Friday, October 2, 2015

6 Books with Science Fiction and Fantasy Author Kameron Hurley

Hurley is the author of God's War, Infidel, and Rapture, a science-fantasy noir series which earned her the Sydney J. Bounds Award for Best Newcomer and the Kitschy Award for Best Debut Novel. Her latest novel, The Mirror Empire is published by Angry Robot Books, and the sequel, Empire Ascendant, will be out in October 2015. Her first space opera, The Stars are Legion, will be published from Simon and Schuster’s Saga imprint in fall of 2016.

She has won the Hugo Award twice, and been a finalist for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, Nebula Award, the Locus Award and the BSFA Award for Best Novel. Additionally, her work has been included on the Tiptree Award Honor List and been nominated for the Gemmell Morningstar Award.

1. What book are you currently reading?

Sometimes I feel like this question could just as easily be: “What books are you NOT reading?” Here’ s what’s currently sitting on my night stand:

· Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho
· Chapelwood by Cherie Priest
· Koko Takes a Holiday by Kieran Shea
· The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard
· Infomocracy by Malka Older
· Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone
· Unwrapped Sky by Rjurik Davidson
· The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi

There’s a whole secondary stack I’ve moved to the bookshelf nearest the bed, too, and a few on my Kindle app. So many books.

2. What upcoming book you are really excited about?

I’m pretty excited about Planetfall by Emma Newman, which I got to read early and blurbed. Newman’s crafted a thrilling tale of murder, mystery and madness on a colonized world where humanity is still its own worst enemy. Horrifying and heartbreaking in equal measure, the catastrophe driving the narrative will totally keep you riveted until the very last page. Don’t miss it! Even though I read an ARC I’ve already pre-ordered it. Out in November.

3.       Is there a book you're currently itching to re-read? 

I somehow ended up with three copies of The Traitor Baru Cormorant , which is now my go-to read for when I’m feeling down about life. My life will never require as many tough decisions as Baru’s. It’s brutal and gut-wrenching and everyone who loves a good tragedy and a tough, persistent hero (or villain!) should read it.

4. How about a book you've changed your mind about over time--either positively or negatively?

I struggled to read Joanna Russ’s The Female Man for many years. It’s one of those books that you’re not going to be able to get into until you’re ready for it. It’s weird, horrifying, nasty. It’s best for folks who have already experienced their fair share of knock-downs in life. If you’ve had it pretty easy-breezy, you’re not going to get it. I wasn’t ready for it until my mid-20’s, and it led me to pick up the rest of Russ’s work. I own everything she’s every published now.

5. What's one book, which you read as a child or young adult, that has had a lasting influence on your writing? 

Sword-Dancer by Jennifer Roberson. A smart, slyly feminist adventure story that taught me that you can have a rollicking, slash-and-hack adventure book that’s tons of fun while challenging readers to re-think all their expectations. Uninformed opinions to the contrary – it can totally be done! It formed how I approached all my writing – story and asskicking always come first.

6. And speaking of that, what's *your* latest book, and why is it awesome?

Empire Ascendant is the second book in the Worldbreaker Saga, which started with Mirror Empire last year. It’s pretty much the Empire Strikes Back of the series – terrible choices, staggering reveals, with more blood magic and sentient tree fights than ever. If you think you know who the “good guys” are in this series, think again. Empire Ascendant takes the idea of fighting your doppelgangers to a whole other level. What if you had to destroy yourself to save the world? Those are the kinds of choices folks are struggling with in this series, and I’ve been really impressed with reader reactions so far.