Friday, January 27, 2023

6 Books with Marshall Ryan Maresca

Marshall Ryan Maresca is a fantasy and science-fiction writer, author of the Maradaine Saga: Four braided series set amid the bustling streets and crime-ridden districts of the exotic city called Maradaine, which includes The Thorn of Dentonhill, A Murder of Mages, The Holver Alley Crew and The Way of the Shield, as well as the dieselpunk fantasy, The Velocity of Revolution. He is also the co-host of the Hugo-nominated, Stabby-winning podcast Worldbuilding for Masochists, and has been a playwright, an actor, a delivery driver and an amateur chef. He lives in Austin, Texas with his family.

Today he tells us about his Six Books

1. What book are you currently reading?

I just finished reading Jordan Kurella's I Never Liked You Anyway, which was a fun, modernized version of Orpheus & Eurydice.  Which is a story that's been big in adaptations of late, it seems, and this is one I really enjoyed.  Jordan has a fantastic authorial voice and if there is any justice in the literary world, we'll see so much more from him in the future.


2. What upcoming book are you really excited about?

Listen, Kritika H. Rao's The Surviving Sky is phenomenal, there's a reason why it's ending up on a lot of folks 2023 lists.  It's science fantasy focusing on an older, married couple (such a rarity in the genre) who have to both rediscover their love for each other and save their civilization from destructive storms.  Kritika is an absolute talent who everyone should be keeping their eyes on.

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

I'll rave to anyone who'll listen about Jade Legacy, and with it the whole Green Bone Saga, I want to go back and re-read Jade City.  I had a significant gap between reading that (right after it came out in 2017) and the other two (back-to-back as Legacy came out), and I want to revisit the first one again knowing where it's going and everyone's fate.  And, I think Fonda Lee has crafted an absolute masterwork of the genre that people will still be talking about for decades to come.

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

So, as a teenager, I voraciously read Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality series, which. has not aged well at all.  And it's also a series that fell more and more apart as it went on.  I wonder how much I, as a teenager, just plain refused to see that out of some idea that of course it's all good, it's a published series after all.  The naivety of youth.  But in said naivety, I also glossed over things that as an adult are screaming out to me now, like how much of a virgin/whore complex the entire text has, how it uses time travel to legally justify a relationship between a judge and an underage girl, or how the culmination of the arc-plot, prophesied in the first book that a character would be a Senator and cast a critical deciding vote, ends with said character casting said vote in the US Senate that God is dead and by doing so, God is actually removed from office as the Incarnation of Good, leaving a vacancy that must now be filled.  It's one of the few SFF literary things that will actually get me ranting.

5 What's one book, which you read as a child or a young adult, that 
holds a special place in your heart?

That's got to be Watership Down, which remains a masterclass in storytelling, character-defining, mythmaking and worldbuilding, all rolled together.  It's not only my most re-read book, I'm actually on my third beat-up paperback of it, having already had two fall apart on me.  

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

It's Hultichia, which is a novelette set in the larger Maradaine universe.  This story centers on Aurien Pemmick- who regular Maradaine readers know as Reverend Pemmick, the priest at a nearby church who often helps Veranix in the Thorn books.  Here we see Pemmick as a younger man, before he's earned the rank of Reverend, as he's summoned to find his old mentor who had been a missionary in a neighboring country, Kellirac.  We've also gotten hints about Kellirac before, as characters like Veranix, Minox and Corrie all from Kelliracqui descent.  So this story lets me dive a little deeper into that culture, which is strange and foreign to Pemmick, as he arrives on the eve of one of their sacred holidays, the eponymous Hultichia.  Their beliefs come into conflict with his own faith as he tries to find out what happened to his mentor in his time there.  Hultichia is the second of these "Maradaine Saga Shorts" that highlight a place or character outside of the main track of the Saga, following The Mystical Murders of Yin Mara.  My plan is to put out a total of five, while also finishing up the main arcs of the various Maradaine novels in their own series, all as part of Phase Two of the Maradaine Saga.

Thank you, Marshall!

If you want to learn even more about Maresca's work, read this interview Adri Joy did with him in November 2022 right here at Nerds of a Feather.

POSTED BY: Paul Weimer. Ubiquitous in Shadow, but I’m just this guy, you know? @princejvstin.