Broadside No. 16 – Ann Leckie

Ahoy there me mateys!  Welcome to the sixteenth broadside – the Ann Leckie edition.  She has a new book coming out on September 26, 2017.  Arrrr!  I am so excited that I thought now would be a great time to celebrate her works.  Plus September is just far enough away that if ye try hard, ye can catch up on all her work to date!

Please note: All book descriptions are from the author’s website and book title links lead to Goodreads.

imperial radch series:

Okay so this series comprises of three novels:

  1. ancillary justice
  2. ancillary sword
  3. ancillary mercy

This and a handful of short stories are all that she has written to date.  Don’t be alarmed by the small body of work.  This series is one of my all time favorites with the first book in particular being one that I gush about over and over.  I am not the only one who knows it is brilliant.  The first book in the series won the following awards:

Hugo Award for Best Novel (2014), Nebula Award for Best Novel (2013), Locus Award for Best First Novel (2014), Arthur C. Clarke Award for Best Novel (2014), British Science Fiction Association Award for Best Novel (2013), Philip K. Dick Award Nominee (2013), John W. Campbell Memorial Award Nominee (2014), The Kitschies for Golden Tentacle (Debut) (2013), James Tiptree Jr. Award Honor List (2013), Seiun Award 星雲賞 for Best Foreign Novel (2016)

How is that for a list?  The series involves Breq who used to be the artificial intelligence of the starship, The Justice of Toren.  In addition to being the ship, she also had control of thousands of human soldiers.  The catch is that she has lost control of everything except one human body.  She is out for revenge.

This story is absolutely stunning and complex.  Breq is one of me all-time favorite characters.  She is thousands of years old and has such a complex understanding of the connections of society.  The side characters are awesome.  The novel shows her point of views from the present and flashbacks to when she was controlling ancillaries.  I have such fondness for One Esk.  The writing is wonderful.  The world building is delightful.  I absolute adore this series and don’t know who to discuss it without giving away spoilers.  Pick it up fer yerself.  Don’t believe me?

Here are some of the reviews from me crew members who gave book one a five star rating:

J.L. Sutton

carly @ bookaneer

althea ann @ readingtrance

lisa @ tenaciousreader

Did I convince ye yet?

Side note: This log post did not deal with books two and three because no spoilers!

Her website has this to say about book one:

On a remote, icy planet, the soldier known as Breq is drawing closer to completing her quest.

Breq is both more than she seems and less than she was. Years ago, she was Justice of Toren–a colossal starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of corpse soldiers in the service of the Radch, the empire that conquered the galaxy.

An act of treachery has ripped it all away, leaving her with only one fragile human body. And only one purpose–to revenge herself on Anaander Mianaai, many-bodied, near-immortal Lord of the Radch.

So that be me introduction to Ann Leckie’s novels.  If ye haven’t read any of her novels I would suggest ye hoist those sails and get moving!

To visit her website go to:

Ann Leckie – Author

To see a complete list of all books she has written visit:

Ann Leckie – Books

To add this author or her novels to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

If ye missed me other author broadsides:

Garth Nix – No. 1

Sharon Shinn – No. 2

John Scalzi – No. 3

Tamora Pierce – No. 4

Brandon Sanderson – No. 5

Robin McKinley – No. 6

Michael Crichton – No. 7

Mercedes Lackey – No. 8

Dean Kootnz – No. 9

Justine Larbalestier – No. 10

Neil Gaiman – No. 11

Kate Elliot – No. 12

George R.R. Martin – No. 13

Rosemary Kirstein – No. 14

Piers Anthony – No. 15

Broadside No. 16 – an author advertisement

Hear ye hear ye me mateys!  I announce an additional broadside to me Captain’s log.  What is a broadside ye ask?  Traditionally:

  1. A broadside is the side of a ship, the battery of cannon on one side of a warship; or their coordinated fire in naval warfare. From the 16th century until the early decades of the steamship, vessels had rows of guns set in each side of the hull. Firing all guns on one side of the ship became known as a “broadside“. source
  2. A broadside is a large sheet of paper printed on one side only. Historically, broadsides were posters, announcing events or proclamations, or simply advertisements. source

What does this mean for me mateys?  Well tomorrow I will publish the sixteenth edition of me broadside that will highlight a specific favorite author and their work.  Who ye ask?  It’s a surprise . . .

Broadside No. 15 – Piers Anthony

Ahoy there me mateys!  Welcome to the fifteenth broadside – the Piers Anthony edition.  Okay this is an odd choice for a broadside I must admit given that I haven’t read anything by this author in over 19 years.  So why ye ask do I include him?  Well back in the day I read 68 of his novels.  Insane yes.  The reason he came to mind is that I was at a Friends of the Library sale and there was my favorite series by him in all its glory for a couple of dollars.  I had a sudden urge to reread them and scooped them up.  I plan on reading them at some point this year and see what the much older me thinks of them now.  And of course I will share me second reflections with me crew!

Please note: All book descriptions are from Goodreads and book title links lead to Goodreads.

bio of a space tyrant series:

This is the series that I found at the library sale.  The story concerns Hope Hubris working his way from being a refugee to the ruler of the galaxy.  In me mind it’s a dystopian series.  The blurb for book one made me laugh because I remember so little of the novels at this point.  Space pirates!  I should at least recall them.  Also I forgot that I gave book one a five star rating based on vague memories from quite more than a decade ago.  Shall it hold up?  I accept me own challenge!  Read the series again!

Goodreads has this to say about book one, refugee:

Vol. 1 Refugee

CALIGULA OF THE STARS

Though he was later accused of every crime and sexual perversion in the galaxy, Hope Hubris began as an innocent. Because he defended his older sister against the violent lusts of a wealthy scion, Hope and his peasant family were forced to flee Callisto, one of the moons of Jupiter. Pursued by the bloodthirsty scions across the airless desert, they barely escaped with their lives. The illegal space bubble was overcrowded with refugees, all hoping to reach Jupiter for asylum.

But the space travelers had not reckoned on the terrible threat of high space-the pirates, barbaric men who rape, rob, and murder, with no thought but to satisfy their bestial appetites. It will take all Hope’s ingenuity to survive, but the atrocities he witnesses will never die. There is only one way he can be rid of them . . .

REVENGE

incarnations of immortality series:

To sum them loosely up (thanks Wikipedia): “The first seven books each focus on one of seven supernatural ‘offices’ (Death, Time, Fate, War, Nature, Evil, and Good) in a fictional reality and history parallel to ours, with the exception that society has advanced both magic and modern technology. The series covers the adventures and struggles of a group of humans called ‘Incarnations’, who hold these supernatural positions for a certain time.”  Of course me favorite two books in the series dealt with Death and Evil.  Hmmmmm.

Goodreads has this to say about book one, on a pale horse:

When Zane shoots Death, he has to take the job, speeding over the world riding Mortis, his pale horse/limo, measuring souls for the exact balance of Good and Evil, sending each to Heaven or Hell instead of Purgatory. The new Thanatos is superbly competent, ends pain when he ends lives. But Satan is forging a trap for Luna, the woman Death loves.

geodyssey series:

The books I read follow characters born at the beginning of human history who then become reincarnated through different periods of time and into our future.  There are apparently five books now.  I only read two.  What I liked about the premise was getting looks at periods in history through characters that I grew to know.  Perhaps I will have to read the remaining three at some point.  They can be read as standalones.

Goodreads has this to say about book one, isle of woman:

A magnificent saga of passion, heroism, and survival, Piers Anthony’s Isle of Woman is a tale like no other ever written. It is nothing less than the story of humanity itself, from its savage origins to its troubled future, told through the lives on one family reborn throughout history.

At once grand in scope and intimate in human detail, Isle of Woman tells the story of a man and a woman born at the dawn of human history, separated by fate, yet united by an unquenchable passion that even time could not conquer: Blaze, the fireworker who raised his kind out of savagery, and Ember, the beautiful green-eyed woman who forever haunted his dreams.

Isle of Woman is a powerful and prophetic masterwork from one of the bestselling storytellers of our time.

xanth series:

Okay I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the series that started it all.  These books take place in an alternate world that looks surprisingly like Florida where there is magic and puns.  I read way too many of these before the puns and age wore me down.  While I remember several aspects like nightmares (a horse that delivers dreams) with fondness, I can’t really see meself readin’ any of these again.

Goodreads has this to say about book one, a spell for chameleon:

Xanth was the enchanted land where magic ruled – where every citizen had a special spell only he could cast. It was a land of centaurs and dragons and basilisks.

For Bink of North Village, however, Xanth was no fairy tale. He alone had no magic. And unless he got some – and got some fast! – he would be exiled. Forever!

But the Good Magician Humfrey was convinced that Bink did indeed have magic. In fact, both Beauregard the genie and the magic wall chart insisted that Bink had magic. Magic as powerful as any possessed by the King or by Good Magician Humfrey – or even by the Evil Magician Trent

Be that as it may, no one could fathom the nature of Bink’s very special magic. Bink was in despair. This was even worse than having no magic at all..and he would still be exiled!

So that be me introduction to Piers Anthony’s novels.  Be on the lookout for second reflections of the bio of a space tyrant series.  If ye haven’t read any of his novels I would suggest ye hoist those sails and get moving!

To visit his website go to:

Piers Anthony – Author

To see a complete list of all books he has written visit:

Piers Anthony – Books

To add this author or his novels to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

If ye missed me other author broadsides:

Garth Nix – No. 1

Sharon Shinn – No. 2

John Scalzi – No. 3

Tamora Pierce – No. 4

Brandon Sanderson – No. 5

Robin McKinley – No. 6

Michael Crichton – No. 7

Mercedes Lackey – No. 8

Dean Kootnz – No. 9

Justine Larbalestier – No. 10

Neil Gaiman – No. 11

Kate Elliot – No. 12

George R.R. Martin – No. 13

Rosemary Kirstein – No. 14

Broadside No. 15 – an author advertisement

Hear ye hear ye me mateys!  I announce an additional broadside to me Captain’s log.  What is a broadside ye ask?  Traditionally:

  1. A broadside is the side of a ship, the battery of cannon on one side of a warship; or their coordinated fire in naval warfare. From the 16th century until the early decades of the steamship, vessels had rows of guns set in each side of the hull. Firing all guns on one side of the ship became known as a “broadside“. source
  2. A broadside is a large sheet of paper printed on one side only. Historically, broadsides were posters, announcing events or proclamations, or simply advertisements. source

What does this mean for me mateys?  Well tomorrow I will publish the fifteenth edition of me broadside that will highlight a specific favorite author and their work.  Who ye ask?  It’s a surprise . . .

Broadside No. 14 – Rosemary Kirstein

Ahoy there me mateys!  Welcome to the fourteenth broadside – the Rosemary Kirstein edition.  Now this author only has written one series called the Steerswoman series.  I read the omnibus eons ago and loved it.  The physical book lives on me shelf in me quarters.  Unfortunately this series seems to have been lost in the shuffle of time and does not have the hype it deserves.  So imagine me surprise when when of me favourite crew members Sarah @ brainfluff mentioned it.  Not only did I find out there were kindle versions but apparently the series has four books!  I have only read the first two.  So I thought this broadside would be a great opportunity to mention them to me crew.  Plus I now have a hankerin’ to reread the first two books and get me greedy hands on the second two books . . .

Please note: All book descriptions are from the author’s website and the book title links lead to Goodreads.

the steerswoman (book one)

Okay it has been long enough the details of this novel have washed away with the tide.  However some broad strokes remain.  One of the elements of this series that I remember adoring was the extremely strong place women hold in society.  As Goodreads states, “Steerswomen, and a very few Steersmen, are members of an order dedicated to discovering and disseminating knowledge. Although they are foremost navigators of the high seas, Steerswomen are also explorers and cartographers upon land as well as sea.”  The steerswomen can only speak the truth and must answer any question ye ask.  In return, if asked a question by her ye must answer or be cut off from steerswomen’s knowledge.  In me early sci-fi and fantasy reading, it was hard to find women as main characters, much less strong, intelligent ones.  The world that Kirstein set up was fascinating.  From interpersonal relationships, to magic, to the hunt for truth, I loved this. novel.  Need more proof?  Check out this review of book one from me matey Sarah @ brainfluff.

The author’s website has this to say about the novel:

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION

If you ask, she must answer. A steerswoman’s knowledge is shared with any who request it; no steerswoman may refuse a question, and no steerswoman may answer with anything but the truth.

And if she asks, you must answer. It is the other side of tradition’s contract — and if you refuse the question, or lie, no steerswoman will ever again answer even your most casual question.

And so, the steerswomen — always seeking, always investigating — have gathered more and more knowledge about the world they traveled, and they share that knowledge freely.

Until the day that the steerswoman Rowan begins asking innocent questions about one small, lovely, inexplicable object…

Her discoveries grow stranger and deeper, and more dangerous, until suddenly she finds she must flee or fight for her life. Or worse — lie.

Because one kind of knowledge has always been denied the the steerswomen:

Magic.

the outskirter’s secret (book two)

Again fuzzy on details but I thought book two was more awesome than the first one.  Need more proof?  Check out this review of book two from me matey Sarah @ brainfluff.

The author’s website has this to say about the novel:

WHEN A GUIDESTAR FALLS

Two shining lights hung above, motionless in the night sky as the constellations slowly passed behind them.  The common folk knew them well, and used them to count the hours, mark the seasons.

But when the steerswoman Rowan discovered a number of broken blue jewels of clearly magical origin, her investigations led to a startling discovery: a Guidestar had fallen.

There were more than two; the others hung above the opposite side of the world; something had caused one of those to fall.

But what? And what might it mean?  Rowan had no answers…

But she knew one thing: where the fallen Guidestar was located.  To reach it, she must cross the Inner Lands and pass deep into the wild and deadly Outskirts.

Rowan’s travelling companion, Bel,  is an Outskirter herself.  Together the steerswoman and the warrior-poet have a chance of surviving the cruel landscape,  the barbarian tribes, and the bizarre native wildlife.

But there are more secrets than one in the Outskirts: and each step closer to the Guidestar brings new truths, leading to the most startling secret of all…

So that be me introduction to Rosemary Kirstein’s novels.  Be on the lookout for second reflections of books one and two here on me blog as well as insights into the next two when I get me hands on ’em.  If ye haven’t read any of her novels I would suggest ye hoist those sails and get moving!

To visit her website go to:

Rosemary Kirstein – Author

To see a complete list of all books she has written visit:

Rosemary Kirstein – Books

To add this author or her novels to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

If ye missed me other author broadsides:

Garth Nix – No. 1

Sharon Shinn – No. 2

John Scalzi – No. 3

Tamora Pierce – No. 4

Brandon Sanderson – No. 5

Robin McKinley – No. 6

Michael Crichton – No. 7

Mercedes Lackey – No. 8

Dean Kootnz – No. 9

Justine Larbalestier – No. 10

Neil Gaiman – No. 11

Kate Elliot – No. 12

George R.R. Martin – No. 13

Broadside No. 14 – an author advertisement

Hear ye hear ye me mateys!  I announce an additional broadside to me Captain’s log.  What is a broadside ye ask?  Traditionally:

  1. A broadside is the side of a ship, the battery of cannon on one side of a warship; or their coordinated fire in naval warfare. From the 16th century until the early decades of the steamship, vessels had rows of guns set in each side of the hull. Firing all guns on one side of the ship became known as a “broadside“. source
  2. A broadside is a large sheet of paper printed on one side only. Historically, broadsides were posters, announcing events or proclamations, or simply advertisements. source

What does this mean for me mateys?  Well tomorrow I will publish the fourteenth edition of me broadside that will highlight a specific favorite author and their work.  Who ye ask?  It’s a surprise . . .

Broadside No. 13 – George R.R. Martin

Ahoy there me mateys!  Welcome to the thirteenth broadside – the George R.R. Martin edition.  Yes, I know he wrote the Game of Thrones series.  Yes, I adore it.  No, I haven’t watched the HBO series.  Yes, I want the next book.  That is not the focus of this post ye scurvy-livered dogs!  Did ye know that besides the Westeros books, Mr. Martin has also published other things!  Egad!  This post will talk about some of me other favorites by him . . .

Please note: All book descriptions are from Goodreads and the book title links lead to Goodreads.

windhaven (co-written with Lisa Tuttle)

This novel is one of me favorites that I reread every couple of years.  The world building is what draws me in again and again.  Centuries ago, a space ship crashed on a new planet that is made of islands.  Humans made silver wings out of the debris of their ship.  They can fly (Arrrr!) with the help of these wings.  But of course there are not enough wings to go around so politics ensue.  Marit is not in line for the wings even though she wants them badly.  She comes up with a plot to get her own.  And that is only the beginning.  I love that the novel also explores the flyer traditions throughout Marit’s lifetime.  This book captured me fancy long ago and I enjoy it with every re-read.  It is a good comfort read.  For a more “modern” flying wing story check out me review of the sci-fi book the pilots of borealis by David Nabhan.

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

The planet of Windhaven was not originally a home to humans, but it became one following the crash of a colony starship. It is a world of small islands, harsh weather, and monster-infested seas. Communication among the scattered settlements was virtually impossible until the discovery that, thanks to light gravity and a dense atmosphere, humans were able to fly with the aid of metal wings made of bits of the cannibalized spaceship.

Many generations later, among the scattered islands that make up the water world of Windhaven, no one holds more prestige than the silver-winged flyers, who bring news, gossip, songs, and stories. They are romantic figures crossing treacherous oceans, braving shifting winds and sudden storms that could easily dash them from the sky to instant death. They are also members of an increasingly elite caste, for the wings—always in limited quantity—are growing gradually rarer as their bearers perish.

With such elitism comes arrogance and a rigid adherence to hidebound tradition. And for the flyers, allowing just anyone to join their cadre is an idea that borders on heresy. Wings are meant only for the offspring of flyers—now the new nobility of Windhaven. Except that sometimes life is not quite so neat.

Maris of Amberly, a fisherman’s daughter, was raised by a flyer and wants nothing more than to soar on the currents high above Windhaven. By tradition, however, the wings must go to her stepbrother, Coll, the flyer’s legitimate son. But Coll wants only to be a singer, traveling the world by sea. So Maris challenges tradition, demanding that flyers be chosen on the basis of merit rather than inheritance. And when she wins that bitter battle, she discovers that her troubles are only beginning.

For not all flyers are willing to accept the world’s new structure, and as Maris battles to teach those who yearn to fly, she finds herself likewise fighting to preserve the integrity of a society she so longed to join—not to mention the very fabric that holds her culture together.

fevre dream

This involves an old Mississipi riverboat captain and old-school creepy vampires.  Awesome.  Need more proof?  Check out this review from me matey Erin @ the paperbackstash.

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

When struggling riverboat captain Abner Marsh receives an offer of partnership from a wealthy aristocrat, he suspects something’s amiss. But when he meets the hauntingly pale, steely-eyed Joshua York, he is certain. For York doesn’t care that the icy winter of 1857 has wiped out all but one of Marsh’s dilapidated fleet. Nor does he care that he won’t earn back his investment in a decade. York has his own reasons for wanting to traverse the powerful Mississippi. And they are to be none of Marsh’s concern—no matter how bizarre, arbitrary, or capricious his actions may prove.

Marsh meant to turn down York’s offer. It was too full of secrets that spelled danger. But the promise of both gold and a grand new boat that could make history crushed his resolve—coupled with the terrible force of York’s mesmerizing gaze. Not until the maiden voyage of his new sidewheeler Fevre Dream would Marsh realize he had joined a mission both more sinister, and perhaps more noble, than his most fantastic nightmare…and mankind’s most impossible dream.

Here is the spellbinding tale of a vampire’s quest to unite his race with humanity, of a garrulous riverman’s dream of immortality, and of the undying legends of the steamboat era and a majestic, ancient river.

hunter’s run (co-written with Gardner R. Dozois and Daniel Abraham)

This was written with the help of one of the best editors in his own right and oh yea that other guy that helped write the novels that the Expanse sci-fi show is based on.  With talent like that how can ye go wrong?

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

Like so many others, Ramon Espejo ran from the poverty and hopelessness of the Third World to the promise of a new world–joining a host of like-minded workers and dreamers aboard one of the great starships of the mysterious, repulsive Enye. But the life he found on the far-off planet of Sao Paulo was no better than the one he had abandoned.

Tough, volatile, and angry–a luckless prospector hoping for that one rich strike that will make him wealthy–Ramon is content only when on his own out in the bush, far from the dirty, loud, bustling hive of humanity that he detests with sociopathic fervor. Then one night his rage and too much alcohol get the better of him, resulting in sudden bloodshed and a high-profile murder. Ramon is forced to flee into the wilderness for however long it will take for the furor to die down.

Here, mercifully, almost happily alone, Ramon is once again free. But while searching for his long-elusive lode, he stumbles upon something completely unexpected: a highly advanced alien race in hiding; fugitives like himself on a world not their own. Suddenly in possession of a powerful, dangerous secret, Ramon must battle for his freedom from alien captors and also against the hostile and unpredictable planet. And so the chase begins.

Police, fugitive aliens, and a human murderer weave a web of shifting alliances as Ramon enters the greatest manhunt the alien world of Sao Paulo has ever known. If he is to survive, Ramon must overcome inscrutable aliens and deadly predators, but his greatest enemy is himself. With every move in the desperate game, he struggles to outwit his enemies and solve the mystery of a murder he himself committed.

A rip-roaring adventure tale and character study of a fascinating and twisted mind, “Hunter’s Run” showcases three masters of the form at their best.

And lastly . . .

the ice dragon (illustrated by Yvonne Gilbert)

Because duh dragons!  This is an illustrated children’s story.  I love the illustrator’s work.  Cute and fun.  Apparently this book was also published another time with a different illustrator’s work.  I will have to check out the difference sometime.

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

Seven-year-old Adara was born during the coldest chill of the coldest year ever, a chill that killed her mother during the girl’s birth. Ever since then, she has been a remote and chilly child, living for winter when the ice lizards come out and forming a bond with a mysterious ice dragon. When war comes and dragon-riding invaders threaten her home and family, the ice dragon helps her to thwart them, leading to its own demise.

So that be me introduction to George R.R. Martin’s OTHER novels.  If ye haven’t read any of his novels I would suggest ye hoist those sails and get moving!

To visit his website go to:

George R.R. Martin – Author

To see a complete list of all books he has written visit:

George R.R. Martin – Books

To add this author or his novels to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

If ye missed me other author broadsides:

Garth Nix – No. 1

Sharon Shinn – No. 2

John Scalzi – No. 3

Tamora Pierce – No. 4

Brandon Sanderson – No. 5

Robin McKinley – No. 6

Michael Crichton – No. 7

Mercedes Lackey – No. 8

Dean Kootnz – No. 9

Justine Larbalestier – No. 10

Neil Gaiman – No. 11

Kate Elliot – No. 12