Daily Archives: April 4, 2016

My Next Novel is Coming from Tor.com in January

Announcing A New Novel from J. M. McDermott

We are thrilled to announce the acquisition of a great new science fiction novel from Joe McDermott—The Fortress at the End of Time.
J.M. McDermott is best known for the novelsLast Dragon, Never Knew Another, andMaze. His work has appeared in Asimov’s, Analog, and Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet. He holds an MFA from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast Program. He lives in Texas.
In The Fortress at the End of Time, humanity has expanded across the galaxy by use of ansible and clone technology, but an enemy stands in their way—an enemy alien in concept as much as physiology. Ronaldo Aldo is a clone stationed in the back-end of nowhere—a watch station with a glorious military past, but no future. He’s desperate to prove himself worthy of ascension—of having his consciousness broadcast to a newer clone, far away from his current post at the Citadel.
Joe had this to say:
I was surprised that Justin and Tor.com, saw great potential in this little novel, a novel not about adventure, but about the way stories of adventure intersect with a soul-crushing bureaucracy in space. I am surprised and delighted to be working with such an amazing team, and see my little book in such fine company as Nnedi Okorafor, Fran Wilde, K.J. Parker, and Mary Robinette-Kowal!
Joe’s editor, Justin Landon, said:
I could have almost been convinced to buy Joe McDermott’s novel based on the title alone. Thankfully, with its high concept ideas and authentic portrayal of life in the military, the book lives up to its title and then some. McDermott’s work has always been beautiful and insightful, but with Fortress he’s written something that makes you sit up and take notice. I sure did and I think Tor.com’s readers will too.
The Fortress at the End of Time was acquired by senior editor Lee Harris from Matt Bialer at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates, and will be published in January 2017.
source: http://www.tor.com/2016/04/04/announcing-a-new-novel-from-j-m-mcdermott/

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Old Texas, Old Trouble, and Always Looking for Better News: a review of NEWS OF THE WORLD by Paulette Jiles

I’m writing this review on Columbus Day, or Indigenous People’s Day, and pre-loading it for closer to the book’s release. There is an irony in this, as the genocide that occurred to the indigenous people of the very place where I’m typing – San Antonio, TX – wiped away entire civilizations to make room for a new, mongrel race of European and African immigrants that merged with what was present on the land, if what was present deigned to assimilate into our society on our terms. Those terms were, naturally, awful to the native people and Africans and Mexicans with Indian Heritage.

Sometimes, though, children from the European people were taken by the natives, and raised as native children. They were often taken during violent raids by the native tribes that were known for their brutality. Unlike the peaceful Cherokee, for instance, that actively sought to assimilate, the Wichita and Apache and raiding tribes fought to keep their country. They murdered settlers in the kind of total war that was what was done to them. The children they took were witness to unspeakable violence. They had to become their kidnappers, and had no choice in the matter. I’m not even getting to the book. I’m talking around it. I’m not reaching the characters, because the situation is so morally complex!

See how hard it is to talk about this terrible situation without stumbling all over the racism and the genocide and the injustice? I can’t even begin to describe the character, Johanna, who was taken in a brutal raid when she was six, and kept for four years with the Wichita. At the end of the Indian Wars, if they ever ended, tribes learned that they had to give back their captives or face retribution. Johanna was given back; she was bought for a fifty gold coin piece by her uncle in a German settlement outside of San Antonio near modern day Leon Valley. The black man who initially takes her to Dallas from the Red River near Oklahoma is unwilling to take a little, blonde, white girl all the way down to San Antonio, having no business there, and no safe business escorting a white girl. He reaches out to Captain Kidd, a military veteran of three wars, who used to run a printing press until the Confederate collapse claimed his business with it. He traveled, then, from town to town, reading the news of the world in meeting halls, for ten cents a head, to the communities that may or may not have access to the recent legislation.

The novel details the dangerous journey south, where a young, blonde Indian captive is a valuable commodity in a fronteir town, but the seventy-one-year old Captain Kidd is honor-bound to deliver his charge across dangerous territory to an aunt and uncle that might not even recognize her on site.

It is a journey through time and history, that grapples with the reality of the situation: Native people’s had to assimilate to the control of the white man or die; the whole way of being in the frontier, and ways of thinking, will be lost, on every side of things. No matter how much news reaches the world, the cycles of violence never seem to end. There is a grand adventure, a poet’s deft touch for language on the page, and the exceptional characterizations of the girl and the Captain on their perilous journey. It’s an exceptional book, and the less I say about it, the better. It grapples with very challenging material, and succeeds by focusing closely on the characters in the moment, and the compassion and empathy that is natural to good men, along with the willingness to face unspeakable violence to protect the ones we love.

I highly recommend Paulette Jiles’ new novel, News of the World.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized