Martha Wells's Blog

January 27, 2015

Question for the Journal:

Someone asked: Will you ever write a novella or short story about how Stone and Azure got together? From reading The Tale of Indigo and Cloud, it seemed as if Stone wouldn't have been considered desirable as a consort because of his bad eye. I'm wondering what the story was between him and his queen, especially since he's so fantastically cantankerous.

I answered:

hanks for your question! I don’t have plans to do it at the moment, but it is a story I’d like to tell at some point. It would also be taking place not too long after the court first left the Reaches, so that would be interesting, too.

Anybody else have Raksura-related questions?
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Published on January 27, 2015 09:26 • 24 views

January 26, 2015

Still writing. I've been writing the action climax of the new book for a while and it's getting ready to build-up to the end, so that's exciting.

We got a lot of cold rain last week, to the point where I came home and found water building up in one of the flower beds against the wall of the house and starting to come into the garage. It was also building up across the front of the house, to the point where there was a debris line across the porch. The garage water was worse, because we have neighbors with an oversized lot and a huge vegetable garden, and they did something to it last year which causes the water to run off toward the side of our house. I thought I had moved enough landscape rocks around to get it running down the slope of the front yard to the street, but that wasn't working with this much rain. So I had to rebuild the side of the flower bed in the cold rain, and dig bricks out of the mud, and so on, but eventually I got the water level to drop. It was not fun! And I was soaked and had numb hands and feet afterward but the house didn't flood.

Other than that, not much exciting is going on. I have been working on a wikithing The Three Worlds Travelers Guide. It's not near to being done yet, but hopefully it'll make it a bit easier for people to write fanfic. (ETA: Live Journal apparently won't let me link to it, but here's the URL: )

I also need to transplant a small tree, and I'm not looking forward to that either.

FYI: you can also find me on tumblr and twitter.


Stories of the Raksura I is available in ebook, paperback, audiobook, (and reviews on Amazon, GoodReads, Barnes and Noble, etc are very much appreciated and really do help the books sell)

And Stories of the Raksura II is up for preorder and coming out in June.


* Diverse Fantastic Fiction this site is building a searchable index for diverse SFF books and comics.

* Study: Who Reads Books in America, and Why

* SF Signal: Catherine Lundoff on LGBT Science Fiction and Fantasy 2000-2010 Catherine has done a whole series of these posts, starting from pre-1970.
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Published on January 26, 2015 06:18 • 20 views

January 19, 2015

I realized I hadn't posted in a while. I basically haven't been doing very much except writing and working on some stuff for my web site. I've passed 100,000 words in the book I've been working on and am coming up on the start of the climax, so I really don't want to do much of anything except write right now. It should finish somewhere between 120,000-130,000 words.

I've also been packing up the book rewards for my part of the Six By Six Kickstarter (there's 19 of them!) and getting ready to mail them out.

* There's a crowdfunding campaign to kickstart a translation for an SF/F Spanish anthology:

* Lightspeed Magazine is doing the kickstarter for their Queers Destroy Science Fiction issue, a companion volume to Women Destory Science Fiction.

* It's time for Hugo Nominations. You can nominate if you are a member of Sasquan, this year's WorldCon in Spokane, Washington, or last year's WorldCon in London, Loncon. The list of my eligible work is here. "The Falling World" and "The Tale of Indigo and Cloud" are both eligible as separate novellas, and Stories of the Raksura I is eligible as a collection.
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Published on January 19, 2015 06:01 • 48 views

January 12, 2015

Monday, Monday, Monday. We've had cold rain and temps around 35 but luckily no ice. I was feeling mostly crappy toward the end of the week and all weekend, but it's probably allergies. (It's still allergies.) I had two doctor's appointments last week so was really afraid I would get a virus or cold or something from someone in the waiting room, which is how I usually end up getting sick.

One of our goddaughters is in the middle of the application for vet school, so please send good vet-school-acceptance vibes.

I really really liked Agent Carter.

Broadchurch is on Netflix and I highly recommend it. Make sure you have eight hours or so free before you start watching the first episode. It moves fast, is very intense (but has no onscreen violence). It's about a small vacation town on the coast of the UK, where an eleven year old boy is found murdered on the beach. Alec Hardy (David Tennant), a recently arrived DI and Ellie (the DS who should have had his job) have to investigate the case, and the town is so small Ellie finds herself having to investigate her own friends and people she's known all her life. There's going to be a sequel series in March, but this first 8 episode series is a complete story. (ETA: I've just remembered, they do show the murder at the end, but that's about it, I think.)

I really really like the new cover for Stories of the Raksura II: the Dead City & the Dark Earth Below

There were some cool useful links for writers going around on Tumblr, and I added them to the Publishing Information Sites for Beginning Authors section on my web site, at the end of the Craft of Writing Section under "Handy Sites."

I think that's it. I'm at 93,700 words on the book I can't tell you about yet. I'm expecting it to be between 120,000-130,000 words total.
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Published on January 12, 2015 06:31 • 47 views

January 7, 2015

More books:

* The Galaxy Game by Karen Lord
Karen Lord is one of today’s most brilliant young talents. Her science fiction, like that of predecessors Ursula K. Le Guin and China Miéville, combines star-spanning plots, deeply felt characters, and incisive social commentary. With The Galaxy Game, Lord presents a gripping adventure that showcases her dazzling imagination as never before.

* Pacific Fire by Greg Van Eekhout
Returning to the vivid world he created with California Bones, in which wizards known as osteomancers gain powers from eating the bones of extinct magical creatures (or the flesh of other wizards), van Eekhout brings the story forward ten years after Daniel Blackland toppled the Hierarch and ate his heart.

* Queen of the Deep by Kay Kenyon
On the streets of New York, Jane Gray meets an intriguing man who claims to be the impossible: an imaginary playmate from her childhood: Prince Starling. Determined to know the truth, Jane tracks him into another realm. This is the world of the Palazzo, a magical ship which is both a colossal steam vessel and a Renaissance kingdom. Ruling over its denizens--both human and otherwise--is an exotic and dangerous queen. Jane must find her way home, but the path is hopelessly lost.

* Fire Water: A Prospero's War Novella by Jaye Wells
Rookie cop Kate Prospero only has one more training assignment to pass before she's officially sworn in to Babylon Police Department. But the veteran cop in charge of the river patrol boat is a salty old guy isn't happy about playing tour guide to a rookie and seems even less interested in real police work. But while on patrol, they stumble on to what appears to be a floating dirty magic lab. This highly combustible situation might finally be the key to these two unlikely partners finding common ground.

Plus: SF Signal posted about the new cover for Stories of the Raksura II
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Published on January 07, 2015 07:04 • 21 views

January 5, 2015

This is the gorgeous new cover for Stories of the Raksura Vol II: The Dead City & The Dark Earth Below by artist Matthew Stewart (who won the Chesley award for Best Illustration - Paperback for 2012 - for The Cloud Roads).


Stories of the Raksura Vol II: The Dead City & The Dark Earth Below is coming out in June 2015, and is now available for preorder in paperback and ebook.
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Published on January 05, 2015 07:33 • 52 views
* A Fantasy Miscellany: Short Fiction Saturday: Martha Wells
I mentioned 'Death of the Necromancer' in my recent post on 5 books you should be reading now, so this was a great bit of timing. And seriously, as much as I love Nicholas and Madeleine; Reynard is my favorite character out of 'Death of the Necromancer'. He's delightful, with an urbane wit and charm that I adore. Plus, he is one of the first really well-drawn gay characters I can remember encountering. So the idea of him taking front and center, even if just for one story, makes me very happy.

* Gideon by Alex Gordon
...uncanny and frightening events start Lauren on a trip to find her roots, along with the power to combat an evil spirit that has terrorized Gideon since 1836. Crisp and shiveringly disturbing prose, a solid plot, and well-developed characters all make for a deeply satisfying read. -Publishers Weekly

* Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch
Fifth book in the Rivers of London series. I've already read it, because I got the British edition when it came out a couple of months ago, and I loved it.

* Hero by Alethea Kontis
Rough-and-tumble Saturday Woodcutter thinks she's the only one of her sisters without any magic—until the day she accidentally conjures an ocean in the backyard. With her sword in tow, Saturday sets sail on a pirate ship, only to find herself kidnapped and whisked off to the top of the world. Is Saturday powerful enough to kill the mountain witch who holds her captive and save the world from sure destruction? And, as she wonders grumpily, "Did romance have to be part of the adventure?" As in Enchanted, readers will revel in the fragments of fairy tales that embellish this action-packed story of adventure and, yes, romance.

* Paul Weimer's upcoming books list: Some Books in 2015 I am looking forward to getting to read
Lots of good stuff on here

* Indegogo: The Graveyard of Empires
This is the third book in the Eden Kane series of erotic adventure novels that began with Sky Pirates of the Rio Grande and continued in Queen of the Sky Frontier. Now the epic story moves into high gear with this concluding chapter!

* Storify: LONG Tweetversation on women, SFF, UF, YA, and bias
This is one of those conversations that's made me realize I was really stupid not to use initials or a male penname when I started writing the Raksura books.


* Consumer Reports: Arsenic in rice test data prompt FDA to recommend diversifying grains in diet a lot of gluten-free products use rice flour, which also has this problem.

and something more cheery to end on:

* Slate: The World is Not Falling Apart
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Published on January 05, 2015 06:58 • 38 views

December 31, 2014

2014 was a year, all right. There were deaths, and illnesses, and financial problems, and terrible things happening in the world. I feel lucky it wasn't personally worse for me, but it was so bad for so many of our friends, and so many other people.

(There was the time Barnes and Noble saved my bank account's ass by transferring their royalty payment of $34.00 for my self-published reprint ebooks at just the right moment. Good times.)

I think I wrote about 215,000 words of fiction this year. That's two novellas, two short stories, half a novel, and 2/3 of another novel.

I am really happy with out the Six by Six Kickstarter, with Bradley P. Beaulieu, Tina Connolly, Brenda Cooper, Will McIntosh, and Stephen Gaskell, turned out. We funded before Christmas and ended up making three stretch goals. It was awesome, and thanks to everyone who contributed!

I don't know what to say about 2015. I hope it's not worse, yay! seems kind of downbeat. But anyway, yay, I hope it's not worse!

ETA: List of everything I published this year.
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Published on December 31, 2014 08:42 • 37 views

December 30, 2014

We're in the last ten hours of the Six By Six Kickstarter and we've funded, made two stretch goals, and are close to a third. So I thought I'd post the first scene of my new story for the collection, "Night at the Opera," a Nicholas and Reynard story set before The Death of the Necromancer

Night at the Opera (first scene)
by Martha Wells

Reynard Morane was at his usual table in the Cafe Baudy, a somewhat risqué establishment built on a barge floating on the Deval Forest pleasure garden lake, when a beautiful man approached his table. This wasn't an unusual occurrence, especially in this cafe, but this beautiful man was a stranger. He said, "Captain Morane?"

From his features and dark skin, the man was Parscian, a little younger than Reynard but not by much, tall and well-built and dressed in an elegant but understated way that suggested some professional occupation in the city. The coat was too expensive for the man to be from a university. For some reason, Reynard attracted a high percentage of men of academic persuasions. "Yes." Reynard smiled warmly. "Please join me."

The man hesitated, then drew out the opposite chair. "A friend told me about you."

"And which friend is this?" Reynard caught the waiter's attention and lifted his brows. The waiter sized up the situation professionally, then went to the bar for a fresh bottle of wine and glasses.

"A man named Biendare." The man lowered his voice. "I believe he is known in some circles as 'Binny.'"

"Binny?" Reynard frowned. This was not encouraging. Binny was not someone who would have recommended Reynard for an assignation. At least not the kind of assignation Reynard had hoped for. To make sure this man had really met Binny, he said, "At the roasted nut kiosk on the Street of Flowers?"

"No, it was in March Street, at a wine bar that also sells fried fish."

"Right." Reynard sat up, adjusting his attitude from invitingly indolent to business-like and alert.

The waiter arrived at the table with the bottle and glasses. Reynard sighed and told him, "No."

"No?" The waiter looked startled, then disappointed. "Oh. Coffee, perhaps?"

"Coffee," Reynard agreed.

The man cast a puzzled look at the retreating waiter's back, and Reynard admitted, "I was hoping it was an assignation." He waved a hand. "It's the Cafe Baudy, you know. There are often assignations."

"Oh, yes, I..." The man obviously decided to drop that subject and pursue his objective. "My name is Amadel. I am the confidential secretary for the Lady Shankir-Clare. She needs assistance of a...particular sort."

Reynard held up a hand as the waiter approached. He waited until the man had arranged the coffee service and departed, then said, "She's being troubled by someone but feels unable to confide the details to the Prefecture?"

"Yes, exactly." Amadel added cream and sugar to his cup with the relief of a man who had been searching for help and was finally in the right place.

This was odd. The Shankir-Clares were a family a rather famous diplomats, wealthy and well-respected in both Parscia and Ile-Rien, where the different branches of the family had originated. Reynard had never met any of them because they were the sort of people who were invited to the palace, not the sort who traveled in demi monde circles. No wonder Amadel hadn't been familiar with the Cafe Baudy. "How did you ever run across Binny?"

"Lady Shankir-Clare's hairdresser knew him," Amadel said. "She said he was the best way to contact people who could help with...sensitive problems."

"Is it blackmail?" Reynard asked. If one of the Shankir-Clare ladies had trusted her affections to the wrong man, and it wasn't someone associated with the infamous Count Montesq, Reynard could probably have it taken care of before dinner. "I quite like dealing with blackmailers. I have some experience at it."

"It isn't an ordinary blackmailer. It's a sorcerer." Amadel's brow furrowed as if he was trying to control a wince of anticipation. He thought Reynard would refuse the commission now. Most of the people who did this sort of thing wouldn't tangle with a sorcerer.

Reynard smiled. "Then Binny sent you to the right place." He lifted a hand to signal the waiter to bring the bill.

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Published on December 30, 2014 09:23 • 25 views

December 29, 2014

I had a great, relaxed Christmas. We had a friend come to stay with us, and went to Santa's Wonderland light extravaganza, which also had a lot of great food (giant funnel cake, make-your-own-on-the-open-fire s'mores), and was a lot of fun.

Christmas eve we went out to dinner with another friend and had traditional Christmas eve sushi. Christmas day more friends came over and I made a giant dinner (photos) that turned out really well. We watched the Doctor Who Christmas special, and on Friday went out to see the last Hobbit movie, which I enjoyed a lot.

Then Saturday I had an icepick grade sinus headache and a spasming shoulder, so I mostly didn't do anything except watch the DVDs I got for Christmas. (Luther seasons 2 and 3, Vera season 3, the new Father Brown series, The Hundred Foot Journey) and I read some of the stories in Yuletide. (Favorite so far: a Peter Wimsey and Miss Marple crossover:


Stories of the Raksura II: The Dead City & The Dark Earth Below has been pushed back to a release date of June. This is a pain, but leaves more time to send out ARCs, etc.

Our Kickstarter: is on it's last day! And we funded, yay! There's still time to join it and help us get to another stretch goal. My anthology will include a brand new Nicholas and Reynard story set before The Death of the Necromancer.

I have other news I can't reveal until the contract is final, and that's what I've mostly been working on this year, which makes it hard to talk about what I've been working on this year.

Stuff I published this year, that is also eligible for awards:


March 2014 "A Life Less Ordinary: The Environment, Magic Systems, and Non-Humans" The Kobold Guide to Magic, Kobold Press. Non-fiction essay.


April 2014 Emilie and the Sky World Strange Chemistry Books, ISBN 9781908844521. Novel, YA fantasy, available in paperback and ebook
When Emilie and Daniel arrive in Silk Harbor, Professor Abindon, an old colleague of the Marlendes, warns them that she's observed something strange and potentially deadly in the sky, a disruption in an upper air aether current. But as the Marlendes investigate further, they realize it's a ship from another aetheric plane.


July 2014 "Soul of Fire" Tales of the Emerald Serpent II: A Knight in the Silk Purse. Short story, fantasy. available in paperback and ebook
Jelith and Kryranen get an offer they can't refuse.


October 2014 Stories of the Raksura I: The Falling World & The Tale of Indigo and Cloud Night Shade Books, ISBN 978-1597805353. I think this is eligible as both a collection, and the individual works are eligible. "The Falling World" and "The Tale of Indigo and Cloud" are both novellas, between 17,500 - 39,999 words. Available in paperback, ebook, and audiobook.

"The Falling World" is a 39,900 word novella
Jade, sister queen of the Indigo Cloud Court, has traveled with Chime and Balm to another Raksuran court. When she fails to return, her consort Moon, along with Stone and a party of warriors and hunters, must track them down. Finding them turns out to be the easy part; freeing them from an ancient trap hidden in the depths of the Reaches is much more difficult.

"The Tale of Indigo and Cloud" is a 25,255 novella
This novella explores the history of the Indigo Cloud Court, long before Moon was born. In the distant past, Indigo stole Cloud from Emerald Twilight. But in doing so, the reigning Queen Cerise and Indigo are now poised for a conflict that could spark war throughout all the courts of the Reaches.

"The Forest Boy" and "Adaptation" were previously published on my web site, so I think that means they aren't eligible for most awards. It would depend on the award, I think.



October 2014 Star Wars: Razor's Edge. Paperback reprint ISBN 978-0345545251 Available in paperback, ebook, and audiobook.
Times are desperate for the Rebel Alliance. Harassment by the Empire and a shortage of vital supplies are hindering completion of a new secret base on the ice planet Hoth. So when Mid Rim merchants offer much-needed materials for sale, Princess Leia Organa and Han Solo lead an Alliance delegation to negotiate a deal.
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Published on December 29, 2014 05:32 • 46 views