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The Tea Master and the Detective eBook

The Tea Master and the Detective eBook

by Aliette de Bodard

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Subterranean Press is thrilled to announce our first title from Nebula Award-winning Aliette de Bodard.
 
De Bodard brings us a new novella set in the award-winning, critically-acclaimed Xuya universe!
 
Welcome to the Scattered Pearls Belt, a collection of ring habitats and orbitals ruled by exiled human scholars and powerful families, and held together by living mindships who carry people and freight between the stars. In this fluid society, human and mindship avatars mingle in corridors and in function rooms, and physical and virtual realities overlap, the appareance of environments easily modified and adapted to interlocutors or current mood.
 
A transport ship discharged from military service after a traumatic injury, The Shadow's Child now ekes out a precarious living as a brewer of mind-altering drugs for the comfort of space-travellers. Meanwhile, abrasive and eccentric scholar Long Chau wants to find a corpse for a scientific study. When Long Chau walks into her office, The Shadow's Child expects an unpleasant but easy assignment. When the corpse turns out to have been murdered, Long Chau feels compelled to investigate, dragging The  Shadow's Child with her. 
 
As they dig deep into the victim's past, The Shadow's Child realises that the investigation points to Long Chau's own murky past--and, ultimately, to the dark and unbearable void that lies between the stars...

From The New York Times:

“This isn’t a tidy transposition of Holmes and Watson into far-future space, for all that the elements of homage (Long Chau is an abrasive self-medicating ‘consulting detective’) shine through. The Shadow’s Child is a fully realized character in her own right, and the dislike she feels for Long Chau is sustained and justified. Instead it’s a window onto a beautifully developed world that widens the meaning of space opera, one that centers on Chinese and Vietnamese cultures and customs instead of Western military conventions, and is all the more welcome for it.

From Publishers Weekly:

“…De Bodard constructs a convincingly gritty setting and a pair of unique characters with provocative histories and compelling motivations. The story works as well as both science fiction and murder mystery, exploring a future where pride, guilt, and mercy are not solely the province of humans.”

From The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction:

“The mystery, the world, and the characters are a perfect blend, and I absolutely want more of these two.”

From The Book Smugglers:

The Tea Master and the Detective is the Sherlock Holmes retelling I always wanted and now I have it. And I want so much more of it.”

From Tor.com: 

“This is a measured, almost stately story, right up until a conclusion that explodes in fast-paced tension. It preserves the empathy and the intensity of the original Sherlockian stories, while being told in de Bodard’s sharp prose and modern style. The worldbuilding—this novella is set in de Bodard’s Xuya continuity, like On A Red Station, Drifting and The Citadel of Weeping Pearls—sparkles. The characters have presence: they’re individual and compelling. And it ends it a way that recalls the original Holmes and Watson, while being perfectly appropriate to itself.”

From Locus (Gary K. Wolfe):

“As a classical blend of far-future SF and traditional murder mystery, The Tea Master and the Detective should satisfy readers unfamiliar with the Xuya universe, but at the same time it’s an intriguing introduction to that universe, much of which seems to lie just outside the borders of this entertaining tale.”

From Locus (Liz Bourke):

“It becomes clear early on that The Tea Master and the Detective is strongly influenced by, if not directly based upon, the Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson stories of Arthur Conan Doyle. It’s measured, almost stately, up until the conclusion, where the tension explodes into high gear. It preserves the empathy and the intensity of the original Sherlockian stories, while being told in de Bodard’s cut-glass prose and inimitable modern style. This is a really satisfying story, deeply invested in choosing to do the right thing – and in the importance of kindness. I strongly recommend it.”

From SFRevu:

“Aliette de Bodard’s new novella in her Xuya universe is a terrific piece of writing, taking the sentient community of ships from Ian Bank’s Culture series, the glittering belt of space habitats from Alistair Reynolds’ Prefect novels, and adding in a compelling pair as the title characters.”

From Mary Robinette Kowal:

"The Tea Master is an astonishing Holmesian mystery, in which Holmes is a woman and Watson is a spaceship. It is everything I wanted it to be. Tea, space, and mysteries within mysteries."

From Fran Wilde, Andre Norton Award-winning, Nebula- and Hugo-nominated author of The Bone Universe series and The Jewel & Her Lapidary:

“In Aliette de Bodard's excellent, far-seeing The Tea Master and The Detective, an unlikely pair comes together to solve a mystery in the void and to face their pasts. This philosophical thriller is beautifully steeped in de Bodard's Xuya universe. For readers who are familiar with her mindships, this novella will be a welcome addition. For readers who may be new to Xuya, The Tea Master is an excellent entry point. The pairing of brilliant-but-hobbled detective Long Chau with the perceptive-but-wounded mindship The Shadow's Child is one of those matches that creates enough friction on the page to make sparks. Set against a background of dramatic family politics, teas, and high-tech bots, The Tea Master and The Detective is a distinct pleasure for discerning readers.”

From Jonathan L. Howard, Author of Johannes Cabal the Necromancer and Carter & Locecraft:

"It’s difficult to know where to start with the reasons to read The Tea Master and the Detective, there is such an embarrassment of riches. The world, the situation, the delicious idea of a ship playing a particularly intelligent and suspicious Watson to a very secretive female Holmes, the prose that glitters with imagery without once becoming overbearing. Briefly, it’s de Bodard firing on all cylinders, and that should be enough for anyone.”

From The Romance Reviews:

“The Tea Master and the Detective is a strangely compelling tale.”

Additional Information

Authors de Bodard, Aliette
Artists Manzieri, Maurizio
Type Novella
Edition ebook
ISBN 978-1-59606-865-0
Year 2018
Month March
Print Status In Print
eBook? Yes
Length 96 pages
EBook Rights Country Canada, Mexico, United States
eBook Region North America, United States, Canada

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