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Monday, October 26, 2015
Fantasy Book Critic is extremely excited to welcome Julie E. Czerneda to our blog. We are kicking off a blog tour for Julie's book This Gulf of Time and Stars. This Gulf of Time and Stars is the first of the final trilogy in Czerneda's science fiction series – Clan Chronicles.
This Gulf of Time and Stars is scheduled to be published November 3, 2015! Learn more about the series and author Julie E. Czerneda by reading below!
More about the series:
The Clan Chronicles is set in a far future with interstellar travel where the Trade Pact encourages peaceful commerce among a multitude of alien and Human worlds. The alien Clan, humanoid in appearance, have been living in secrecy and wealth on Human worlds, relying on their innate ability to move through the M’hir and bypass normal space. The Clan bred to increase that power, only to learn its terrible price: females who can’t help but kill prospective mates. Sira di Sarc is the first female of her kind facing that reality. With the help of a Human starship captain, Jason Morgan, Sira must find a morally acceptable solution before it’s too late. But with the Clan exposed, her time is running out. The Stratification trilogy follows Sira’s ancestor, Aryl Sarc, and shows how their power first came to be as well as how the Clan came to live in the Trade Pact. The Trade Pact trilogy is the story of Sira and Morgan, and the trouble facing the Clan. Reunification will conclude the series and answer, at last, #whoaretheclan.
Without further ado, we welcome Julie E. Czerneda for her guest blog! If you wish to follow more posts from Julie E. Czerneda or learn more about the series feel free to follow the blog tour via Facebook. The Facebook event can be found here.
Going Dark, Why Gulf Is So Different.
Those familiar with my novels, particularly the last two fantasies, A Turn of Light and A Play of Shadow, but also my science fiction, will know it’s fair to say I’m something of a fluffy bunny, a term first coined by the inestimable S.M. Stirling, who isn’t one (although very sweet). More telling, perhaps, my dear long-time friend Anne Bishop categorizes her books as “Julie-proof” or not. By that standard, her Ephemera books and latest series, the Others, are (and I love them), but her Realms of the Blood books are not. However beautifully written, those are too dark for me.
Yet now I’m writing dark. What’s up with that?
My previous lack of dark isn’t completely due to my being a fluffy bunny, aka a romantic, optimistic person looking for stories that not only satisfy my tastes, but make me want to linger, re-read, and generally sigh with joy. Okay, that’s a big part of it. I love happy endings. What really gets me is that I can’t forget what I’ve read, especially if it’s disturbed me. Washing out the brain? Not an option. There are enough despicable things in the world without reading them on purpose, therefore I don’t. That means horror, especially well-written, convincing horror, isn’t for me.
Nor, I’d thought, was dark.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a tragic ending, given it’s done not for shock value but rather with powerful inevitability. Life’s like that. Such endings can be beautiful and uplifting, despite the tears. (I read with tissues.) I’ve written such an end for a beloved character, with tissues, and am proud of it. (Species Imperative)
But that’s not going dark. Dark, to me as a writer, is unrelenting. It steals hope, limits choices, sends characters into peril—then slams the trapdoor behind them and tosses away the key. Dark is about making readers wonder how anything good could happen, even as I prepare to make it worse.
Which brings me to Reunification. I knew ten years ago what had to happen in these books in order to complete the story of the Clan. I knew as I wrote the prequel trilogy, Stratification. My hands literally shook as I finished Rift in the Sky, writing how the Clan, faced with living among Humans, made their choice.
The wrong one.
Even now, writing this, I find myself forced to pause and take a deeper breath, letting it out in a sigh. A story starts with infinite possibilities, but each event, each decision, narrows the options. A good story—a great one—gathers momentum. The inevitable narrowing seizes the writer by the heart as well as mind and you’ve no choice, that word again, but to take the only path left.
Science fiction explores consequence. Like any experiment, you put the requisite parameters and constraints in place, then record what happens. That a story does so in words makes it no less potent a tool. The Clan, embodied as Sira, is my experiment and I’ve watched its ending unfold.
A confession. I was supposed to jump in and start writing Reunification in 2009. After all, I’d just done the prequel after months of research. It would have been efficient, to say the least. Maybe I was a coward—okay, I was a coward—but knowing where the story had to go, I discovered the last thing I wanted to do was write it.
I called my dear editor and asked to do the opposite. She agreed, and I spent what became years building a rich world full of magical toads and invisible dragons, writing a romantic, optimistic, blissfully happy fantasy (A Turn of Light), then its sequel. I’m glad I did. Yes, you had to wait, but my hindbrain had understood. I wasn’t ready, in 2009, to write what I had to write.
I am now.
As I said at the start, This Gulf of Time and Stars will be a surprise to some of my long-time readers. In it, no one and nothing is safe. In it, the Clan face the consequence of the choice they made, to subjugate and use those of lesser power. Generations of breeding for Power, of fearing discovery, of fearing Humans, have narrowed their options to one. The story goes dark, by my definition above, and doesn’t come up for air.
It was a different experience, revisiting these characters, my very first. Different, because I know their endings as well as the story’s. That knowledge makes me hold on tight and savour each moment. Cherish them, as I might not have otherwise.
Maybe that’s why Gulf–and the trilogy it begins--is so different. Not the going dark but because it’s the end, after all these years, to my first story. For me, it’s the right ending and I’m content. Even better, I’ll have answered my own question.
Who are the Clan?
Footnote: Still not ready to read your Blood books, Anne
About Julie E. Czerneda
Since 1997, Canadian author/editor Julie E. Czerneda has shared her love and curiosity about living things through her science fiction, writing about shapechanging semi-immortals, terraformed worlds, salmon researchers, and the perils of power. Her fourteenth novel from DAW Books was her debut fantasy, A Turn of Light, winner of the 2014 Aurora Award for Best English Novel, and now Book One of her Night`s Edge series. Her most recent publications:
a special omnibus edition of her acclaimed near-future SF Species Imperative, as well as Book Two of Night`s Edge, A Play of Shadow, a finalist for this year’s Aurora.
Julie’s presently back in science fiction, writing the finale to her Clan Chronicles series. Book #1 of Reunification, This Gulf of Time and Stars, will be released by DAW November 2015. For more about her work, visit www.czerneda.com or visit her on Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads.
12:00 AM | Posted by Cindy | | Edit Post