Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett

RaisingSteamThe latest entry in Terry Pratchett’s sprawling Discworld series, Raising Steam, is an example of what I call the “innovation” series-within-the-series. Just like there are sets of books that focus on specific characters and areas of the Discworld, there’s an increasingly large set of books that take on specific technological innovations entering the fabric of Discworld society.

We’ve seen this as far back as 1990’s Moving Pictures (in which the movie industry hit the Discworld) and 1994’s Soul Music (rock and roll, or as Pratchett calls it, “music with rocks in it”). Recently, Pratchett seems to be on a roll with this type of narrative, having introduced the character Moist Von Lipwig and then covered, in relatively short order, the postal system (Going Postal), banking (Making Money) and now mass transportation in the series’ latest addition, Raising Steam.

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Giveaway! Enter to win Elizabeth Bear’s Eternal Sky trilogy (all three books!)

StelesoftheSkyAlright folks, I have a good one for you this time. Thanks to the generosity of the kind people at Tor Books, I have copies of all three books in Elizabeth Bear’s Eternal Sky trilogy to give away to one lucky reader in the US or Canada. To be clear: that means one copy of Range of Ghosts, Shattered Pillars and Steles of the Sky EACH. Sound good? Thought so.

If you’re not familiar with this series yet, I strongly encourage you to check it out. It’s easily one of the most unique epic fantasies of the last decade or two. You can find my review of the first book, Range of Ghosts, here. (I’ve read book two, Shattered Pillars, but have been remiss in writing out my thoughts. And the only reason I haven’t read the final installment, Steles of the Sky, is because I’m way behind. But trust me – read these books.)

To enter this giveaway, simply send an email with subject line “BEAR” to fbrgiveaway AT gmail DOT com with your full name and mailing address. One entry per person, please: multiple entries will result in immediate disqualification, but please feel free to tell your friends! Please note again that, at the publisher’s request, this giveaway is limited to the US and Canada only.

The giveaway will end on Sunday, April 27th at 11:59 PM, and I’ll announce the winner the following day. Void where prohibited by law, rules are subject to change, batteries not included, and of course, harmful when swallowed.

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2014 Hugo Nominations – the reactions

LONCON3The nominations for the 2014 Hugo Awards were announced today, and well, it’s clear that there will be some intense and vigorous discussion around the interwebs about some of them. As a resource, I’ve decided to try and collect links to the various reactions and discussions here.

If you see a post that isn’t included (including your own!), drop me a note in the comments or via Twitter, and I’ll include it as soon as I can.

Note: I’m just collecting links here, not endorsing anyone’s opinion.

4/24

On Merit, Awards, and What We Read (Joe Sherry, Adventures in Reading)

Who Will Be The Victors After The Hugo Controversy? (Jake Freivald)

Y los candidatos a los Premios Hugo 2014 son… (Fantífica)

The 2014 Hugo Award Nominations, The Good and the Complicated (Sigrid Ellis)

An explanation about the Hugo awards controversy (Larry Correia)

Hugo Awards 2014 (Brian K. Lowe)

4/23:

Hugo Links are Linkworthy (Tansy Rainer Roberts)

Random (Hugo + gender) stuff (Galen Dara)

The Quiet Man (File 770)

The Hugo Ballot is Out! (Geek Feminism)

2014 HUGO AWARDS NOMINEES FOR BEST SHORT STORY (The NerdClave)

Awards Dominate EasterCon (Niall Alexander, Tor.com)

And Now, Rebuttals (John Scalzi, Whatever)

In Which I Don’t Talk About the Hugos (Anne Leonard)

My Thoughts on the Hugo Awards (Joe Abercrombie)

A vile taste in her mouth (Vox Day)

More about the Hugo nomination (Dragonmount)

A Hugo Nomination and a Severed Streets Excerpt (Paul Cornell)

Another Day, Another Hugo Controversy (Bleeding Cool)

Yet more on the Hugos and the problem of divorcing an author from their work (Cora Buhlert)

2014 Hugo Award Finalists Announced (Women Write about Comics)

Utah Writers Are Taking the Hugo Awards by Storm (Attack of the Books)

4/22

Hugo Nominations (Dan[i/iel] Franklin, Daniel Libris)

Rocket Talk, Episode 5: The Hugo Awards (Liz Bourke, Irene Gallo, Carl Engle-Laird, Justin Landon, Tor.com)

The 2014 Hugo Nominees (Metafilter)

Nomineringarna klara till Hugo Awards 2014 (Bear Books)

I Have Been Nominated for the Campbell! (Wesley Chu)

Hugo nominations: disagreement, pleasure, agnosticism (Kate Nepveu)

The logical next step (James Nicoll)

Multiple Award Nominations for Zeno Clients! (Zeno Agency)

Thomas Olde Heuvelt voor de tweede keer genomineerd voor Hugo Award! (Paul Harland Prijs)

Wheel of Time; Hugo Novel Nominees; How I Read Nominated Works (John Scalzi, Whatever)

The 2014 Hugo Nominations and A Disturbing Trend Post-Hugo Slate, and Why “Merits” Is Not a Valid Thing to Say (S.L. Huang)

On the Hugos: The Good, the Bad, and the Awful Trolls from Hell (Susan Jane Bigelow)

Preliminary Thoughs on the Hugo Award Nominees (Joe Sherry, Adventures in Reading)

Everyone’s Angry About the Hugos (John Wiswell, The Bathroom Monologues)

And the Nominees Are… (Carl V. Anderson, Stainless Steel Droppings)

On the pitfalls of “merit” (Rose Lemberg)

Drawing the line (Rachael Acks)

Brad Torgersen in the running for the Hugo (Attack of the Books)

4/21:

More 2014 Hugo Reactions (Cora Buhlert)

Official Announcement: A Dribble of Ink nominated for two 2013 Hugo Awards (Aidan Moher, A Dribble of Ink)

Hugos: Let me see if I understand this (Peter David)

2014 Hugo Awards Finalists Announced (We Are One Of Them!) (The Book Smugglers)

BCS a 2014 Hugo Award Finalist! (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)

Apex Magazine picks up two Hugo Award nominations! (Apex Magazine)

Preliminary Thoughts on the Hugo Award Nominees (Adventures in Reading)

Hugo Wars, Part CCXVIII (Jim C. Hines)

Sleeps With Monsters: How About Those Hugos? (Liz Bourke, Tor.com)

The Wheel of Time and the Hugo Voter Packet (Tor.com)

Hugo Awards Catch A Nasty Case of VD and What’s In A Name? A Look At What Nominee Names Says About The Hugo Awards  and Blogger Expresses Disappointment With Nominees For Hugo Best Fan Writer and 50-Million Word ‘Novel’ Nominated For Hugo Award (The Spice)

Hugo Nominations! (John Joseph Adams)

On Being Nominated for a Hugo Award (Patrick Hester)

Vox Day and the Hugos – Why We Should Just Say No. (Bibliodaze)

‘The Butcher of Khardov’ Nominated for Hugo Award (Privateer Press)

Hugos 2014 (Niall Harrison, Strange Horizons)

Los Nominados a los Premios Hugo 2014 (La Espada En La Tinta)

Congratulations, Hugo Finalists! (Clockpunk Studios)

Thoughts on the Hugo Nomination (Vox Day)

The Problem With The Hugo Awards and “Shouldn’t It Be About The Work?”: On White Dudes Getting Award Nominations (Ferrett Steinmetz)

Hugo Nominations (Fred Kiesche)

The 2014 Hugo Awards (Lauren M. Roy)

AKTUELLES: PHANTASTISCHE NETZSTREIFZÜGE 14 (translate or die)

Professor Wolfe Claims Third Nomination for Hugo Award (RU College of Professional Studies Blog)

The rest of the 2014 Hugo Ballot. (Jamiam, Controlled Deorbiting)

Obligatory Hugo Nominations Reaction Post (Geek Melange)

Hugo nominees 2014: Gender notes (Jed Hartman)

The Wheel of Time Nominated for a Hugo Award (Brandon Sanderson)

The Hugo Thing, And Other Fairy Stories (Foz Meadows)

Doctor Who, Saga, And Pacific Rim Are Among The 2014 Hugo Award Nominees (Giant Freakin Robot)

4/20:

The 2014 Hugo Awards: Thoughts on the Nominees (Abigail  Nussbaum, Asking the Wrong Questions)

2014 Hugo Awards (Mixed Book Bag)

On Youtube: 2014 Hugo Finalists: That Awkward Moment… (SFF180)

Hugo Awards 2014 with John DeNardo and Tansy Rainer Roberts (Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe, Coode Street Podcast)

2014 Hugo Awards Nomination Thoughts (A Fantastical Librarian)

A Game Of Two Halves (Martin Petto, Everything Is Nice)

Hugo news and Angry Robot at the Hugos (Lee Harris)

On Writing the Good Fight: Hugo Roundup (Kameron Hurley)

2014 Hugo Award Finalists Announced (Paul J. Willett, We Love the Stars Too Fondly)

HUGO AWARD NOMINEES ANNOUNCED. (Fantasy Faction)

Hugo did what? (Population: One)

Doctor Who Dominates Hugo Nominations For Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) (Eoghann Irving)

No, The Hugo Nominations Were Not Rigged (Whatever, John Scalzi)

Amazing News:2014 Hugo Awards Double Edition (Amazing News)

A Blow has been Struck Against Puppy Related Sadness (Larry Correia, Monster Hunter Nation)

On the science-fiction world’s topic du jour (Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Making Light)

2014 Hugo Shortlist (Adam Roberts, Sibilant Fricative)

Opera Vita Aeternae (Vox Day)

Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time up for Hugo award after fan campaign (The Guardian)

“The Lady Astronaut of Mars” has been nominated for a Hugo! (Mary Robinette Kowal)

SOME THOUGHTS ON THE HUGO NOMINEES (Aliette de Bodard)

Hugo nomination! (Sigrid Ellis)

How to improve the Hugo Awards (Jason Sanford)

Jimi Is Fine (Sofia Samatar)

2014 Hugo Awards Nominees Provoke Liberal Backlash (American Journal)

HUGOS, 2014 (WHERE MY VOTE IS GOING) (Carrie Cuinn)

The Hugo Nominees Have Landed! (Picking Up the Pen)

4/19:

Announcement of the 2014 Hugo Award nominations on the official site.

Interweb is in the Hugos’ Megahurtz (Justin Landon, Staffer’s Book Review)

Announcing the 2014 Hugo Award Nominees (Tor.com)

2014 Hugo Nominees (Aidan Moher, A Dribble of Ink)

Obligatory Hugo Nomination Reaction Post (Natalie Luhrs, Radish Reviews)

Renay’s reaction to the previous post (Renay, Lady Business)

Reaction (Jared Shurin and Anne Perry, Pornokitsch)

The fissuring of “fandoms” and the 2014 Hugo Awards finalists (Larry Nolen, The OF Blog)

Quick 2014 Hugo Nomination Thoughts (John Scalzi, Whatever)

Hugo Award Nominations List (Liz Bourke, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea)

Thank you, again! (Jonathan Strahan)

Hugo nominations! (George R.R. Martin)

Somewhere puppies are smiling (File 770)

I’ve been nominated for a bleeping Hugo Award and other thoughts (Ian Mond, The Write and the Critic)

Happy Hugo Nomination Day! (In which I go “Yay!” and sideeye simultaneously.) (Rachael Acks)

We’re Nominated for a Hugo Award! (Skiffy and Fanty Show)

Hey look, the Hugo noms (Genre-Bending)

The Annual Hugo Nomination Reaction Post (Cora Buhlert)

The Hugo Awards 2014 Announced (Darkness Beckons)

2014 Hugo Award Nominations (Oh Magic Hour)

A hearty congratulations! (Bookworm Blues)

Hugo Award 2014 Nominees Announced (SciFiWard)

So about the Hugos (Saira Ali)

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Guest post by Marie Brennan: The Dreaded Label “Mary Sue”

Marie BrennanFor today’s guest post, I’m very proud to welcome Marie Brennan, whose two most recent novels A Natural History of Dragons and The Tropic of Serpents I reviewed here and here.

Marie Brennan is a former academic with a background in archaeology, anthropology, and folklore, which she now puts to rather cockeyed use in writing fantasy. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to the two aforementioned Memoirs of Lady Trent and many short stories and novellas, she is also the author of A Star Shall Fall and With Fate Conspire (both from Tor Books), as well as Warrior, WitchMidnight Never Come, In Ashes Lie, and Lies and Prophecy. You can find her online at SwanTower.com.

Please enjoy Marie Brennan’s guest post about the dreaded “Mary Sue” label and whether it applies to her character Isabella, Lady Trent.

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The Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan

Tropic Of SerpentsLast year’s A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan was a pleasant surprise for me: the first volume of the fictional memoirs of Isabella, Lady Trent, who some thought to be a mere “ink-nosed girl” at the time of writing but who grew into a formidable presence and the world’s preeminent authority on dragons. (My full review of A Natural History of Dragons can be be found here.)

Tor recently released The Tropic of Serpents, which is the second part of Lady Trent’s memoirs. A direct continuation of the first novel, this sequel describes the fall-out from Isabella’s first adventure in the mountains of Vystrana, as well as her next adventure on the continent of Eriga.

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Irenicon by Aidan Harte

46031_Irenicon_MMP.inddThe city of Rasenna is divided, in more than one sense of the word. Geographically speaking, the city is split in two by the river Irenicon, which was blasted straight through the middle of the ancient city using Wave technology, a major feat of engineering by the Concordian Empire to subdue its main rival.

Maybe more importantly, though, the people of Rasenna are divided into factions. Competing families on each side of the river continually launch deadly raids and vendettas against each other. Bandieratori fight on the streets and roofs for dominance. Sofia, heir of the old Scaligeri ruling family and soon-to-be Contessa, is powerless to stop the waves of violence that weaken the already-divided city.

Then everything changes: Giovanni, an engineer of the same Concordian Empire that originally caused the Wave, arrives in Rasenna to build a bridge across the Irenicon. Concord once again wants to expand its reach, and Rasenna is in its way…

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Truth and Fear by Peter Higgins

TruthandFearWolfhound Century by Peter Higgins (review) was one of last year’s strongest debuts, a unique dystopian fantasy set in an alternate Stalin-era USSR with Russian mythological elements and vague hints of something science fictional happening out in space.

The story of downtrodden investigator Vissarion Lom hunting down the terrorist Josef Kantor at the behest of the totalitarian Vlast was mostly set in Mirgorod, a gray, rainy city that seemed to fall somewhere between New Crobuzon and Moscow. Wolfhound Century was one of the first novels in a long time that actually deserved the frequent comparisons to China Miéville, thanks in large part to Peter Higgins’ beautiful prose.

Truth and Fear is the direct sequel to Wolfhound Century and, as expected, picks up more or less directly where the previous novel left off—“as expected” because the one major disappointment about Wolfhound Century was its ending, which was, well, really not much of an ending at all.

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