Just one event this week! Anne and I read Ghost Talkers (as did Jim Higgins at the Journal Sentinel) and Jason's reading Too Like the Lightning. One of the folks in Jason's science fiction book club did a Skype talk with Palmer at one of his other science fiction book clubs. Here's all the info.
Wednesday, August 31, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
A mini science fiction convention with Mary Robinette Kowal, author of Ghost Talkers and Ada Palmer, author of Too Like the Lightning
Join two beacons of the science fiction and fantasy world, Ada Palmer and Mary Robinette Kowal, for a spirited conversation about their new books, writing, and who knows what else? It’s like having a science fiction and fantasy convention back in Milwaukee, only a really tiny one. Boswell-con, anyone?
Having just completed her Glamourist Histories cycle, Chicago’s Mary Robinette Kowal offers up Ghost Talkers, a just-released novel featuring the mysterious spirit corps and their heroic work in World War I.From Jim Higgins: "In this alterna-England of 1916, Stuyvesant and other members of the Spirit Corps speak with the ghosts of recently deceased British soldiers, who have been ingeniously conditioned to report back to the living before they are drawn off by the famed bright light on the other side (Kowal has recurring fun with the way departing spirits react to that light). The ghostly soldiers provide intelligence on the activity and position of German forces — in fact, their information is so valuable, the true mission of the Spirit Corps is hidden under innocuous cover."
From Ada Palmer, we present Too Like the Lightning, the first book of Terra Ignota, a four-book political SF epic set in a human future of extraordinary originality. Palmer has created a hard-won uptopian world built on technologically created abundance and the complex and mandatory systems of labelling all public writing and speech, with normal gender distinctions now distinctly taboo, and economic and cultural competition carefully managed by central planners.
Jason Heller at NPR writes:"The plot is knotty, but it's nothing compared to the tangle of ideas at play. Palmer, a professor at the University of Chicago with a doctorate from Harvard, packs a textbook's worth of learning into Lightning. Historical references abound, as do bits of economics, genetics, and sociology. Politics, though, lies at the heart of the book. The world Palmer creates is extraordinarily intricate, with forces and organizations forming a delicate web of tenuous coexistence."
About the authors: Mary Robinette Kowal is the 2008 recipient of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, a multiple Hugo winner, and a frequent finalist for the Nebula and Locus Awards. A professional puppeteer and voice actor, she spent five years touring nationally with puppet theaters. She lives in Chicago with her husband Rob and nine manual typewriters.
Ada Palmer is a professor in the history department of the University of Chicago, specializing in Renaissance history and the history of ideas. Her first nonfiction book, Reading Lucretius in the Renaissance, was published in 2014 by Harvard University Press. She is also a composer of folk and Renaissance-tinged a capella music, most of which she performs with the group Sassafrass. She writes about history for a popular audience at exurbe.com and about SF and fantasy-related matters at Tor.com.
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