Chris Lester

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Chris Lester

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Born
in Rochester, Michigan, The United States
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Influences
J. R. R. Tolkien, Robert A. Heinlein, Poul Anderson, C. S. Lewis, Neil ...more

Member Since
October 2010

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Hi there! I'm Chris Lester, and I tell stories. I've been doing it for as long as I can remember; whether the audience was a playmate, a classroom, a parent, or a room full of strangers, I've always had a soft spot for a tale well told.

I grew up on stories of places that never were, of science fiction and fantasy, heroes and gods. I was captivated by ideas of transformation and transcendence, of people who passed out of the world of the ordinary and into a world where the impossible could happen. While it was the spectacle and wonder of these stories that gripped me first, as I grew older I came to appreciate them for another reason: by taking us out of our mundane context, these authors could tackle ideas and quandaries that would otherwis
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Chris Lester Ooh, good question! While many of the stories I love feature characters who are in relationships, it's rarely the relationships themselves that draw…moreOoh, good question! While many of the stories I love feature characters who are in relationships, it's rarely the relationships themselves that draw me to them. Some of the most interesting and engaging characters have love lives that are tragic, unfulfilling, or just desperately ill-advised. And sometimes two interesting characters have a relationship between them that just isn't all that compelling -- John Sheridan and Delenn, from BABYLON 5, is a good example of this.

There are two fictional couples, though, that I dearly love: Alexia and Conall in Gail Carriger's THE PARASOL PROTECTORATE, and Aral and Cordelia in Lois McMaster Bujold's THE VORKOSIGAN SAGA. In both cases, these are loving, successful relationships between smart, tough, headstrong characters, who were powerful and effective as individuals but somehow become even more formidable together. They fight; they argue; they butt heads over matters of principle; but in the end, they are on each other's side, even when the whole world is arrayed against them.(less)
Average rating: 4.39 · 330 ratings · 46 reviews · 16 distinct works
Making the Cut (Metamor Cit...

4.61 avg rating — 41 ratings — published 2009 — 4 editions
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Welcome to the City (Metamo...

4.30 avg rating — 40 ratings — published 2012 — 2 editions
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Huntress (Metamor City, #2)

4.52 avg rating — 31 ratings — published 2012 — 2 editions
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The Sentinel (Metamor City,...

4.09 avg rating — 32 ratings — published 2012 — 2 editions
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Troubled Minds (Metamor Cit...

4.40 avg rating — 25 ratings — published 2012 — 2 editions
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The Muse (Metamor City, #4)

4.29 avg rating — 21 ratings — published 2012 — 2 editions
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Things Unseen (Metamor City...

4.63 avg rating — 27 ratings — published 2013 — 3 editions
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Whispers in the Wood (Metam...

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A Lightbringer Carol (Metam...

4.12 avg rating — 17 ratings — published 2012 — 2 editions
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To Walk in Shadow: A Tale o...

4.70 avg rating — 10 ratings2 editions
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More books by Chris Lester…
Welcome to the City Making the Cut Huntress The Sentinel The Muse Troubled Minds Whispers in the Wood
(10 books)
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4.38 avg rating — 263 ratings

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Chris Lester is 89% done with Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
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Chris Lester is 83% done with Alexander Hamilton
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Incubus Yule by A.H. Lee
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Facts and Fears by James R. Clapper
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Dreamland by Sam Quinones
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Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible by Peter Pomerantsev
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When We Were Young - Short Stories from Panamindorah, Volume 3 by Abigail Hilton
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More of Chris's books…
“Janus found himself drawn to the edge of the rink, staring fixedly at Candace as she approached: grinning, puffing steam, her cheeks flushed, her brown hair peeking out from under a knitted cap, her hazel eyes sparkling green and gold in the bright winter sun. She wore a wool riding coat, brilliant red trimmed with black, which stood out amid the ice like a ruby on white gold. Janus thought she had never looked more beautiful than she did in that moment, with all her cares and duties laid aside for the pure joy of living. Janus wanted to freeze the moment in his memory and carry it forever: This is what happiness looks like. I never knew.
Chris Lester, A Lightbringer Carol

“Muscles contract somewhere above the roof of my mouth, pumping venom into her bloodstream. Kelly cries out, a gasp of pain that turns suddenly to moans of euphoria as the carotids rush the narcotic serum directly to her brain. Her knees buckle, and I reach down to steady her — one arm over her breasts, the other around her waist as I hold her tightly to myself. Then the blood begins to flow, seeping out of the wounds I have made, and I put my lips to her skin and drink.

There are no words adequate to describe it. My mind explodes with a wash of light and color, swirling and dancing before my eyes. Then the Sharing truly begins, and I can see inside her: images of her memories, her thoughts, her hopes and dreams, the way she remembers her past and how she imagines her future. Her joys; her grief; that which she loves and that she despises, what stirs her fire and chills her bones. And through it all, I feel the touch of her presence, and I know that she sees the same things inside of me.

Blood is more than matter, more than plasma and hemoglobin. Blood is life, the river on which the spirit flows. And as Kelly's blood flows into me, it carries her life with it, until my soul entwines with hers. She has given a part of herself to me, and from this day forth we are bound to each other.”
Chris Lester, Huntress

“You can't teach kindness with a whip, Janus.”
Chris Lester, Whispers in the Wood

“A Great Rabbi stands, teaching in the marketplace. It happens that a husband finds proof that morning of his wife's adultery, and a mob carries her to the marketplace to stone her to death.

There is a familiar version of this story, but a friend of mine - a Speaker for the Dead - has told me of two other Rabbis that faced the same situation. Those are the ones I'm going to tell you.

The Rabbi walks forward and stands beside the woman. Out of respect for him the mob forbears and waits with the stones heavy in their hands. 'Is there any man here,' he says to them, 'who has not desired another man's wife, another woman's husband?'
They murmur and say, 'We all know the desire, but Rabbi none of us has acted on it.'

The Rabbi says, 'Then kneel down and give thanks that God has made you strong.' He takes the woman by the hand and leads her out of the market. Just before he lets her go, he whispers to her, 'Tell the Lord Magistrate who saved his mistress, then he'll know I am his loyal servant.'

So the woman lives because the community is too corrupt to protect itself from disorder.

Another Rabbi. Another city. He goes to her and stops the mob as in the other story and says, 'Which of you is without sin? Let him cast the first stone.'

The people are abashed, and they forget their unity of purpose in the memory of their own individual sins. ‘Someday,’ they think, ‘I may be like this woman. And I’ll hope for forgiveness and another chance. I should treat her as I wish to be treated.’

As they opened their hands and let their stones fall to the ground, the Rabbi picks up one of the fallen stones, lifts it high over the woman’s head and throws it straight down with all his might it crushes her skull and dashes her brain among the cobblestones. ‘Nor am I without sins,’ he says to the people, ‘but if we allow only perfect people to enforce the law, the law will soon be dead – and our city with it.’

So the woman died because her community was too rigid to endure her deviance.

The famous version of this story is noteworthy because it is so startlingly rare in our experience. Most communities lurch between decay and rigor mortis and when they veer too far they die. Only one Rabbi dared to expect of us such a perfect balance that we could preserve the law and still forgive the deviation.

So of course, we killed him.

-San Angelo
Letters to an Incipient Heretic”
Orson Scott Card, Speaker for the Dead

“It’s not a question of what you want. No sane person ever WANTS a war. But if you see outsiders as a threat and believe that an armed defense is the only way you’re going to be safe from them, then you’re going to find yourselves in the middle of a war whether you want one or not.”
Chris Lester, Making the Cut

“You ever get the feeling we're in way, WAY over our heads?' Kate asked.

David shrugged. 'I get that feeling every time I go drinking with you.”
Chris Lester, Things Unseen
tags: humor

“Misty bit her lip — or at least that was what it looked like with the glamour. Kate could only imagine what she was doing with that mouth full of fangs. 'How do I know I can trust him? Or you?'

Kate rose to her feet. 'You don’t. You never do, with people. Some things, you have to take on faith.' She turned and headed for the door, then paused and looked back. 'I don’t know how much you know about humans. I’m just guessing here, but we probably seem like a bunch of violent, paranoid, back-stabbing monkeys. ‘Cause we are. But the thing is … sooner or later, we all find ways to trust each other, even though we might get burned doing it.'

Misty’s lip curled into a sneer. 'Because deep down inside, humans are all noble creatures that want to rise above their natures, right?'

'Oh, hell no,' Kate said. 'It’s just better than facing the darkness alone.'
Then she turned and walked out, leaving the dumbstruck Misty behind her.”
Chris Lester, Things Unseen

“Santa was dead, to begin with. There was no doubt whatsoever about that. The after-action report was signed by the field commander, the director of operations, the secretary of the Office of Sidhe Affairs, and the chief battle-mage. Janus had signed it — and Janus’s word could be counted upon for anything he chose to put his name to. Old Saint Nicholas, the Sidhe Lord of the Yuletide, was as dead as a door-nail.

It didn’t stick.”
Chris Lester, A Lightbringer Carol

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