hella expensive this year.) I have a roommate so it shouldn't be too bad.

Writing ramble

One thing I've noticed is I still have an occasional plotting problem which I think of as getting ahead of myself and leaving the characters behind. When I trying to move the characters through a sequence of events because that's what I need to have happen, and it's just not working, because I'm not considering whether 1) the characters are actually going to want to do these things at this point 2) these things are or are not priorities for them at this point. These things have to happen, I just have to make sure the characters' motivations are lined up first and that there's space to deal with the stuff that they see as more important. It's a POV issue, which I tend to think lies at the root of most of the roadblocks and problems in writing. You have to see things from the characters' viewpoint at all times.

John - WTF


We had a situation this weekend where I kept smelling gas in the kitchen, just a little bit. After overcoming that whole "I'm just imagining it and if I call someone about it I'll be made to feel stupid and all but called/actually called a silly little girl" we called an appliance place and on their advice called the emergency gas company number, and it turned out it was an emergency. There's a leak in in the hose and valve connected to the stove, so that's turned off now and I need to call the appliance place again today to see if I can get the hose etc replaced.

Then we found out the gas company didn't get the hot water heater turned on right when they suddenly decided to install a new meter, so we had to get them to come out and do that, so there was no hot water for a while.

So that was the weekend, small yay.

Fan art

Some lovely fan art of The Element of Fire by punkranger


* The stories I wanted to read by Aliette de Bodard
Aliette writes about reading SF/F as she was growing up: There’s a lot of books in my reading that feature China, or some representation of the Far East–I read them all like I read invented worlds, because the China they depict is so out of touch with my family stories (I won’t say my family stories are all positive! Vietnam has… a complicated relationship with China)–surely they have to be about some kind of fictional China/Far East that doesn’t exist. They speak of martial arts and inscrutable, passive people awaiting to be saved; of some fount of mystical wisdom that awaits the traveller. I think fake!China must be some kind of faraway land invented by writers, because it cannot possibly be the real thing.

* Women in SFF Month Readers Recommendation Giveaway

* Right-Wing Trolls Hijack SciFi Oscars by Arthur Chu
This is about the Hugo awards situation, which I find really depressing. I have a voting membership this year, and I'm going to vote "no award" on every category.

* Talk with me about being a fan of SF and F by Mary Robinette Kowal
This is also about the Hugo awards

Novella rec

Introducing Midnight's Silence and a new series by T. Frohock


Conventions I'm going to this summer

May 22-25, 2015.
Comicpalooza in Houston, TX.

I went to Comicpalooza for the first time last year and had a blast. It was basically a large SF/F con sitting on top of a comiccon, with great panel programming for writing resources and discussion, books, art, fandom, making films, costuming, gaming, ghost hunting, etc, plus a giant convention floor with dealers and artists of all kinds, plus a maker fair with robots and 3d printing, plus celebrities. If you go, try to buy your pass online and pick it up on Friday to avoid the long lines to get in.

July 2-5, 2015.
CONvergence in Bloomington, MN.

This was another first last year and it was a huge amount of fun, great programming, a huge number of people, and gorgeous costumes.

July 24-26, 2015.
ArmadilloCon in Austin, TX.

ArmadilloCon has been one of my favorite cons for a long time, and it was the first one I ever went to way back when I was in high school, and I was guest of honor in 2002. It's a smaller con with a focus on books and art. There's a day long intensive writers' workshop on Friday, and the big guests this year are Ken Liu and James Morrow.


Book Recs and a Raksura Question

Book recs:

* Emissary: The Second Book of the Seven Eyes by Betsy Dornbusch
Draken vae Khellian, bastard cousin of the Monoean King, had risen far from his ignominious origins, becoming both a Bowrank Commander and a member of the Crown’s Black Guard. But when cursed black magic took his wife and his honor away, he fought past his own despair and grief, and carved out a new life in Akrasia. His bloody, unlikely path, chronicled in Exile: The First Book of the Seven Eyes, led him to a new love, and a throne.

* The Rebirths of Tao: Tao Series Book Three by Wesley Chu
Five years have passed since the events in The Deaths of Tao. The world is split into pro-Prophus and pro-Genjix factions, and is poised on the edge of a devastating new World War. A Gengix scientist who defects to the other side holds the key to preventing bloodshed on an almost unimaginable scale.

* The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu
Two men rebel together against tyranny—and then become rivals—in this first sweeping book of an epic fantasy series from Ken Liu, recipient of Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards.

Wily, charming Kuni Garu, a bandit, and stern, fearless Mata Zyndu, the son of a deposed duke, seem like polar opposites. Yet, in the uprising against the emperor, the two quickly become the best of friends after a series of adventures fighting against vast conscripted armies, silk-draped airships, and shapeshifting gods. Once the emperor has been overthrown, however, they each find themselves the leader of separate factions—two sides with very different ideas about how the world should be run and the meaning of justice.


Raksura question:

Lindsey asked So I've been thinking about some of the mature queens in the Raksura books. Here's my question: Is Pearl still firmly within clutching years for a Raksura? For that matter, what about Malachite who's older than Pearl but still seems very much in her prime?
Also, I've been thinking of Ice from Emerald Twilight as being near to the completion of her life which in my mind means she's far beyond clutching years herself. So, the first consort of Emerald Twilight (Shadow) is much younger than Ice and he seems in his prime (in my mind this has been equating to something approximating Pearl's age). I have the impression (I don't remember exactly) that Ice outlived one or more consorts already. So, given the age disparity between Ice and Shadow do you think they had any clutches together or did she claim him more for political/diplomatic reasons when she was beyond wanting/needing/being able to clutch herself?

Yes, Malachite and Pearl would both still be able to clutch. They would both basically be middle-aged for Raksuran queens, though Malachite is older than Pearl. Ice did outlive a couple of consorts, but queens can have more than one consort at a time, so Shadow has been with her for quite a while, and they would have had some clutches together.



Between Worlds: the Collected Ile-Rien and Cineth Stories has been sent out to the Six by Six Kickstarter backers and is now available for purchase.

Element of Fire cover

Between Worlds Collection Now Available

Between Worlds: the Collected Ile-Rien and Cineth Stories has been sent out to the Six by Six Kickstarter backers and is now available for purchase.


"The Potter's Daughter" Elemental, May 2006
Kade Carrion investigates troublesome magic in a small village.

"Night at the Opera" Original to this collection.
A noble Rienish family asks Reynard Morane to thwart a sorcerous blackmailer, and he recruits a reluctant Nicholas Valiarde to help.

"Holy Places" Black Gate #11, August 2007, Lightspeed Magazine #42, November 2013
Ilias is abandoned by the Finan family and finds Andrien, just as the house is attacked.

"Rites of Passage", April 2014
Most people in Cineth believe Giliead is too young to take up the duties of a Chosen Vessel, but he may not have a choice.

"Houses of the Dead" Black Gate #12, July 2008
Giliead and Ilias are called to investigate a strange happening in godless territory, and find a deserted city.

"Reflections" Black Gate #10, March 2007
Searching the wilderness for a fleeing wizard, Giliead and Ilias encounter strange magic.

eBook available at: Kobo, Kindle US, Nook, iTunes, Nook UK, Kindle UK, Kindle DE, Kindle FR, Kindle Canada, Kindle Spain, and all other Amazon sites.

ETA: It's on iTunes now!

If you didn't get your email from the kickstarter telling you that two of the collections are available, check your spam folder or email the kickstarter creator Bradley for help.

Here's a sample of "Night at the Opera"

Reynard Morane was at his usual table in the Cafe Baudy, a somewhat risqué establishment built on a barge floating on the Deval Forest pleasure garden lake, when a beautiful man approached his table. This wasn't an unusual occurrence, especially in this cafe, but this beautiful man was a stranger. He said, "Captain Morane?"

From his features and dark skin, the man was Parscian, a little younger than Reynard but not by much, tall and well-built and dressed in an elegant but understated way that suggested some professional occupation in the city. The coat was too expensive for the man to be from a university. For some reason, Reynard attracted a high percentage of men of academic persuasions. "Yes." Reynard smiled warmly. "Please join me."

The man hesitated, then drew out the opposite chair. "A friend told me about you."

"And which friend is this?" Reynard caught the waiter's attention and lifted his brows. The waiter sized up the situation professionally, then went to the bar for a fresh bottle of wine and glasses.

"A man named Biendare." The man lowered his voice. "I believe he is known in some circles as 'Binny.'"

"Binny?" Reynard frowned. This was not encouraging. Binny was not someone who would have recommended Reynard for an assignation. At least not the kind of assignation Reynard had hoped for. To make sure this man had really met Binny, he said, "At the roasted nut kiosk on the Street of Flowers?"

"No, it was in March Street, at a wine bar that also sells fried fish."

"Right." Reynard sat up, adjusting his attitude from invitingly indolent to business-like and alert.

The waiter arrived at the table with the bottle and glasses. Reynard sighed and told him, "No."

"No?" The waiter looked startled, then disappointed. "Oh. Coffee, perhaps?"

"Coffee," Reynard agreed.

Stargate Atlantis

Links and a Book Rec

Many things:

* Con or Bust, which helps people of color/non-white people attend SFF conventions, is collecting items for their 2015 auction, which begins April 20. I've post four entries, with a set of audio CDs for the Wheel of the Infinite audiobook, a signed set of the Emilie books, a signed set of all the Raksura books, and a signed hardcover of Star Wars: Razor's Edge.

Book rec:
Beasts of Tabat by Cat Rambo
When countryboy Teo arrives in the coastal city of Tabat, he finds it a hostile place, particularly to a boy hiding an enormous secret. It’s also a city in turmoil, thanks to an ancient accord to change governments and the rising demands of Beasts, the Unicorns, Dryads, Minotaurs and other magical creature on whose labor and bodies Tabat depends. And worst of all, it’s a city dedicated to killing Shifters, the race whose blood Teo bears.

* Renay at Fantasy Book Cafe: Some Assembly Required: Recommendation Lists for a More Inclusive Fandom

* A great review of my second novel, City of Bones. (If you want to check out the first chapter, it's here.)

* Beth Bernobich says nice things about me, Stephanie Burgis, and Ellen Kushner's books here on Tynga's Reviews.


Taking More Raksura Questions

I was answering Raksura and Three Worlds-related questions back in February, then something happened and I dropped the ball. I have a couple of unanswered questions left, but if you have an old question or a new question I didn't answer, feel free to comment with it.

nthngtoseehere said Can I ask, roughly how many years/turns comprise a Raksuran generation? And how old is Stone? I've been thinking he's going on at least a couple hundred turns, but I have no idea if that's even close....

I'm thinking a generation would be around forty turns, but I haven't worked that out yet on paper, so I reserve the right to change it. :) Turns are also longer than years, and may be measured slightly differently by different cultures

Stone is at least a couple of hundred turns, and probably closer to three hundred.

(I am very bad at both math and dates, so I always have trouble working these things out.)



I haven't been very good about posting here lately because I've been working on the last chapter of the book I can't give details about yet. I need to insert a couple of more scenes after I finish this chapter and do a read through/revision, then it'll be ready for the beta readers. It's kind of consumed my brain, mostly because I've gotten this one written much more quickly than normal for me for a 130,000 plus word book.

I took a break Saturday when a friend came into town for her birthday and we went to the Antique Rose Emporium, and walked around the shops in Brenham, and then came back and had sushi. Our goddaughter also stayed with us this weekend on her way to a ballet audition.

Today I need to work on the last chapter plus finish bailing and cleaning and refilling my pond. That is not going to be much fun. In fact, I should go get started on it now.


* One of my favorite cons has done a short teaser vid: ArmadilloCon that mentions me and everything.

* Beth Bernobich's post on Blog Entry: Epic Romance: a Guest Post by Beth Bernobich and her kickstarter: Nocturnall - a coda to the River of Souls

* There's a GoodReads giveaway for Diana Pharaoh Francis' Edge of Dreams

* The Genius Loci Kickstarter anthology

* Courtney Schafer's Big List of Underread Books and the GoodReads version

* Catherine Lundoff's Old(er) Women in SF/F - book and story list

* Craig L. Gidney's list of Speculative Fiction Authors of Color