Cover by Maurizio Manzieri.
A major first collection from a writer fast becoming one of the stars of the genre... Aliette de Bodard, multiple award winner and author of The Tea Master and the Detective, now brings readers fourteen dazzling tales that showcase the richly textured worldbuilding and beloved characters that have brought her so much acclaim.
Come discover the breadth and endless invention of her universes, ranging from a dark Gothic Paris devastated by a magical war; to the multiple award-winning Xuya, a far-future space opera inspired by Vietnamese culture where scholars administrate planets and sentient spaceships are part of families.
In the Nebula award and Locus award winning "Immersion", a young girl working in a restaurant on a colonized space station crosses paths with an older woman who has cast off her own identity. In the novelette "Children of Thorns, Children of Water", a shapeshifting dragon infiltrating a ruined mansion finds more than he's bargained for when his partner is snatched by eerie, child-like creatures. And in the award-winning "Three Cups of Grief, by Starlight", three very different people--a scholar, an engineer, and a spaceship--all must deal with the loss of a woman who was the cornerstone of their world.
This collection includes a never-before seen 20,000-word novella, "Of Birthdays, and Fungus, and Kindness", set in Bodard's alternative dark Paris.
From Library Journal (Starred Review):
“Award-winner de Bodard shows her famous worlds, the Vietnam diaspora-inspired ‘The Universe of Xuya’ and the magical war-torn Paris of ‘The Dominion of the Fallen,’ here in a collection of 14 stories that push readers’ boundaries with fascinating speculative fiction… This stunning collection showcases de Bodard’s lush worldbuilding, meticulous research, and emotional prose.”
From Publishers Weekly:
“These 14 deeply culture-bound tales, set in the universes of de Bodard’s Xuya and Dominion of the Fallen series, evoke heartbreak from sacrifice, the price of peace, and memories lost... Readers prepared for melancholy and heartbreak will find them finely crafted here.”
“All of these tales are a joy to read, even those that are heart-wrenchingly tragic. De Bodard (The House of Shattered Wings, 2015) proves, again and again, that space opera can be intensely personal against its galactic backdrop…. The collection covers the consequences of war, survival in colonial culture, motherhood, mindships and space-travel, and aspects of grief.”
“These are stories about aftermaths, about interstices: stories about memory, about diaspora, about love and loss and compassion, and about building communities worth living in even when the world is cruel and/or indifferent. And they are stories with a strong non-Western influence. The arrangement of the stories highlights their thematic connections‑and sometimes their contrasts‑and makes for a collection that can be read both as a unity and as something to dip in and out of for specific stories.”
Table of Contents:
- The Shipmaker
- The Jaguar House, in Shadow
- Scattered Along the River of Heaven
- The Waiting Stars
- The Breath of War
- The Days of the War, as Red as Blood, as Dark as Bile
- The Dust Queen
- Three Cups of Grief, by Starlight
- A Salvaging of Ghosts
- Children of Thorns, Children of Water
- Of Birthdays, and Fungus, and Kindness (original novella)
- Story Notes
- Maurizio Manzieri
- Aliette de Bodard
- 443 pages
- eBook Edition