I haven’t been blogging much lately–being busy will do that! I’ve turned in a book to my editors, and am waiting for the inevitable moment when I’ll have revisions to do, and in the meantime I’m working on another project, and I’ve been doing Stuff. Like, look at this shiny thing I made!
I took some lessons from Elise Matheson, who is a fabulous teacher.
Anyway! I’ve also managed to read some things!
The Waterdancer’s World by L. Timmel Duchamp
I’m not sure I can do better than the description at Aqueduct Press: “Humans have been struggling to live on Frogmore for almost five centuries, adapting themselves to punishing gravity and the deadly mistflowers that dominate its ecology. Financier Inez Gauthier, patron of the arts and daughter of the general commanding the planet’s occupation forces, dreams of eliminating the mistflowers that make exploitation of the planet’s natural wealth so difficult and impede her father’s efforts to crush the native insurgency. Fascinated by the new art-form of waterdancing created by Solstice Balalzalar celebrating the planet’s indigenous lifeforms, Inez assumes that her patronage will be enough to sustain Solstice’s art even as she ruthlessly pursues windfall profits at the expense of all that has made waterdancing possible.”
The review at Strange Horizons suggests a theoretical subgenre called “realistic space opera” within which tWDW might fit, and that rings true to me. It’s about fateful events in the history of Frogmore, but it tells its story almost entirely in terms of the interactions and choices of individual characters. I found it compelling reading.
Which didn’t surprise me–some years ago I bought a copy of Alanya to Alanya in the dealers room at Wiscon, figuring it was a nice hefty book that might take me some time to read, and if I enjoyed it I’d buy the second volume the next year. Once I picked it up, though, I couldn’t put it down, and it only took me a few days to finish reading it. And then I really really wished I had the next book on hand, so next Wiscon I just bought the rest of them in a big stack, and read them in a couple of weeks.
The Waterdancer’s World isn’t so (literally) voluminous (or quite so viscerally upsetting, as the Marq’ssan books are in places, to me), and is maybe a more manageable introduction to Duchamp’s writing.
The Beautiful Ones by Siliva Moreno-Garcia
Y’all should be reading Silvia Moreno-Garcia, if you aren’t already. This particular book is a romance, set in a Not Quite France where some people are born with telekinetic ability–ladies never indulge it in public, of course. If you enjoy the Regency-ish Romances With Magic kind of thing, you’ll want to check this out. I enjoyed it a lot.
And then maybe check out Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s other work, because, seriously.