Karen Memery is a seamstress – which is to say, salon girl – at the Hotel Mon Cherie in Rapid City. Though romantically inclined towards womenfolk, Karen is a practical soul in a comfortable, well-paying position that lets her save for the future, and her employer, the formidable and aptly-named Madame Damnable, makes sure her girls are protected. But not all who share their profession are so lucky: Chinese and Indian girls in particular are vulnerable to slavery and exploitation, as are those who work the streets. So when Merry Lee, the famous saviour of trafficked girls, shows up badly injured with Priya, her latest rescue, Karen and her sisters are quick to defend them against their pursuers – a man named Peter Bantle and his toughs. But Bantle won’t give Priya up so easily, and soon, his escalating retaliations against Karen, Madame Damnable and the other girls land them with much bigger problems. Who is killing Rapid City’s streetwalkers? How is Bantle running for mayor? And what can Karen do to stop it? Read More »
Posts Tagged: Steampunk
“Gosh, Bear,” you might think, “at least she’s a good person, in spite of being a prostitute!”
Hi! I’m Elizabeth Bear, the author of Karen Memory, and I’m here to talk about the fine art of avoiding some of Western literature’s most tired sex-worker tropes, such as The Disposable Prostitute and The Hooker with a Heart Of Gold.
On The Hooker with a Heart of Gold… words to strike dread into the hearts of… well, everybody who ever consciously tried, in their work, to avoid a stereotype. Any stereotype. And it’s not the only—or worst—stereotype—of sex workers around!
“Gosh, Bear,” you might think, “at least she’s a good person, in spite of being a prostitute!” Read More »
“Tor Books is eye-wideningly excited to announce that TWO new Mistborn novels by Brandon Sanderson will be released in late 2015!” announced Tor.com today. Sanderson fans were already aware that the first of these novels, Shadows of Self, was due for a 2015 release, but the announcement of a 2015 release for Bands on Mourning (which is, like, the most post-ironic black metal band collaborative name ever) is a pleasant surprise.
“If there’s one thing we’ve learned in ten years of working with Brandon, it’s that he almost always delivers more than we’ve asked for and that he loves to surprise us,” said Sanderson’s agent, Moshe Feder.
Tor Books’s proclamation that Sanderson’s releasing two novels next year is a tad misleading. Shadows of Self will hit shelves in October 2015, but Bands of Mourning won’t arrive until January 2016.
Shadows of Self and Bands of Mourning are the concluding volumes in Sanderson’s Mistborn pedantically-named spinoff series, the Wax and Wayne Mistborn tetralogy. Given my enjoyment of the first volume, The Alloy of Law, I’m looking forward to seeing what sort of fun Sanderson has with Wax and Wayne on their next outing(s).
UPDATE – 12-19-2014: Sanderson has revealed that there’s actually a third Mistborn novel, tentatively titled The Lost Metal, coming. This will bump the full Wax and Wayne Mistborn series to four books at its conclusion. The final three volumes announced here will be feature a more traditional trilogy structure, with The Alloy of Law acting as a prequel/set-up narrative. The trilogy will include: Shadows of Self, Bands of Mourning, and The Lost Metal. Sanderson then plans to work on the next Mistborn trilogy, tentatively set in a world that mirrors the 1980s (or, he hints, there’s a possibility that he’ll write something set in an amalgam of the ’40s.)
Gollancz has announced that Shadows of Self and Bands of Mourning will be released in the UK in October 2015 and January 2016 respectively.
How is Elizabeth Bear following up the best epic fantasy trilogy of the past decade? With a rip-roarin’ standalone Steampunk novel with an ass kicking heroine, of course. Not what you were expecting? Me neither, but Bear is full of surprises and one of the most versatile writers in SFF.
As anyone who followed my reviews in 2013 knows, I’m a slavering fan-boy for Elizabeth Bear’s Eternal Sky trilogy (Reviews: , Shattered Pillars, Steles of the Sky). Seriously. It’s the best completed fantasy trilogy I’ve read in a decade. Along with Kameron Hurley, I think that Bear is publishing some of the most progressive, interesting and important SFF today.
So, needless to say, I’m pretty excited to see that the first details about Bear’s next novel, Karen Memory, have been revealed. An I think you should be, too.
In conversation with Liz Bourke on Tor.com, Bear said:
Currently I’m working on a wild west Steampunk novel called Karen Memory, which is coming out from Tor in 2015. It involves heroic saloon girls, massive conspiracies, and at least one fascinating and oft-ignored historical character.
While fans of her fantasy trilogy might be disappointed to see Bear leaving the epic fantasy subgenre, I’m excited to see that she’s continuing to explore the boundaries of genre fiction. Bear is one of the genre’s more diverse and exploratory writers, and readers can expect the same level of care and thoughtfulness that she applied to epic fantasy to be shown towards Steampunk and its (very popular) tropes and traditions.
Karen Memory is slated for release in 2015 from Tor Books.