I’ve decided that, at least for the foreseeable future, I’m going to be participating in WWW Wednesdays, which is a meme hosted over at Taking On a World of Words. To take part, you just answer the three questions below, and link back to TOaWoW!
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?The Waking Engine by David Edison
Genres: Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Representation: Gay MC, M/M
Welcome to the City Unspoken, where Gods and Mortals come to die.
Contrary to popular wisdom, death is not the end, nor is it a passage to some transcendent afterlife. Those who die merely awake as themselves on one of a million worlds, where they are fated to live until they die again, and wake up somewhere new. All are born only once, but die many times . . . until they come at last to the City Unspoken, where the gateway to True Death can be found.
Wayfarers and pilgrims are drawn to the City, which is home to murderous aristocrats, disguised gods and goddesses, a sadistic faerie princess, immortal prostitutes and queens, a captive angel, gangs of feral Death Boys and Charnel Girls . . . and one very confused New Yorker.
Late of Manhattan, Cooper finds himself in a City that is not what it once was. The gateway to True Death is failing, so that the City is becoming overrun by the Dying, who clot its byzantine streets and alleys . . . and a spreading madness threatens to engulf the entire metaverse.
It’s been years since I last read this, and I remembered that it was weird…but not how weird. Almost-but-not-quite-pretentiously weird. The Waking Engine is one of those books that no one else seems to have heard of, and I wanted to reread it so I could review it – something I really want to do with this blog is wave glittery pom-poms for beautiful weird books no one’s ever heard of, so.
But also I’m enjoying this a lot. Even if it’s like a fever dream. Maybe because it’s like a fever dream, considering my tastes!
WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey
Genres: Sci Fi
I’m embarrassed, still, by how long it took me to notice. Everything was right there in the open, right there in front of me, but it still took me so long to see the person I had married.
It took me so long to hate him.
Martine is a genetically cloned replica made from Evelyn Caldwell’s award-winning research. She’s patient and gentle and obedient. She’s everything Evelyn swore she’d never be.
And she’s having an affair with Evelyn’s husband.
Now, the cheating bastard is dead, and both Caldwell wives have a mess to clean up.
Good thing Evelyn Caldwell is used to getting her hands dirty.
This was…addictive and urgent and horrifying. I didn’t expect to enjoy it and I’m almost mad at myself that I did – I couldn’t get into any of Gailey’s queer magic stories, but I got hooked by this??? Wtf, brain? I’m so disappointed in you.
I probably won’t write a review for this one, although I may include it if I do a batch of mini-reviews in the near future.
WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?The Door Into Fire (The Tale of the Five Book 1) by Diane Duane
Genres: Epic Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Representation: M/M, M/NB, queernorm world
Herewiss is the only man in centuries to possess the Power of the blue Flame, but he can't use or control it—not even to help his friend and lover Prince Freelorn, exiled from his native land of Arlen and pursued across the Middle Kingdoms by the usurpers and their allies.
Invoking perilous sorceries and the even more dangerous assistance of the fire elemental Sunspark, Herewiss manages to rout the armies besieging Freelorn and his little band of followers. Together they flee eastward to seek temporary refuge in the mysterious lands near the edge of the world they know.
But now Herewiss faces a devastating choice. His time to master the blue Fire is running out. Should he abandon his fruitless search and join Freelorn in his fight to regain his kingdom? Or should he seek out the ancient keep in the Waste where doors lead into other worlds—perhaps even the door whose use will teach him to control the Power that he must master or die?..
"The Door Into Fire," on the strength of which Diane Duane was twice nominated for the John W. Campbell Award for best new writer in the SF/fantasy field, is the first volume in a critically acclaimed series that has been hailed as a cult classic of fantasy for its unique take on sword and sorcery and its unforgettable characters.
Reader advisory: The Door Into Fire contains mature themes and situations set in a sexually diverse culture.
"Expands the limits of the swords and sorcery genre. Exciting, magical, intelligent." -- Publishers Weekly
Next up is another book I want to review and do some cheerleading for; Door into Fire, the first book of the mega-amazing, queer epic fantasy series Tale of the Five. When I was a baby queer I caught a few whispers about this series – it was out of print then, Door into Fire originally being published back in 1979! – but only when I dug really deep into the queer-fantasy rec lists. But Diane Duane has done an incredible job getting them into e-format, and more people really need to read them! I mean, this is epic fantasy with swords and dragons – and casual queerness, genderfluid fire elementals, and group marriage!
This is the 2019 edition; ignore the cover, the book inside is breathtaking, and I’m determined to get more people to realise it!
What have you been reading?