This is a super brief newsletter because I had two very cool cover reveals recently and wanted to share them with you. Without further ado:
Tor.com has revealed the cover of my upcoming book Fireheart Tiger, an f/f postcolonial The Goblin Emperor meets Howl’s Moving Castle. Look at it, isn’t it amazing?
Cover art by Alyssa Winans.
Some small details you might not have noticed:
the dragon on the pillar behind the woman (the flag of the country in the story is the dragon and pearl)
the object catching fire in her hand is a teacup, referring to a story scene
the guns in the lower right-hand corner, both propping up and threatening the palace
the pavilion in the gardens, a crucial story location
the markings on her skin near the flame evoke a tiger’s skin
the large building in her sleeves is Cửa Ngọ Môn, the Noon Gate in the imperial citadel in Huế. The fact that she’s transporting things in her sleeves is a reference to Vietnamese (and Chinese) garments having sleeves large enough to be used as pockets
You’ll be wondering why the title: it refers to a Vietnamese folk tale about how the tiger got his stripes: they’re the marks of a rope when man burnt him with fire, and explains that the resentful tiger now seeks to eat men. I took the fire, the tiger and the idea of imprisonment, and ran with it.
And here’s the official summary:
Award-winning author Aliette de Bodard returns with a powerful romantic fantasy that reads like The Goblin Emperor meets Howl’s Moving Castle in a pre-colonial Vietnamese-esque world.
Fire burns bright and has a long memory….
Quiet, thoughtful princess Thanh was sent away as a hostage to the powerful faraway country of Ephteria as a child. Now she’s returned to her mother’s imperial court, haunted not only by memories of her first romance, but by worrying magical echoes of a fire that devastated Ephteria’s royal palace.
Thanh’s new role as a diplomat places her once again in the path of her first love, the powerful and magnetic Eldris of Ephteria, who knows exactly what she wants: romance from Thanh and much more from Thanh’s home. Eldris won’t take no for an answer, on either front. But the fire that burned down one palace is tempting Thanh with the possibility of making her own dangerous decisions.
Can Thanh find the freedom to shape her country’s fate—and her own?
The book will be out Feb 9th 2021. You can preorder now—a small reminder that preorders help books a lot, because they indicate enthusiasm, and that in turn influences visibility and thus the attention given to the book (and many many thanks to everyone who’s already preordered, you rock).
Silk and Steel
And Janine Southard, Django Wexler and Jennifer Mace have revealed the cover for Silk and Steel, an anthology of stories that pair one weapon-wielding woman with one softer-skills one.
Cover by Alexis Morris.
My story “The Scholar of the Bamboo Flute” merges my love of Utena, my obsession with dragons, and my tendency to go full 19th Century Gothic given half a chance. Also cycles of abuse, ancient secrets, and who gets to rescue whom.
There are many ways to be a heroine.
Princess and swordswoman, lawyer and motorcyclist, scholar and barbarian: there are many ways to be a heroine. In this anthology, seventeen authors find new ways to pair one weapon-wielding woman and one whose strengths lie in softer skills.
“Which is more powerful, the warrior or the gentlewoman?” these stories ask. And the answer is inevitably, “Both, working together!”
Herein, you’ll find duels and smugglers, dance battles and danger noodles, and even a new Swordspoint story!
From big names and bold new voices, these stories are fun, clever, and always positive about the power of love.
It will be out November 28th, 2020.
This is the newsletter of Aliette de Bodard, featuring SFF news, dragons, spaceships and tea (and my books).
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