Saturday, January 3, 2015

Short Fiction Saturday: Martha Wells

I adore Martha Wells with an affection that is reserved for my favoritest writers, and while I have wholly enjoyed her Raksura books, my heart is in Ile Rein, the world of her first novels and many of her earliest short stories. I was very excited to see that Martha was going to be part of the 'Six by Six' Kickstarter this last month, which was six different authors all offering six short stories each as mini-collections. And that Martha's offering was a collection of her Ile-Rein stories!
First, I think this Kickstarter was a brilliant way to get writers with similar though not overlapping fanbases a chance to try out a new author they may love (I myself an looking forward to trying out Will MacIntosh and Stephen Gaskill's collections, both of which I haven't tried before).
Second, 'Oh my God, and new Reynaud story!!!'
I mentioned 'Death of the Necromancer' in my recent post on 5 books you should be reading now, so this was a great bit of timing. And seriously, as much as I love Nicholas and Madeleine; Reynaud is my favorite character out of 'Death of the Necromancer'. He's delightful, with an urbane wit and charm that I adore. Plus, he is one of the first really well-drawn gay characters I can remember encountering. So the idea of him taking front and center, even if just for one story, makes me very happy.
I'm not sure if the collection will be offered outside of the 'Six by Six' Kickstarter, but if it is, you should definitely check it out. and check out the link below to her marvelous 'Potter's Daughter' which is set in the same world, but many years before.

                                                                 'Night at the Opera'

Reynard Morane was at his usual table in the Cafe Baudy, a somewhat risqué establishment built on a barge floating on the Deval Forest pleasure garden lake, when a beautiful man approached his table. This wasn't an unusual occurrence, especially in this cafe, but this beautiful man was a stranger. He said, "Captain Morane?"
From his features and dark skin, the man was Parscian, a little younger than Reynard but not by much, tall and well-built and dressed in an elegant but understated way that suggested some professional occupation in the city. The coat was too expensive for the man to be from a university. For some reason, Reynard attracted a high percentage of men of academic persuasions. "Yes." Reynard smiled warmly. "Please join me."
The man hesitated, then drew out the opposite chair. "A friend told me about you."
"And which friend is this?" Reynard caught the waiter's attention and lifted his brows. The waiter sized up the situation professionally, then went to the bar for a fresh bottle of wine and glasses.
"A man named Biendare." The man lowered his voice. "I believe he is known in some circles as 'Binny.'"
"Binny?" Reynard frowned. This was not encouraging. Binny was not someone who would have recommended Reynard for an assignation. At least not the kind of assignation Reynard had hoped for. To make sure this man had really met Binny, he said, "At the roasted nut kiosk on the Street of Flowers?"
"No, it was in March Street, at a wine bar that also sells fried fish."
"Right." Reynard sat up, adjusting his attitude from invitingly indolent to business-like and alert.
The waiter arrived at the table with the bottle and glasses. Reynard sighed and told him, "No."
"No?" The waiter looked startled, then disappointed. "Oh. Coffee, perhaps?"

                                                       (Read the rest on Martha's Blog here.)

                                                           (Read 'Potter's Daughter' here )

Martha Wells - 
Between Worlds: the Collected Ile-Rien and Cineth Stories

The Potter's Daughter - Kade Carrion investigates troublesome magic in a small village. "The Potter's Daughter" first appeared in Elemental, May 2006.
Night at the Opera - A noble Rienish family asks Reynard Morane to thwart a sorcerous blackmailer, and he recruits a reluctant Nicholas Valiarde to help. "Night at the Opera" is original to this collection.

Holy Places - Ilias is abandoned by the Finan family and finds Andrien, just as the house is attacked. "Holy Places" first appeared in Black Gate #11, August 2007.
Rites of Passage - Most people in Cineth believe Giliead is too young to take up the duties of a Chosen Vessel, but he may not have a choice. "Rites of Passage" first appeared on in April 2014.
Houses of the Dead - Giliead and Ilias are called to investigate a strange happening in godless territory, and find a deserted city. "Houses of the Dead" first appeared in Black Gate #12, July 2008.
Reflections - Searching the wilderness for a fleeing wizard, Giliead and Ilias encounter strange magic. "Reflections" first appeared in Black Gate #10, March 2007

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