From the New York Times bestselling author of The Night Circus, a timeless love story set in a secret underground world — a place of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a starless sea.
Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues — a bee, a key, and a sword — that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library hidden far below the surface of the earth.
What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians — it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also of those who are intent on its destruction.
Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose — in both the mysterious book and in his own life.
The nominees for the 2009 Nebula Awards are:
Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela, Saladin Ahmed
I Remember the Future, Michael A. Burstein
Non-Zero Probabilities, N. K. Jemisin
Spar, Kij Johnson
Going Deep, James Patrick Kelly
Bridesicle, Will McIntosh
The Gambler, Paolo Bacigalupi
Vinegar Peace, or the Wrong-Way Used-Adult Orphanage, Michael Bishop
I Needs Must Part, The Policeman Said, Richard Bowes
Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast, Eugie Foster
Divining Light, Ted Kosmatka
A Memory of Wind, Rachel Swirsky
The Women of Nell Gwynne’s, Kage Baker
Arkfall, Carolyn Ives Gilman
Act One, Nancy Kress
Shambling Towards Hiroshima, James Morrow
Sublimation Angels, Jason Sanford
The God Engines, John Scalzi
The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi
The Love We Share Without Knowing, Christopher Barzak
Flesh and Fire, Laura Anne Gilman
The City & The City, China Miéville
Boneshaker, Cherie Priest
Finch, Jeff VanderMeer
Kage Baker died January 31, 2010 of cancer at home in Pismo Beach, CA.
Kage Baker was best known for her Company series of time travel novels and stories. She also wrote fantasy, notably Mythopoeic finalist The Anvil of the World (2003) and World Fantasy Award-nominated sequel The House of the Stag (2008). In 1999, she was a finalist for the Campbell Award for Best New Writer.
Kelly Gay's The Better Part of Darkness is the first book of a new urban fantasy series. It's Kelly Gay's debut book. It was released in November 2009. The second book, The Darkest Edge of Dawn, will be released in August 2010.
Kelly Gay's official website can be found here.
A REVIEW OF KELLY GAY'S THE BETTER PART OF DARKNESS
Blake Charlton is a fantasy author, whose debut book, Spellwright, will be published soon by Tor Books. Spellwright is the first book of The Spellwright Trilogy. The other books will be Spellbound and Disjunction.
Blake Charlton is also a medical student and he's working to establish a dual career in fiction and medicine. His website can be found here.
A REVIEW OF BLAKE CHARLTON'S SPELLWRIGHT
Lucius Shepard's Viator Plus was published in late 2009 by PS Publishing. This short story collection contains an expanded version of the short novel Viator, which was originally published by Night Shade Books.
Here's a description of Viator Plus from the publisher's website:
In this, his seventh major collection, Lucius Shepard is as magisterial in narration and darkly eloquent in style as ever. The stories gathered here conduct the reader from the wastelands of the near future to the zoned-out bacchanals of Hollywood, from the fevered bordellos of Central America to the hallucinated revels of redneck country, from the broken hearts of wandering loners to alluring fantasy realms just beyond the threshold of perception. And when the journey is over, eternal contrasts – of man and woman, bosses and workers, responsibility and escape, conformity and freedom – stand in more powerful definition than ever before...
The title novel, Viator, is here published in its full, intended text for the first time – the previous version was some 20,000 words shorter – and is revealed as Shepard’s masterpiece of the decade. Five men of Swedish descent, drifters and drunks on the mend, are assigned to live aboard a derelict ship on the Alaskan coast, only to perceive that they are on the brink of a voyage beyond our world, one of beckoning glamour and incipient madness. Long sentences, alternately languorous and urgent, run moodily throughout the tale, in a feast of metaphoric language limning the perils of a soul caught between anchoring love and transcendent illusion.
And other stories set out equally resonant crises of the conflicted psyche. A mine manager who knows his domain for the very image of Hell bids for redemption, or at least survival. A scriptwriter in Hollywood finds that false appearances exist not only in films. A veteran rock singer, the “Queen Mother”, confronts apparitions with muddled resolve. A town in Latin America witnesses abasements emblematic of the region’s poverty. A foolish man loses his lover and pursues her image to nowhere. And the emergence of a monster on an American beach is not at all what it seems.
Viator Plus is a book of charismatic distinction, one of the finest collections of the year.
A REVIEW OF LUCIUS SHEPARD'S VIATOR PLUS