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Sabetha Belacoros

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Scott Lynch has just published the prologue of Republic Of Thieves, his third novel, on his website:

She was dirty, as they all were, and though it was hard to tell by the pale silver light of the vault’s alchemical lanterns, she looked a little tired. She wore scuffed brown breeches, a long baggy tunic that at some distant remove had been white, and a leather flat cap over a tight kerchief, so that not a strand of her hair was visible. Yet she was undeniably a she. For the very first time in Locke’s life some unpracticed animal sense crept dimly to life to alert him to this fact. The Hill was full of girls, but never before had Locke dwelt on the thought of a girl. He sucked in a breath and realized that he could feel his pulse tingling at the tip of each of his fingers.

Yes, Lynch finally gets round to the story he should have told after The Lies Of Locke Lamora. It is more of the same but the same is pretty good (as long as you enjoy the ride and don’t care about the destination). He has also – and more surprisingly – decided to publish a new online pulp serial, Queen of the Iron Sands:

At the height of the Second World War, Violet DeVere was a WASP – a Women’s Airforce Service Pilot, trusted with ferrying the most advanced warplanes in the United States arsenal. Five years after the war, she’s barely making ends meet as a crop duster and part-time science fiction writer. Kidnapped across a hundred million miles of space, Violet suddenly finds herself a prisoner in an impossible empire, an inhabited Mars shielded from earthling eyes by a scientific illusion called the Veil. Mars and its people are ground beneath the heel of the ruthless All-Sovereign, whose legions rule the skies. All resistance to his absolute despotism has been driven to the deadly red sands beyond civilization. Outgunned and outnumbered, Violet DeVere and her few brave Martian allies make a desperate stand against the All-Sovereign… against an ageless tyrant with the power to destroy every living thing in the solar system.

As you might be able to tell, this is pretty old school. In Lynch’s own words “Queen of the Iron Sands is a science fantasy, in the tradition of a planet-hopping and laser-blasting style of adventure fiction that was once much more prominent in the genre”. I am not a fan of this tradition but I am a fan of Lynch so I will be following this (for the moment, at least).

Written by Martin

31 August 2009 at 13:57

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I reviewed The Heritage by Will Ashon for Strange Horizons so I was sent a copy by the publisher. I wouldn’t have bought it otherwise because it was published by Faber & Faber in the bastardised trade paperback format, a hideous half-way house between hardback and paperback. However, since I liked Clear Water I probably would have bought the real paperback when it was released this month. Except, as Ashon reports, I wouldn’t have had that opportunity:

So, the good burghers of Faber & Faber have decided against publishing a mass-market paperback edition of “The Heritage”. I would’ve been pissed off, anyway, I guess, but I think would have understood this hard-headed business decision. After all, if you wanna kiss the ring of the Leather Pope then corporate capitalism’s where it’s at and fuck any of the considerations (art, literature, quality) you may pay lip service to. But I think my sense of fair play was piqued by being told less than two weeks before said paperback edition was supposed to be out. I mean, really, how shit is that?

This has happened so rapidly that Amazon still have the paperback edition listed, albeit as “currently unavailable”. It is an extremely cruel blow for Ashon which he has tried to soften by making the novel available to download for free. I would recommend that you do.

Written by Martin

11 February 2009 at 11:03

Posted in books, publishing, sf

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