Stargate Monuments


Martha Wells

The Invisible Woman

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Book Recs

Great review this morning of the Books of the Raksura: Sky's the Limit

A fantasy story about a human culture dominated by a from-birth caste system, ruled by physically strong women who take beautiful, docile male consorts – a culture that lacks a concept of marriage, where all children are raised collectively and which has no taboos against either polyamory or queer relationships, and where both are treated as normative – would instantly read as blasphemous to some or utopian to others; but either way, we’d likely interpret such narrative choices as being overtly political. But because the Raksura are demonstrably a different species to us – and because, just as importantly, their culture isn't presented as secondary to, exoticised by or in direct contrast with a more "normal" human society – it’s much, much easier to accept these elements of the story at face value: as things that just are, instead of things that need to be constantly questioned or remarked upon.

The art pictured is by Matthew Stewart, who won a Chesley Award for the cover of The Cloud Roads.


Book recs

* In Midnight's Silence by T. Frohock
1930's Spain is the backdrop for the tale of supernatural beings, a dark bargain, and a struggle for autonomy, fatherhood, love, and perhaps the future of the world.

* Shades in Shadow: An Inheritance Triptych by N.K. Jemisin
Three brand new short stories by Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy Award nominated author N.K. Jemisin, set in the world of the Inheritance trilogy.

* Legenda Maris by Tanith Lee
Legenda Maris comprises eleven tales of the ocean and her denizens, including two that are original to this collection – ‘Leviathan’ and ‘Land’s End, The Edge of The Sea’ – which were among the last stories Tanith Lee wrote. In this treasure chest of tales, the author works her beguiling, linguistic sorcery to conjure mermaids who are as deadly as they are lovely, the hidden coves of lonely fishing villages harbouring mysteries, and fantastical ships that haunt the waves. She explores the relationship between the sea and the land, and the occasional meetings between those who dwell above and below the waters – meetings that are sometimes wondrous and sometimes fatal, often both.

* Our Lady of the Ice by Cassandra Rose Clarke (up for preorder)
The Yiddish Policeman’s Union meets The Windup Girl when a female PI goes up against a ruthless gangster—just as both humans and robots agitate for independence in an Argentinian colony in Antarctica.

* Bone Swans by C.S.E. Cooney
Fabulous story collection: A swan princess hunted for her bones, a broken musician and his silver pipe, and a rat named Maurice bring justice to a town under fell enchantment. A gang of courageous kids confronts both a plague-destroyed world and an afterlife infested with clowns but robbed of laughter. In an island city, the murder of a child unites two lovers, but vengeance will part them. Only human sacrifice will save a city trapped in ice and darkness. Gold spun out of straw has a price, but not the one you expect.

* The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard (up for preorder)
Multi-award winning author Aliette de Bodard, brings her story of the War in Heaven to Paris, igniting the City of Light in a fantasy of divine power and deep conspiracy...

* Court of Fives by Kate Elliott (up for preorder)
In this imaginative escape into an enthralling new world, World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott's first young adult novel weaves an epic story of a girl struggling to do what she loves in a society suffocated by rules of class and privilege.

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On July 2-5 I will be at CONvergence in Bloomington, MN.

My schedule is:

Friday, July 3

Evolution of the Publishing Industry
From print to e-books to online publishing, how have these changes affected the industry? How have writers, graphic artists, editors, and others involved in book publishing adapted, and what remains the same no matter what format a book takes? Panelists: Laura Zats, Toni Weisskopf, Dawn Frederick, Michael Merriam, Martha Wells

Saturday, July 4

Reading - Martha Wells

Signing - Martha Wells

Sunday, July 5

Things I Wish I'd Known Before I Started Writing
There are easy ways to write and there are mind-bogglingly difficult ways to write. Wouldn't it be nice if someone told you which is which? Panelists: Wesley Chu, Elizabeth Bear, C. Robert Cargill, Scott Lynch, Martha Wells

Build-A-World with Guests!
Welcome one and all to the Build-a-World game show, with your host Monica Valentinelli! In this panel, two teams of writers will compete against one another to create a brand new world in under an hour. You, the audience, will help judge! Panelists: Monica Valentinelli (mod), Paul Cornell, Elizabeth Bear, Catherine Lundoff, Martha Wells


Links and Book Recs

I had a great time on Saturday at ApolloCon, and in lieu of a more substantial post, here's some links:

Novelocity: Jeannette Kathleen Cheney talks about Nicholas Valiarde as part of an article on paternal figures.

Great review of Stories of the Raksura vol II: The Dead City & The Dark Earth Below on Roqoo Depot. They give it five out of five metal bikinis!

And a review of Stories of the Raksura vol I at Fantasy Cafe.

There's a fundraiser to film a prequel to Nalo Hopkinson's Brown Girl in the Ring

New story collection The Fox's Tower and Other Tales by Yoon Ha Lee

Great review of
In Midnight's Silence by T. Frohock which is out today.

SF Signal: Tansy Rayner Roberts on Fantasy, Female Writers & The Politics of Influence
There’s this odd sort of conversation that keeps circling the internet, and it usually starts with a question. Where are all the women, in epic fantasy? Where are the female authors? Why is it all so dominated by men?

As Australians we tended to bat our eyelids in confusion, because the idea of commercial fantasy authors being a mostly male species is completely alien to us – for the last twenty years, our conversation, our publishing scene, has been rich with female authors of influence. Successful, bestselling female fantasy authors. If anything, the big name male fantasy author has been the rare special snowflake.

But this isn’t just a cultural issue. It’s not the case that US publishing only recently discovered that ladies can write about dragons too. Whenever someone asks, where are all the women, I’m not just confused because I’m an Australian.

Because, seriously. They were here a minute ago. Why can’t you see them?

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Barnes and Noble Pirates

Besides everything else that's going on, I found out The Element of Fire is being pirated on both Kobo and Barnes and Noble.

I don't spend time chasing pirates sites that are giving my books away for free (usually accompanied by viruses) but when the books are being sold on the same retailers I use to sell them, it matters.

I've self-pubbed five books, four ebook reprints of my older out of print books (The Element of Fire, City of Bones, The Death of the Necromancer, Wheel of the Infinite), and one new story collection (Between Worlds: the Collected Ile-Rien and Cineth Stories).

Those sales help pay my utility bill. So when Kobo and Barnes and Noble let pirates sell their versions in place of mine, it does directly affect me.

And while the Kobo copy was taken down pretty quickly, the two Barnes and Noble pirated copies are still there. One is taking the place of my legitimate copy, so it doesn't even show up in the search anymore. (And I wondered why my Nook sales have been so bad lately.)

This is the real copy: The publisher name is Martha Wells.

One pirate copy is published by Booklassic, the other is published by Edward Lee who lists himself as editor. The pirated Booklassic copy has been attached to the legitimate book listing, including the new audiobook, and the out of print paperback and hardcover. So if it's incomplete or garbled, any bad reviews will attach themselves to my ebook and the audiobook, etc.

Anyway, this is frustrating.

ETA: Okay, this is a relief. It looks like the one that was taking the place of the genuine ebook is now down. Just one to go.



I'll be at ApolloCon in Houston this Saturday, June 20. Just couldn't afford the time and hotel to stay the whole weekend, but this is the programming I'll be on on Saturday:

Saturday 10:00 am What's the Difference?
—How do you make aliens truly alien? Some ideas of where to start and on just
how different they should be.

2:00 pm The Struggle
Professional writers discuss the things they struggle with when writing, including but not
limited to: imposter syndrome and failed story attempts.

5:00 pm Reading
It's a 30 minute slot, and I'll read a new Raksura bit.

Hopefully the weather will cooperate. We're due to have a tropical storm on Tuesday and Wednesday, so hopefully it will be cleared out by then. Fortunately, we got a temporary fix for our roof leak last week. Not so fortunately, it's going to take around $300 to fix it permanently, ugh.

Also annoying this weekend was discovering a pirate was selling The Element of Fire on Kobo, despite the fact that my legitimate copy of The Element of Fire had already been up there since 2012, with my other ebook reprints of out of print titles. It got taken down fairly quickly, but it's frustrating that it was allowed up in the first place. Especially considering that the reprints I've done myself (and the Between Worlds story collection) earn money every month that I use to pay our utility bills.

Book Rec

I just finished The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord and really enjoyed it. I somehow managed to read the sequel, The Galaxy Game first, but it didn't ruin it for me. They're both SF that focus on culture and communication between different human cultures, and they reminded me of what I love about science fiction. I hope there's going to be more in this series. Now I need to read her first book Redemption in Indigo.


Couple of Things

If you somehow missed it, Stories of the Raksura: Volume II The Dead City and The Dark Earth Below is now out.

The audiobook of Stories of the Raksura II: The Dead City & The Dark Earth Below is up on, but has the wrong cover, so it may be confusing.

And I also have an interview here on SFF World

And if you've read it and have the time and inclination, please leave a review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or wherever you bought it, or on GoodReads, LibraryThing, etc. These reviews really, really do help, especially the ones on Amazon which factor in with how often Amazon actually recommends the book. Even if you didn't like it, reviews are appreciated.

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News of Me

Stories of the Raksura vol II: The Dead City & The Dark Earth Below was officially released yesterday, and made it on:

* Barnes & Noble's New Book Round-up which said:
Stories of the Raksura: Volume II, by Martha Wells
Martha Wells continues her Raksura series with another collection of novellas and shorter works. If you’ve never read the original trilogy (beginning with Cloud Roads), this is a fine introduction, but you really owe it to yourself to read them all. It’s quite unlike anything else in the genre—with a core cast of non-human characters, it creates an entirely fresh, matriarchal fantasy world with its own biology, ecology, technology, and magic.

* and on Buzzfeed's 27 Speculative Fiction And Related Books To Read This June

* and I'm on A.M. Dellamonica's Blog: Martha Wells answers the Heroine Question

* and on John Scalzi's Whatever blog in the Big Idea series: The Big Idea: Martha Wells

* and I also had a post on Five Books About Exploring and Communicating with Alien Cultures

* also I'm not listed as a guest, but I'm going to be on programming Saturday, June 20, of ApolloCon in Houston.

Right now the US kindle of Stories of the Raksura vol II is at #8 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Anthologies on Amazon and I want to thank so much everyone who retweeted the release or passed on info about it or included it on a list. I appreciate it more than I can say.


Release Day for Stories of the Raksura II

This is the official release day for Stories of the Raksura vol II: The Dead City & The Dark Earth Below

"The Dead City"
A tale of Moon before he came to the Indigo Cloud Court. As Moon is fleeing the ruins of Saraseil, a groundling city destroyed by the Fell, he flies right into another potential disaster when a friendly caravanserai finds itself under attack by a strange force.

"The Dark Earth Below"
Moon and Jade face their biggest adventure yet; their first clutch. But even as Moon tries to prepare for impending fatherhood, members of the Kek village in the colony tree's roots go missing, and searching for them only leads to more mysteries as the court is stalked by an unknown enemy.

Also includes the short stories "Trading Lesson," "Mimesis," and "The Almost Last Voyage of the Wind-ship Escarpment."

Trade Paperback:
Amazon US, Barnes and Noble, Mysterious Galaxy, Powell's, The Tattered Cover, Chapter Indigo, Books-a-Million, Book Depository, Amazon Canada, Amazon UK, Amazon DE, Amazon Spain, Amazon France, and all other Amazon sites, or look for it in an independent bookstore in the US through Indiebound.

ebook: Kindle US, Barnes & Noble Nook US, Kobo, iTunes, Kindle Canada, Kindle UK, Kindle DE, Kindle Spain, Kindle France, and all other Amazon sites.

There will be an audiobook, but it isn't out yet.

ETA: And I have a post up on the Big Idea series on John Scalzi’s Whatever blog:

Excerpt from The Dark Earth Below

Moon followed with Chime and some of the other warriors as Bead led Pearl and Stone outside to one of the colony tree's garden platforms. As Moon flew down from the knothole entrance with the others, it hit him how much a relief it was to be outside. The air was fresh from a recent rain that had heightened the tree's own musky-sweet scent, and his wings felt as if they hadn't been stretched for a month. Maybe a few fast circuits around the tree's clearing wouldn't be as unfulfilling as he thought.
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John and Teyla

Monday and Links

* First off, I have a post on Five Books About Exploring and Communicating with Alien Cultures

* Catherine Lundoff: Tanith Lee: Where to Start Reading

* Comicpalooza: The Cosplay of Comicpalooza a great sampler of some of the costumes from Houston's Comicpalooza. That convention was so much fun, I want to go back and do it all again.

New Book by Me

Tomorrow is the official release day of Stories of the Raksura vol. II: The Dead City & The Dark Earth Below of the trade paperback and ebook. The audiobook is coming out at some point, I'm just not sure when yet.

If you like the book, there are things you can do to help it (and hopefully get more Raksura at some point). Preordering really helps, requesting that your local library buy the book for their collection really helps, and online reviews and ratings really help, especially at Amazon and GoodReads. The Amazon reviews actually cause the book to show up in more places and be recommended to people.

And I don't know how much longer it's going to last, but Stories of the Raksura I: the Falling World & The Tale of Indigo and Cloud is still on sale for $1.99 on Kindle and Nook

Flood Update

The lakes and rivers are flooding, but there's no rain in our forecast for the next few days, which is a huge relief. Hopefully (knock on wood) the worst is over.

Atlantis Dark


So, Tanith Lee passed away this week. This was terrible news. Her novel The Birthgrave was a huge influence on me.

There's an article on IO9 about her:
Tanith Lee, who died on Sunday, was one of the most prolific and influential authors of fantasy and horror. Everyone seems to know her for something different. Some people are obsessed with The Silver Metal Lover, while others devoured her fantasy series. And then there are the Blake’s 7 episodes. She left a huge bounty.

and one on the Remembering Tanith Lee, Celebrated Author of Queer Science Fiction


We've been having tons of flooding all over the middle part of the state, with a bridge washed away, a dam washed away, houses flooded or knocked off the foundations, some people killed and some still missing. We're okay, though some of the major streets near us were blocked with flash flooding on Monday night. Our friends all seem to be mostly okay, though some have had some flood damage. The amount of lighting Monday night was just incredible. We've got rain in the forecast for the rest of the week, so keep your fingers crossed for us.

If you want to help, Hays County was hit very hard and the Food Bank needs donations. To help animals, you can donate to the TAMU Veterinary Emergency Team. Shalom Austin is collecting for the Texas Flood Relief Fund. The Houston Food Bank could probably use some help too.


And I had a question from Veronica:

Will the newest Raksura novella be offered in an audiobook?

Yes, and it has the same reader, Christopher Kipiniak. I know it's been recorded but I'm not sure when it's being released.


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