Kelly McCullough writes fantasy, science fiction, and books for kids of varying ages. He lives in Wisconsin with his physics professor wife and a small herd of cats. His novels include the WebMage and Fallen Blade series — Penguin/ACE, and the forthcoming School for Sidekicks — Feiwel and Friends/Macmillan. His short fiction has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. He also dabbles in science fiction as science education with The Chronicles of the Wandering Star — part of an NSF-funded science curriculum — and the science comic Hanny & the Mystery of the Voorwerp, which he co-authored and co-edited — funding provided by NASA and the Hubble Space Telescope. Kelly on Twitter, Facebook, G+, ello
January 25, 2012 in Other People's Books
I’m reading Martha Wells’ The Serpent Sea right now. It’s the sequel to The Cloud Roads, and, like it’s predecessor, it is an excellent read. These books are hard to capture in a review of any reasonable length. This is because they are dense, and complex, with truly amazing world building, and non-human characters who are quite genuinely alien, yet still comprehensible and sympathetic.
The characters, particularly the protagonist, Moon, are compelling and flawed and likable. Stone and Jade are also excellent. The plots are solid and fast moving. But it’s the world that…just, wow! There is a depth and breadth and sheer alienness here that I have rarely seen in any novel. Shape-shifters, flying ships, city-trees, six kazillion sentient races, floating islands, and on and on and on, and yet it isn’t too much. Every bit of it makes sense in the context of the world.
I’m normally not a big one for writing reviews, and certainly not for books I haven’t finished. But I love these books and I want them to be widely read so that Martha gets to keep writing them, and I have to read them slowly because there’s simply so much to digest and think about. So, I’m going to post this now in hopes of driving a few more people to go pick them up.
Also, since it’s always worth mentioning when speaking of Wells’ work, if you haven’t read her earlier books The Element of Fire and The Death of the Necromancer, which are among the best fantasy novels written in the last thirty years, you should go find copies and read them immediately.
November 29, 2011 in Books
I appear to have written another book. Well, the writing part was actually finished almost a year ago, but the bit where the world sees it starts today. It’s called Broken Blade and its got assassins and sorcerers and swordfights and something very like zombies. Hopefully, you will all like it and want to share it with your friends, families, pets, and random people off the street. You can read the first chapter of it here: Broken Blade.
I really don’t have a lot more to say about the book at this point in time. Once it’s printed and bound and all of those things, a book more or less has to speak for itself and I’m going to let it, though you can hear me talking about a variety of things with Anton Strout at his latest Once and Future podcast, recorded on Sunday.
I mentioned sequels, didn’t I? While readers are just getting their first real chance to see the book for themselves, I’ve been busily working on the next one. Two actually. Tomorrow, or possibly later today, I will be hitting send on the email that will put the third book, Crossed Blades, in my editor’s in-box so that I can start worrying about whether she will like it. But wait, what about the second book?
Bared Blade is actually already available for preorder at places like Barnes and Noble and Amazon. While I’m being commercial, I should probably also post the links for ordering Broken Blade directly from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Indiebound (various independents) should you be so inclined.
The website is new as well. For which, many thanks to Ben Zvan. Feel free to poke around and kick the tires and the like. While I’m thanking people, the following individuals all got special thanks in the book and should probably be thanked again here, Laura McCullough, Jack Byrne, Anne Sowards, my mapmaker Matt Kuchta, and Neil Gaiman for the loan of the dogs.
One final note. If you’re viewing this on November 29th, and you happen to be in the Minneapolis/St Paul area, I’ll be reading bits of the book at the Har Mar Barnes and Noble tonight at 7:00, as well as making a few other appearances later in the week.
Broken Blade, meet world. World, meet book.
So, I have a new book coming out a week from Tuesday, Broken Blade. The first chapter can be found here.
It can be bought at all the usual places, of course, but if you want to get a signed copy, you might want to come to one of the events I’ll be having in November and December.
1st up: Launch day reading and signing at the Barnes and Noble in Har Mar Mall in Roseville (St Paul) MN. 7:00 pm, Tuesday November 29th.
2nd: I’ll be signing and chatting with whoever shows up at Uncle Hugo’s science fiction book store in Minneapolis, MN. 1:00 pm Saturday December 3rd.
3rd: I’ll be signing, maybe reading, and chatting with whoever shows up at Bookends on Main in Menomonie, WI. 5:00 pm Thursday December 8th.
4th: I’ll be signing and chatting with whoever shows up at Dreamhaven Books in Minneapolis, MN. 2:00 pm Saturday December 10th. This will be one of the last events at the book store before they become primarily on online book seller.