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Notes from the Labyrinth
Unobtainium and Dragons' Bones
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ws: hamlet

This is the blog of Sarah Monette/Katherine Addison, a professional writer of horror, fantasy, and science fiction. Sarah Monette is my real name; Katherine Addison is a pen name, intended to be transparent.

If you've found me here, odds are pretty good you're looking for something to read, so the following is--to the best of my knowledge--a complete list of everything I've written that's available online:

STORIESCollapse )
ESSAYSCollapse )

If you know of anything I've missed, please leave a comment!
27th-Aug-2015 09:22 am - IF YOU LIKE THE GOBLIN EMPEROR
writing: airship
I got email from a reader the other day, wondering about other books like The Goblin Emperor (what matociquala has dubbed "committeepunk"). I'm kind of terrible at that game, so I did what any sensible person would do. I asked Twitter.

(And thank you very kindly to everyone who responded.)

Someone pointed out that if you merely want more books by me, there are several of them: Mélusine, The Virtu, The Mirador, Corambis, The Bone Key, Somewhere Beneath Those Waves Was Her Home, plus collaborations with matociquala, A Companion to Wolves, The Tempering of Men, An Apprentice to Elves (forthcoming in October). But there were also many suggestions of other books to try.

It occurred to me subsequently that other people might also like to have those suggestions, so I'm compiling that Twitter list here--also everyone should feel free to add more suggestions in the comments!

(N.b., just because a book is on the list does not mean I personally endorse it as being like The Goblin Emperor in whatever capacity a reader might be looking for. Many of these books I have not read. Some of them I haven't even heard of.)

Lloyd Alexander, Westmark
Lois McMaster Bujold, The Curse of Chalion
Angela Carter, Nights at the Circus
C. J. Cherryh, Foreigner
Zen Cho, Sorcerer to the Crown
Raymond E. Feist & Janny Wurtz, Daughter of the Empire
Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane
M. C. A. Hogarth, Thief of Songs
N. K. Jemisin, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
Robin McKinley, The Blue Sword
Pat Rothfuss, The Slow Regard of Silent Things
Megan Whalen Turner, The Thief

Again, please feel free to play along at home and suggest more books!
ws: castabella
The Thames Torso MurdersThe Thames Torso Murders by M.J. Trow

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

cut for those who would really rather notCollapse )

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED in the Thames Torso Murders, I have to recommend this book because it's one of only two, and it's not trying to make the Thames Torso Murders fit into an artificial pattern (such as suggesting that this murderer and Jack the Ripper are the same person).

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED in Victorian London more generally--and have a very strong stomach--I also recommend it, because of the superb job Trow does in evoking the context of these murders. It's a view of London you aren't otherwise going to get.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED in the history of serial killers, I recommend this book, if for no other reason than that our view of the Thames Torso Murderer has been so obstructed by Rippermania that we barely even know he exists.

OTHERWISE, this book is probably not for you.

View all my reviews
24th-Aug-2015 06:42 am - The 2015 Hugo Awards
muppets: kermit-sgreer
Congratulations to the 2015 Hugo winners!

I'm very pleased that Liu Cixin and Ken Liu won. All of the fiction awards that were given this year went to translated works (that is, Short Story & Novel, the only two which did not end up No Award), which has never happened before and which I think is a wonderful thing. So if I'm gonna lose, I'm glad I lost to The Three-Body Problem.

And extra special congratulations to Wes Chu, this year's Campbell winner!
18th-Aug-2015 03:45 pm - My Sasquan schedule
cats: nom de plume
So, yeah, I'm gonna be at Sasquan. If you want to find me, here are the places and times to look.

Standard disclaimer: I am both very shy and very near-sighted.


Autographing - Katherine Addison, Alma Alexander, Elizabeth Bear, Marissa Meyer, L. E. Modesitt, Jr., Stanley Schmidt, Catherynne M. Valente
Friday 14:00 - 14:45, Hall B (CC)

Reading - Katherine Addison
Friday 16:00 - 16:30, 304 (CC)

Fantasy and Supernatural Noir
Saturday 12:00 - 12:45, Bays 111C (CC)
Dark speculative and (frequently) dark detective works are best-sellers these days. Our panel talks about early supernatural noir and where it's headed now.

Diana Pharaoh Francis, Richard Kadrey, Katherine Addison, John Pitts

Demigods, Chosen Ones & Rightful Heirs: Can Progress, Merit & Citizens Ever Matter in Fantasy?
Saturday 16:00 - 16:45, 300A (CC)
Science fiction often centers around meritocracies (or at least "knowledgetocracies") but fantasy? Not so much. Or, as Dennis famously said in Monty Python and the Holy Grail: "…Strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony." Has fantasy ever overcome this classic trope? Can it?

Darlene Marshall (M), Anaea Lay, Mary Soon Lee, Setsu Uzume, Katherine Addison

And then the Hugos. Eep.
10th-Jul-2015 01:26 pm - Award news
writing: airship
The Goblin Emperor has now been nominated for all four major SF/F awards: Hugo, Locus, Nebula, World Fantasy.

It has won the Locus.

I don't actually know what to say about this, except, wow.
15th-Jun-2015 01:49 pm - In memoriam: Miranda
ws: yorick
Our cat Miranda's borrowed time finally ran out; we had to put her to sleep in the early, awful hours of Sunday morning. (It really was 3 a.m. and F. Scott Fitzgerald was not wrong.)

The best way to explain Miranda is to say, imagine that a T-1000 sent back by SkyNet to kill John Connor has to shift into a tuxedo cat (because reasons, okay?) and there's some sort of radical malfunction. It gets stuck. It can't shift out of cat form, it's cut off from SkyNet, even if it found John Connor, what's it going to do, shed him to death?

The T-1000 decides, screw SkyNet, it likes being a housecat.

There's regular food and soft places to sleep and bipeds, who are useful mostly for their thumbs but also can be seduced into giving tummy rubs if you can get them to sit still in one place long enough.

Miranda weighed 10 pounds, but she landed on the floor like she was at least twice that heavy. We were always suspicious that she had extra legs stashed somewhere from the amount of noise she made galloping through the house. She had opinions and judgments and was not afraid to share them, mostly in the form of the vowel E, which is the best vowel. She wasn't a lap cat, but she was deeply affectionate. She loved to be petted, and she loved, loved, loved tummy rubs. (Her fur was dense and soft and smooth.)

All of this was top secret, of course. Visitors saw none of it; visitors were lucky to catch sight of her at all. She did Not Approve of visitors.

She was a feral rescue, along with her sister Emma who died in 2011 of the same kidney disease that finally killed Miranda on Sunday. We kept Miranda alive and happy and loving for four years after that, and while I wish like all hell that we could have kept her longer, I am so fucking grateful for the four years we got.

So. Fucking. Grateful.

Also? Crying again.
27th-May-2015 04:52 pm - UBC: Patrick Wilson, Murderesses
ws: castabella
Murderess: A study of the Women executed in Britain since 1843Murderess: A study of the Women executed in Britain since 1843 by Patrick Wilson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am the person who added this book to Goodreads.

For what it is--and it is exactly what it says on the tin--this is not a bad book.

It's very 1971 in this book--Wilson earnestly lists "Lesbianism" as one of the possible physiological causes of murder, along with menopause, post-partum depression, and "unsatisfactory sexual relations"--and his attempts to draw conclusions from his material are either blindingly obvious or only dubiously plausible. (The remains of an ancient pagan cult in the area around Wix, demonstrated by the unusual number of poisoners who operated there, is my favorite.) He's astute enough to observe that most of these sixty-eight women come from the poorest and most poorly educated sections of their society, but all he draws from that is that "poverty breeds violence" and that violent crime can never be separated from its social and economic environs. He does not ask questions about how these women's poverty affected the course of the investigation of their crimes, nor how it affected the lawyers, the judge, the jury . . . the Home Secretary, who was the person who ultimately decided whether a condemned murderer should live or die. And those are questions I think should be asked.

But unlike other amateur criminologists I have read, Wilson does know how to put his facts together, and he does know how to tell the stories of his sixty-eight subjects. And he's making an honest try at objectivity. He does ask questions about whether these women should have been brought to trial, whether they should have been convicted, whether they should have been denied a reprieve and therefore hanged. Sometimes the answer is emphatically yes (the baby farmers and the burial club murderers spring instantly to mind), sometimes the answer is no (mentally disabled or mentally ill women). Sometimes the answer is a baffled maybe.

So, if this kind of thing is your cup of tea (or cup of something else, we won't ask), I recommend it, although it's obviously going to be difficult to come by. If it is not your cup of tea, this is not where I would suggest starting with Victorian true crime.

View all my reviews
5th-May-2015 02:07 pm - Locus Awards/Sasquan
writing: airship
The Goblin Emperor is a Locus Awards finalist in the Fantasy Novel category. (!)

In other news, I will be attending part of Sasquan (Friday through Sunday--I just don't have the stamina for the whole thing.)

I will also be part of a thing at ALAAC: RUSA's Literary Tastes Breakfast. The program description tells me that I will see papersky there, WHICH IS AWESOME.

Further bulletins as events warrant.
writing: airship
I have donated a signed hardback of The Goblin Emperor to the Con or Bust auction. Should you feel like wandering over there, don't forget to check out the many other awesome items up for bid.
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