PS Publishing have gone a little cuckoo (gaga? woowoo? blergeblergh!) and are offering 100 free copies of my BFS Award winning novella, Gorel & The Pot-Bellied God! All you have to do is buy any book from PS, and you get a hardcover copy of Gorel free.
… and I just noticed they’re currently selling the trade hardcover edition of Osama (RRP £20) at only £13!
Yes – they are crazy!
A few bits and bobs:
I will be participating in a panel at the SFX Weekender: “How do you put the punk into steampunk?” – Friday, 3rd February, 5PM
New review for The Great Game! Giving it 10/10 and saying “The plot is fast-paced, the book is action-packed, the cast of characters astounding … Every scene was vivid before my mind’s eye … an outstanding Steampunk novel. Gripping, multi-facetted, and fascinating.”
Remember we will be officially launching The Great Game at the SFX Weekender in only 2 weeks’ time!
Also a new review for Cloud Permutations, from Strange Horizons – a thoughtful examination of the novella, calling it “fascinating and infuriating” – works for me!
And my The Great Game related story, “The Stoker Memorandum” was sent out to subscribers of Daily Science Fiction this morning – it should be available free online in about a week’s time.
Gardner Dozois reviews Cloud Permutations in the February issue of Locus:
Lavie Tidhar’s Cloud Permutations, also from PS Publishing [Dozois previously reviews another PS novella], is another Vance-flavoured almost novel-length novella (although the writer specifically referenced in the text, in what TV fans would call a “shout out”, is Cordwainer Smith) – this is also an entertaining picaresque adventure, across the face of a largely aquatic planet whose culture has been shaped by immigrants from the South Sea islands of old Earth, although this one is somewhat more serious in tone and deeper in ambition, full of mystic elements drawn from island mythology, and concerning a young outcast fighting through desperate trials and against all odds to fulfill a destiny larger than himself.
In the same column, Dozois comments on two further stories:
Lavie Tidhar shows up again with perhaps the best story in the last few months of e-zine Strange Horizons, Aphrodisia, a post-cyberpunk story about spacers who have been altered by high-tech modifications on a spree in Vientiane while on vacation on Old Earth. . . new website Daily Science Fiction has the ambitious – perhaps too ambitious – goal of publishing a new SF or fantasy story every single day of the year. . . the best story there so far is by the ubiquitous Lavie Tidhar, who contributed Butterfly and the Blight at the Heart of the World.
From the latest Locus, review by Rich Horton:
Lavie Tidhar’s Cloud Permutations is an impressive science fiction tale set on a planet colonized by Pacific Islanders, appropriate as the planet is mostly water. The inhabitants live fairly traditional lives, though they are apparently aware of some of their history. The lives of two boys are intertwined by prophecies concerning a mysterious tower… and eventually of course they go searching. The secret behind the tower will surprise no experienced SF reader – indeed, the outline of the story is fundamentally familiar. It is Tidhar’s refreshing telling that makes it special: certainly in particular the Pacific Islander culture (enhanced by much use of the Pacific creole Bislama, just enough based on English to make it mostly comprehensible to this reader); but also the very well realized characters, and the complex shadings of the conclusion.
Over at the Apex Blog, I am interviewed by Maggie Jamison on the release of Cloud Permutations.
MJ: The narrative voice of Cloud Permutations is at times self-reflexive and almost non-fictional in style, often referring to where pieces of the story were collected from primary and secondary sources. Why did you choose to tell Kal’s story in this way?
LT: It’s partly homage to one of my favourite SF writers, Cordwainer Smith. And it’s an interesting way of telling a story. Settling on the right voice for a story is always challenging. Different stories need different approaches and this one just felt the most natural for a story that is as much about the world as it is about its hero. There is a lot more going on beyond Kai’s story – a lot of other stories, and some intersect with his and some are in the distant past and some have not happened yet. – read the full interview.
A new review of Cloud Permutations by Sarah Ann Watts at the Future Fire. She said the nicest thing ever: “I felt like a child who didn’t ever want the book to close or the story to end.”
A very thoughtful review over at Dylan Fox’s web site -
It’s a difficult story to categorize. It’s a quest narrative, a verbal history, hard sci-fi and pulp. Its two protagonists come of age, fall in love with the same girl and go their separate ways. Society is challenged, strange people and places are found. Mechanical technology feels wholly out-of-place but is vital to the story. Lavi just threw out the books and wrote what he wanted to write.
That made it a strange story to read for me. I’m used to things falling neatly into my preconceptions. It’s like starting a conversation with a friend instead of a stranger. Cloud Permutations was like starting a conversation with someone who spoke an almost foreign language.
The story unfolds and blossoms beautifully, with the characters’ relationships with each other, the people they meet and the world around them sketched with a sensitivity and almost paternal touch. – read the full review.
a wonderful novella from new writer Lavie Tidhar. If you have been following the online SF/F magazines lately you will have often seen his name. He truly is a “writer to watch,” but his writing is as powerful and lovingly handled as any old master. All he needs is a larger readership, and I hope this novella helps secure that for him. – read the rest of the review.
I have a guest-post over at SF Signal, where I discuss living in Vanuatu and the writing of Cloud Permutations:
I wrote Cloud Permutations on the island of Vanua Lava, in Vanuatu, in view of the volcano, wreathed in clouds. There are always clouds. They are attracted to islands, the land formations jutting out of the surface of the ocean help them coalesce and form.
Cloud Permutations is a story of islands, and clouds, and in a way, I think, it’s a story not just of escapism, but of escape.
You cannot get off an island. There is nowhere else to go.
I wrote the book in a bamboo hut on the shore of the South Pacific ocean. I could see the volcano from my window. I had no electricity and no clean water. At night rats broke into the food cupboard and ate everything. Fire ants dropped through the tiny holes of the mosquito net and bit us in our sleep. The mosquitoes carried malaria, but that was ok – I had malaria several times before.
Always shake your underwear before putting them on, because a fire ant often offends.
At night, sometimes, I would go out for kava. Kava is a drink made from the roots of a plant native to the islands of Vanuatu. The roots are chopped up and mixed with water and produce a dark, dank brown drink that produces relaxation. It makes your sight and hearing sensitive, so the nakamals – the kava-bars – are dark and quiet places, illuminated by a single candle or hurricane lamp, and the stars.
What if the people I lived with and drank with and laughed with and had fights with were to go into space? – read the rest of the post.
Over at Innsmouth Free Press, Harry Markov reviews Cloud Permutations:
What I loved was how the constant clouds have tinted the worldview of the inhabitants, how the new culture is tied into them, and how their constant shapeshifting in the skies have shaped their expressions. Another ever-present element is the language. The people on Heven speak a dialect of English, which at times is identifiable, but sometimes foreign enough to include a translation. Language is sentient. It’s influenced by what happens around its speakers and makes the needed changes to fit. Language also varies from one geographic area to another and what grander and vaster area is there from a whole new planet? It gave me joy to read such a well-thought-out world. – read the full review.