A Mismatched Couple Saves the Galaxy in Polaris Rising

The B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog

Ada von Hasenberg is kinda having a bad day. She’s been captured by mercenaries who’d be happy to inspect the merchandise, her intended husband wants to kidnap her, and she’s sharing a cell with the galaxy’s most wanted criminal.

But Ada, whose relentless forward momentum drives Jessie Mihalik’s debut novel Polaris Rising, is a woman of seemingly infinite resources, including the uncanny ability to discern what others want while keeping what she wants under wraps—skills learned from growing up among the galaxy’s most powerful families.

That leaves her with a few options in her potential captivity:

Albrecht Von Hasenberg was nothing if not thorough. When his security team couldn’t find me and drag me back for my engagement party, he went above and beyond by posting an enormous bounty for my safe return. Of course, he told the news, he was devastated that I was “missing.” He failed to mention that I had left of my own volition. Or that I’d been gone for two years.

“Can I get you some wine? Or perhaps brandy?” the captain asked.

“Wine would be lovely, thank you,” I said. I knew where this road led. I’d been playing this game since I could talk. The captain wanted something and he thought—rightly—that House von Hasenberg could help him get it. As patriarch of one of the three high houses, very few people in the universe welded more power than my father.

As for that most-wanted criminal? Marcus, the enemy of her enemy, is a potential ally—a far more useful one than a befuddled captain mixed up in matters way above his pay grade. And, this being a space opera, the “criminal” Marcus is more than the “evil, traitorous former soldier” he’s been painted as.

As Ada seeks to outrun and outsmart her enemies who include, at one point, her father, her intended, and anyone out for her ransom, the story unfolds at a blistering pace. It’s told entirely through her point of view, but filled with great supporting characters, including Marcus; Veronica the fence, who becomes key to Marcus and Ada’s escape; Rhys, an arms dealer who turns out to an old ally of Marcus’s; and Ada’s sister, who has aided and abetted her sibling’s escape, agreeing that Ada’s intended is not to be trusted.

There are some finely drawn settings, including the smuggler’s world where Marcus and Ada land after their joint escape, a place where everyone is happy to stab one another in the back—sometimes literally. Another world is divided by levels, with the uppermost populated by the literal higher-ups, the only ones who have access to the sun. Of course, a space opera wouldn’t be complete without a space battle and a chase, and there’s at least two of each.

But, and here’s where Polaris Rising takes a turn: it is also a satisfying romance.

I know, I know. Some sci-fi readers run from the word “romance,” but the genre is full of them, under one label or another, from Lois McMaster Bujold’s wonderful A Civil Campaign to the Liadan Universe novels of Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. And there’s one famous ultra-famous SF couple that bears a striking resemblance to Ada and Marcus: Leia Organa and Han Solo.

Like Leia, Ada is from a powerful galactic family. Like Leia, she has a driving need to see justice done and protect people. Like Han, Marcus is a rogue living at the edges of society. Like Han, he’s not always willing on the surface to help, but he makes the right choices when the chips are down.

The archetypes are there, though Polaris Rising is far from a Star Wars clone.

The romance helps hold the story together, lending emotional depth to the whiz-bang adventure. Neither Ada nor Marcus is certain they can trust the other, especially due to class differences. It’s only by the choices they each make throughout that trust is established. At the same time, Ada realizes how few people in her former life she can truly rely on, up to and including her intended husband, who’s hiding a secret that could gain his family ultimate domination of the galaxy.

Polaris Rising is a self-contained story, but a sequel is already arriving before the end of the year. There’s plenty of galaxy left to explore.

Polaris Rising is available now. You can read an excerpt here.

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From City to Kingdom: S.A. Chakraborty on Building the Magical World of the Daevabad Trilogy

The B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog

S.A. Chakraborty wowed us in 2016 with her debut novel The City of Brass, a deeply imagined Middle Eastern fantasy with a feisty, fascinating protagonist, an engaging magic system, and a rich lore. Below, she joins us to talk about expanding on that latter element in the sequel, The Kingdom of Copper, which arrives on shelves in January.

Everyone says second books are hard, but one of the delights of writing a trilogy is watching the world you’ve created grow larger and deeper. In The City of Brass, I envisioned a world of djinn hidden just beneath the surface of our own; powerful, capricious beings who watch the rise and fall of human empires with the glee we might cheer the misdeeds of celebrities. When they get a little too interested in humanity—toying with them and using them as pawns in their own war against the marid, powerful water elementals—they’re promptly punished: divided into separate tribes, stripped of their most powerful magic, and banished across the world.

My story picks up centuries later, during which the djinn have created a new world, inspired by both magic and the human lands in which they have sheltered—and whose deadly manner of politics they have taken up. However, while The City of Brass mostly focuses on Daevabad, the capital of their world, The Kingdom of Copper opens up the world to the other magical lands that the six tribes inhabit.

I’m so excited now to share part of that world with everyone now: the tribal sigils, each routed in the history of the land and culture of each djinn tribe. These are markers they would proudly use to identify themselves. Some are fairly straight-forward: the Sahrayn use the sails of their famed sand-ships while the Daevas prefer the distinct fire altars of their sacred faith. Others were inspired by trade symbols: the Agnivanshi tiger is reminiscent of the seals of the Harappans and the crescent moon ringed by rondels was a popular pattern on the clothing of early Silk Road travelers. The Geziri antelope is a nod to the ancient rock art that still litters the landscape of much of the Arabian peninsula, and for the Ayaanle—a tribe concerned with justice both in the law and the marketplace—an antique scale, the color a nod to the rich headwaters of the Nile River.

Sprawling from the shores of the Maghreb across the vast depths of the Sahara Desert is QART SAHAR— a land of fables and adventure even to the djinn. An enterprising people not particularly enamored of being ruled by foreigners, the Sahrayn know the mysteries of their country better than any— the still lush rivers that flow in caves deep below the sand dunes and the ancient citadels of human civilizations lost to time and touched by forgotten magic. Skilled sailors, the Sahrayn travel upon ships of conjured smoke and sewn cord over sand and sea alike.

Nestled between the rushing headwaters of the Nile River and the salty coast of Bet il Tiamat lies TA NTRY, the fabled homeland of the mighty Ayaanle tribe. Rich in gold and salt— and far enough from Daevabad that its deadly politics are more game than risk, the Ayaanle are a people to envy. But behind their gleaming coral mansions and sophisticated salons lurks a history they’ve begun to forget . . . one that binds them in blood to their Geziri neighbors.

Surrounded by water and caught behind the thick band of humanity in the Fertile Crescent, the djinn of AM GEZIRA awoke from Suleiman’s curse to a far different world than their fire- blooded cousins. Retreating to the depths of the Empty Quarter, to the dying cities of the Nabateans and to the forbidding mountains of southern Arabia, the Geziri eventually learned to share the hardships of the land with their human neighbors, becoming fierce protectors of the shafit in the process. From this country of wandering poets and zulfiqar- wielding warriors came Zaydi al Qahtani, the rebel- turned- king who would seize Daevabad and Suleiman’s seal from the Nahid family in a war that remade the magical world.

​Stretching from the Sea of Pearls across the plains of Persia and the mountains of gold- rich Bactria is mighty DAEVASTANA— and just past its Gozan River lies Daevabad, the hidden city of brass. The ancient seat of the Nahid Council— the famed family of healers who once ruled the magical world— Daevastana is a coveted land, its civilization drawn from the ancient cities of Ur and Susa and the nomadic horsemen of the Saka. A proud people, the Daevas claimed the original name of the djinn race as their own . . . a slight that the other tribes never forget.

East of Daevabad, twisting through the peaks of Karakorum Mountains and the vast sands of the Gobi is TUKHARISTAN. Trade is its lifeblood, and in the ruins of forgotten Silk Road kingdoms, the Tukharistanis make their homes. They travel unseen in caravans of smoke and silk along corridors marked by humans millennia ago, carrying with them things of myth: golden apples that cure any disease, jade keys that open worlds unseen, and perfumes that smell of paradise.

Extending from the brick bones of old Harappa through the rich plains of the Deccan and misty marshes of the Sundarbans lies AGNIVANSHA. Blessedly lush in every resource that could be dreamed—and separated from their far more volatile neighbors by wide rivers and soaring mountains— Agnivansha is a peaceful land famed for its artisans and jewels… and its savvy in staying out of Daevabad’s tumultuous politics.

Preorder The Kingdom of Copper, available January 22, 2019.

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Traveling the World to Build One: How Beth Cato Shaped the Alternate History of the Blood of Earth Trilogy

The B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog

Today we turn the blog over to author Beth Cato, who tells us about the “hard work” (wink wink) that went into building the world of her acclaimed (and recently concluded) Blood of Earth trilogy.

Alternate history is about the ripples.

Throw a stone in a pond. Watch what happens. Count every ripple and measure its exact volume. Calculate how long it will take each ripple to reach landmarks like a rock, a leaf, and the shore, and go bonkers in the process. Or… realize your limits, and focus on the ripples that matter.

When I started writing my Blood of Earth trilogy beginning with Breath of Earth, I quickly realized how maddening the entire research process could be. I’m a perfectionist with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. If left to my own devices, I could and would attempt to count every ripple from the moment my stone plunked into the water: the early end of the American Civil War due to the alliance of Union forces and Japan.

The action of my series needed to focus on 1906, where I rewrote the Great San Francisco Earthquake and Fire with geomancy and incredible creatures. Against that backdrop, America and Japan are allied as the Unified Pacific and trying to dominate mainland Asia. This brings up complicated ripples with historical, political, and cultural repercussions, with endless potential to muck it up. Writing alternate history with a dose of magic is not an excuse for lazy research and writing. A factual basis means everything.

A pep talk from my literary agent helped me accept that there could be no such thing as a flawless alternate history. To put it bluntly, I had to research to the best of my ability and in the end acknowledge that my own ignorance might be on display.

This weighed on my mind as I began outlining the finale of my trilogy, Roar of Sky. The first third of the novel would be set in Hawaii, the Big Island in particular. I hit the research books, as I always do, and found a wealth of old travelogues to draw on. (Two of the most useful that are still in print are Mark Twain in Hawaii: Roughing It in the Sandwich Islands, and Six Months in the Sandwich Islands by Isabella Lucy Bird).

However, I had another problem: I had visited the settings of my previous Blood of Earth novels. I had not traveled to Hawaii. I needed to do justice to a place and people that had been treated with horrid injustice through this period.

Therefore, I had to take a research trip to the Hawaiian Islands.

Yes, this was quite possibly the best tax write-off ever, yet also undeniably a work trip. I packed collapsible hiking sticks, not a swimsuit.

I learned a lot about everyday life on sugarcane plantations at Hawaii’s Plantation Village in Waipahu on Oahu, where 90-year-old Charlie–with the help of his little dog Tomo–gave us a two-hour tour as he ‘talked story.’ On the short flight from Honolulu to Kona, I followed our route on the flight magazine map and took constant pictures because I knew my airship Palmetto Bug would fly the same path. I sought out Japanese bakeries (Neko Pan from BRUG Bakery in Honolulu shown here), as sweet rolls like an-pan and jamu-pan are of incredible importance in my books and aren’t things I can find around Phoenix, Arizona.

However, the most important portion of the trip involved a stay in the appropriately-named town of Volcano at the boundary of Volcanoes National Park. My geomancer heroine Ingrid needed to trek into Kilauea to the burbling lava lake of Halema’uma’u, long-regarded as the home of Madame Pele, goddess of volcanoes.

A century ago, safety standards for visitors were a bit, well, lax. Tourists trekked across uneven, sharp dried lava in the dead of night to frolic on the shores of a massive, bubbling, spitting lava lake. They cooked sausages over hot lava and singed postcards to mail as souvenirs.

I toted a camera, not sausages.

The modern trail began in the same place as back then, at Volcano House, a famous inn on the rim that’s still open for business. On that bright, sunny afternoon, Halema’uma’u’s plume stood out from over a mile away.

Tourists back in the day, like my characters, did the first part of the journey on horseback; these days, it’s a foot trail. A zigzagging path down the steep cliff caused me and my husband to tread with care across uneven steps, slick mud, gnarled roots, and around thorny vines. Tourists over the years have pounded the trail into moss-furred holloways.

I came to collect sensory details to make my book feel real, and was surprised by what I encountered. Despite the presence of nearby sulfur-steaming cliffs, rain forest characteristics such as the scent of fresh greenery and moisture and constant bird calls and chirps dominated my senses.

Volcanic activity this summer dramatically changed the geography of the area. The lava lake not only drained out through vents in the Puna district to the east, but the caldera collapsed. A 1,500-foot pit marks where Halema’uma’u once was. Volcanoes National Park only recently reopened to a limited degree, but last I checked, this trail is still closed. A picture on the park’s Facebook page a few months ago showed a boulder like this completely blocking the trail.

At the bottom of the cliff, the forest abruptly ended. A cold black sea of old lava stretched beyond. A century ago, the trail horses stopped here in a corral made of stacked lava rock. I glanced back at the cliff to attempt to capture the scale of the bowl we stood in.

Then I looked ahead, to Halema’uma’u a mile away. So close, yet so far. Signs warned us not to hike farther due to toxic fumes.

I still needed to experience a prolonged hike across black lava so that I could describe my characters’ experiences. Nearby Kilauea Iki provided what I needed with a 3-hour hike that involved more switchbacks down a steep cliff and a long walk across the pit crater’s length. Iki only erupted in 1959 and has only been cool enough to walk across for a few decades–and parts of it are still steaming.

This last picture, taken from the cliff of Kilauea Iki, shows the plume of Halema’uma’u rising from the crater next door.

My trip to Hawaii provided me with not only the information that I needed to write my book, but also granted me a strange and unexpected emotional bond with my characters. I’ve been living in my novels’ world since 2013. I read over 70 sources for research, most of those full books. I don’t even know how many hours I spent writing and rewriting and rewriting again. The potential to err in this series has frequently terrified me–and yet I’ve also loved the process and the places it’s allowed me to venture in my imagination and on my own two feet.

This research expedition let me walk where my characters walked. To breathe in the scents, taste the pastries, and experience the cold night winds as they would. My characters felt all the more real to me because of that.

I twisted history in various new knots and twined in magic for good measure, but I did what I could to keep my characters and settings true to their time. I’ve thrown the stone and studied the ripples as best I can. The Blood of Earth trilogy stands complete.

All three books of the Blood of Earth trilogy are available now.

The post Traveling the World to Build One: How Beth Cato Shaped the Alternate History of the Blood of Earth Trilogy appeared first on The B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog.

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Opening Up New Worlds: A Conversation About Fantasy in Translation

The B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog

What if someone wrote one of the best fantasy novels of all time, and there was no way for you to read it?

For a decade, that has been the reality for many prospective readers of Vita Nostra, by the co-writing team of Marina and Sergey Dyachenko. Though hailed as the best fantasy novel of the 21st century by the attendees of Eurocon 2008 and the recipient of some eight literary awards, for years, the book was simply inaccessible to many readers, for one simple reason: the authors published it in their native tongue, which made it off-limits to anyone unable to read Russian.

Thousands of science fiction and fantasy novels are published in English every year, but only a small percentage of those began life as works in other languages—which means those of us who can read only in English are missing out on countless books we’d love, if we even knew they existed. Consider the Dyachenkos: in Russia, they are revered fantasists with a bibliography of more than 20 celebrated novels. Yet until this year, only one of them had been published in English—The Scar, released by Tor in 2012 to great reviews but a muted response from readers (possibly because it shared a title and a glancingly similar cover with a Hugo-nominated book by China Miéville).

Typically for a non-English SFF book to make that leap, it requires strong sales (Cixin Liu’s The Three-Body Problem, the only translated novel to win the Hugo Award, has a massive following in its native China) or the backing of an influential champion. Or, perhaps, both, and not a little bit of luck: Vita Nostra was obviously a beloved book, but it wasn’t until it drew the attention of author and literary critic Lev Grossman (The Magicians) that it garnered interest from U.S. publishers (it is being released here by Harper Voyager).

But how did Grossman learn about the book? Well, that’s the truly interesting story—because a large part of the credit for the success of any novel in translation goes to the person responsible for dragging it from one language into another. Grossman was personally contacted by a reader who’d read the Russian novel—about a young girl who enrolls in a school for the magically gifted and finds the practice of magic to be nothing like Hogwarts promised—and thought it shared common blood with the book Grossman had just published to great fanfare; with his urging, she provided him a few translated pages, then a few more, then a few more.

Recently, we talked over email with that reader-cum-translator, Julia Meitov Hersey, who ultimately wound up translating the whole of Vita Nostra into English, about how her love of stories led her to working on translating them, and the odd journey the Dyachenkos novel took to the shelves of bookstores in the English-speaking world.

What is your background in fantasy? Did you grow up reading the genre? 
I am rather a cliche—I was shy and unpopular, prefered books to people, and grew up reading everything I could get my hands on, from Decameron to Steinbeck.

My love for sci-fi and fantasy began with The Martian Chronicles and the Narnia books. I remember one particular summer—I must have been in seventh or eighth grade—when I read fourteen volumes of the Anthology of Modern Science Fiction and Fantasy in two months. I still reread some of the stories in that collection every now and then just to relive the magic of that summer, with its dandelion wine and shooting stars.

I loved speculative fiction back then, and I still love it now, although I am less interested in spaceships and robots these days. I do still prefer human stories where the characters find themselves in slightly unrealistic situations—just to make it more interesting. I love One Hundred Years of Solitude, Life After Life, The Leftovers—they are very different books, but the common denominator is that all these novels transcend the limits of one particular genre; these authors tell a damn good story, and they tell it with extraordinary literary taste.

I’m interested to know how you became interested in translation work, and what drew you to translating a Russian novel in particular.
The second part of your question is easy—Russian is the only language I am qualified to translate from. I grew up in Moscow, so technically Russian is my native language. However, I have lived in the States for over twenty years, and my written Russian is by now somewhat archaic, so I am much more comfortable translating from Russian into English.

The reason I started translating was my frustration with the US book market. There is so much remarkable foreign fiction out there, and we know so little of it. We celebrate the big wins, such as Stieg Larsson or Haruki Murakami, but there are so many phenomenal works of literature out there that just don’t get the attention they so richly deserve. Off the top of my head, in Russia we have Dmitry Bykov, Narine Abgaryan, Yana Wagner—extraordinary writers that should be known and celebrated.

As a result, every time I wanted to buy a book for my husband or my kids, I would realize that it didn’t exist. So I started translating just so I could share my favorites with them. I started off with Sergey Lukyanenko’s The Knights of the Forty Islands, then went on to a novel by the Strugatsky brothers, and continued with the Dyachenkos. Until the Dyachenkos, translating books was just a hobby of mine, and I didn’t think anything I translate would ever be published.

How did you first encounter the work of the Dyachenkos?
I try to keep up with the new Russian literature, partly to avoid losing touch with my culture, and partly to keep up my Russian language skills. I usually buy Russian books online, and I picked up a copy of Vita Nostra because it was on sale. Once I read it, I went on to read the entire body of Marina and Sergey’s work—at this point over 20 novels and countless short stories.

How did you come to translate Vita Nostra? Were there other books that you almost translated instead?
Vita Nostra was a revelation. Even at first reading, I found so many levels—yes, it was about a school where practical magic is taught, but it was also about raising children and how far they can and should be pushed. It was about how fragile and anxious we are when we truly love someone. It was about the power of language. It was about responsibility and whether the end justifies the means. And here I have barely scratched the surface.

Vita Nostra’s complexity absolutely overwhelmed and terrified me. I would never have attempted to translate it if it weren’t for Lev Grossman, the author of The Magicians trilogy and the upcoming novel The Bright Sword. I went to his reading at the Boston Barnes & Noble when The Magicians first came out, and mentioned to him how he and the Dyachenkos must have been tapping into some sort of collective unconscious, because the two books had so much in common. Lev asked me to translate a few pages, then asked for more, and I just kept going.

Vita Nostra strikes me as a very complex work to translate, as it deals so much with complex, quasi-philosophical language and confounding logic. What was particularly challenging about this translation project?
There were a few things that kept me up at night: the technical terms (astronomy, psychiatry, etc.), hidden quotes [from other novels] (I am pretty sure I missed a few), and the way the language changes from deceptively simple in the “reality” scenes, like descriptions of Torpa [the town in which the novel is set] and the “transformation” episodes (I’m trying to avoid spoilers here). Some of the scenes were so emotionally charged that, when I worked on them, I actually forgot to blink—and ended up needing artificial tears.

I haven’t read a great deal of Russian fiction, and the novel’s style felt slightly alien to me. Do you think there are marked differences in the way Eastern and Western writers approach writing the fantastical?
Yes! And not just the fantastical. I think Western writers don’t just rely on sheer talent. Their books, in any genre, are much more structured. It may have a lot to do with stricter requirements and an extended editing phase—I don’t know enough about Eastern publishing to be the judge.

And sometimes it’s all about grammar. Since I grew up writing in Russian, I feel the difference all the time. Word order is one example of major differences. In Russian I have a lot more freedom in arranging words in a sentence the way I want. English demands discipline. In Russian, the use of em dashes and ellipses is much more acceptable, and I always have to watch how many em dashes per page I can really afford. I love em dashes with passion—almost as much as I love the Oxford comma. I am so grateful to David Pomerico for curbing my em dash addiction. [Editor’s note: I left in all of the em dashes in Julia’s emailed responses.]

Russian-influenced fantasy is a bit of a trend for Western writers right now—Naomi Novik’s Uprooted and Spinning Silver; Katherine Arden’s The Bear and the Nightingale. If you’ve gotten a chance to read any of these works, I’m curious to know how they strike you in comparison to native Slavic fantasy novels.
I read and loved both The Bear and the Nightingale and Uprooted, and would like to throw Catherynne Valente’s Deathless into the mix, because it is such a beautiful book. I am continuously amazed at how respectful these books are of their Eastern European origins, and how much research the authors conduct. It may be a trend, but it’s not an easy trend to follow—one must be absolutely fascinated by the subject, and in these books, the authors’ love for Russia shines through.

Strangely enough, I am not as familiar with the native Slavic fantasy novels as I should be. I think I instinctively shy away from them because I don’t really care about the Slavic element by itself—I just want a good story.

What efforts did you make to preserve the distinctly Russian flavor of the novel?
Interestingly enough, I didn’t think of Vita Nostra as having a distinctly Russian flavor. Sure, there are some realia of living and studying in Russia, like sleeping in berths on cross-country trains, having university entrance exams after you graduate from high school, or eating something as indescribable as anchovies in tomato sauce, but Sasha’s story could have happened in any country. Perhaps because my university experience was so similar to Sasha’s (minus the world-changing techniques), I managed to preserve the Russian flavor without really trying to. I was more concerned with the fact that some of the concepts were slightly outdated, like cassette tapes and CD players.

Can you think of examples of anything that literally didn’t translate, and what you had to do to get around them?
Names! There are so many variations of each Russian name, and each variation means something different. From neutral Sasha to informal Sashka to affectionate Sashenka to stern or official Alexandra—and all these nuances are lost on the English-language reader. I made the decision to eliminate all these variations and stick with Sasha, but I hated myself for it.

From what I was able to discover online, your translation was commercially available as an ebook before Harper Voyager acquired the rights. I’m curious to know if there was additional editing done on this now widely available version?
Yes, as my friend Anatoly Belilovsky says, it’s a bit of a Cinderella story. We were able to release Vita Nostra as an e-book through Trident Digital Media and Publishing a few years ago. Then, thanks to the endless heroic efforts of Josh Getzler of HSG Agency, who is now representing both the Dyachenkos and me, we were able to acquire the rights to the novel. He offered it to David Pomerico at Harper Voyager.

David didn’t make a lot of structural changes to the manuscript, but he and his team have truly made the text come alive. In some cases it was smoothing out some awkward phrasing or catching a discrepancy, but there had been some situations when a simple change would make the page sparkle. I remember one example when David changed a single sentence from “Go ahead, check, Kostya said,” to “‘Go ahead’, Kostya said. ‘Check.’”

But all in all, it [will have taken] nine long years for Vita Nostra to become widely available, and so many people were involved.

Are you involved in any more translation projects right now, whether from these authors or others? Is there a “dream project” you’d love to work on?
I have translated four more novels by Marina and Sergey Dyachenko: The Cave, The Valley of Conscience, The Ritual, and Alyona and Aspirin.

Alyona and Aspirin has also been purchased by Harper Voyager and will be published in the fall of 2020. It is, according to Publishers Marketplace, set in “an unnamed city where a well-known journalist and DJ saves a young girl and her teddy bear (who are NOT what—or from where—they seem) from a bunch of toughs—and sets in motion events that force him to confront his formerly stable and enjoyable existence and glimpse the girl’s perspective—full of death and fear—leading to confrontation and possible revelation of her true nature.”

Currently, I am working on a few screenplays and synopses for StoryWorld, a production company based in California. I am also in the middle of translating The Beam, a new YA novel by Marina and Sergey, and a collection of fairy-tales they wrote for their daughter Anastasia.

My dream project? I have a long list of Dyachenko novels I need to get to. I would love to translate Narine Abgaryan’s lovely music box of a novel called Manyunya, Yana Wagner’s Vongozero, or Dmitry Bykov’s In Charge of Evacuation. I wish I could work on some Strugatsky novels, but Olena Bormashenko is just too damn good at it.

I also want to continue working on the the Metamorphoses cycle, of which Vita Nostra is the first part. The other two novels in the cycle are loosely connected to Vita Nostra thematically, but are very different in style and concept.

There is so much I want to do. I just need to remember to blink.

Preorder Vita Nostra, to be published (in English) on November 13, 2018. 

The post Opening Up New Worlds: A Conversation About Fantasy in Translation appeared first on The B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog.

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