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Friday, March 9, 2012

More Details about "Worldsoul" by Liz Williams and "Empty Space" by M. John Harrison (by Liviu Suciu)


The author of the wonderful sf novels with strong fantasy-nal elements, Bloodmind, Darkland, Winterstrike, Banner of Souls and of the UF series Inspector Chen returns this summer with Worldsoul, the start of a new series from Prime Books. While even on first rumors the book jumped on my list of highly awaited novels of 2012, the new details that surfaced recently and the book cover presented above, made it even more of a priority.

This is one of the "dark horse" novels of 2012 for me that could so blow me away to jump into my top five novel list, where epics and "weighty" novels of all kind usually tend to dwell, but mind blowing though shorter length sf tends also to appear.

"What if being a librarian was the most dangerous job in the world?

Worldsoul, a great city that forms a nexus point between Earth and the many dimensions known as the Liminality, is a place where old stories gather, where forgotten legends come to fade and die—or to flourish and rise again. Until recently, Worldsoul has been governed by the Skein, but they have gone missing and no one knows why. The city is also being attacked with lethal flower-bombs from unknown enemy. Mercy Fane and her fellow Librarians are doing their best to maintain the Library, but... things... keep breaking out of ancient texts and legends and escaping into the city. Mercy must pursue one such dangerous creature. She turns to Shadow, an alchemist, for aid, but Shadow—inadvertently possessed by an ifrit—has a perilous quest of her own to undertake"

A short comment from Liz Williams about the series can be found on her blog HERE:

"I have signed a 3 book deal with Prime Books. It's called Worldsoul and it's about a stolen library, an unstable monorail, several renegade sphinxes and much else besides. It's more fantasy than SF."

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After a change of title, the 3rd Kefauchi Tract novel by M. John Harrison after the still haunting "Light" and the somewhat less memorable, at least to date, "Nova Swing", will come out this summer as "Empty Space".

Time for a reread of Nova Swing and a browse through Light, but the blurb below is making this one a huge asap novel and an early candidate for top sff novel of the year, place that right now is held by In the Mouth of the Whale.

"EMPTY SPACE is a space adventure. We begin with the following dream: An alien research tool the size of a brown dwarf star hangs in the middle of nowhere, as a result of an attempt to place it equidistant from everything else in every possible universe. Somewhere in the fractal labyrinth beneath its surface, a woman lies on an allotropic carbon deck, a white paste of nanomachines oozing from the corner of her mouth. She is neither conscious nor unconscious, dead nor alive. There is something wrong with her cheekbones. At first you think she is changing from one thing into another -- perhaps it's a cat, perhaps it's something that only looks like one -- then you see that she is actually trying to be both things at once. She is waiting for you, she has been waiting for you for perhaps 10,000 years. She comes from the past, she comes from the future. She is about to speak-- EMPTY SPACE is a sequel to LIGHT and NOVA SWING, three strands presented in alternating chapters which will work their way separately back to this image of frozen transformation."

The author has a little more detail here:

"Pearlant was the working title. By the time I’d finished, I didn’t like it. No one else liked it either. I thought I’d call it Black Heart. Characters of mine have been drinking Black Heart Rum since “The Gift” in 1987, although they only got going in earnest in 2001. But Gollancz turned out to be publishing another novel called Black Heart in the same month. So I reverted to the working title for Light, which I always liked because space isn’t empty at all.

Empty Space is the third & final book in the Light setting. It suggests that I always had a plan, albeit of the usual mad, half-hidden kind. If you didn’t like Light because of the sex, don’t get Empty Space. If you didn’t like Light because of a perceived “coldness” don’t get Empty Space. If you can’t navigate yourself morally, politically & emotionally without three sentences of direction for every sentence that furthers the action, don’t get Empty Space."


4 comments:

shaneo52 said...

Hey Liviu, Worldsoul sounds pretty cool. Whats her best book in your opinion/or starting place?

Liviu said...

depends on what interests you - for sf that reads like fantasy, Banner of Souls, for sf that is more traditional Darkland, for UF whichever Inspector Chen is first - these last I am not really interested in but Mihir read all and they seem to be very good in that subgenre

shaneo52 said...

Thanks Liviu, Yeah I'm not into UF myself.
You sound pretty excited about this one. I need to try her books out sometime.

Nathan Washor said...

Wordsoul does sound and look pretty cool. I love that cover art to boot! Looking forward to your review.

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