July: City of Pearl

I exaggerated a little about 2003. It is pretty astonishing that three books out of the 11 best science fiction by women from the last decade were published then, but it was part of a larger lumping in the decade. Two more of the novels on the list came out in 2004, adding to my mild suspicions about how we mentally process novels, and how long it takes to pass judgement on a book’s staying power while still remembering that one has read it. It would be interesting to do similar surveys every five years and see how they evolve.

In any event, this month on Torque Control, we will be looking at Karen Traviss‘s novel, City of Pearl. Given how prolific Traviss has been since, it’s worth remembering that City of Pearl was her very first published novel, one of two which came out in 2004.  Also note that it has not been published in the UK, although used copies are certainly available here. Her Wess’har War series, which it begins, would have five more volumes by 2008.

Traviss will be at ComiCon in San Diego later this month. She was also part of a three-way interview on Women’s Hour of BBC4 in June, which Niall transcribed here.

And speaking of Niall, he’s the one who will be leading discussion of City of Pearl later in July. I hope you will be able to join us in reading and discussing it.

2 thoughts on “July: City of Pearl

  1. Regretfully, I haven’t had time to read the Future Classics, or take part in the discussion (because I have read four of the eleven before: all the Gwyneth Jones — I’m a big fan — and Lavinia). But I did resolve to read at least one, and my friend Jennie recommended Traviss, so here I am.

    City of Pearl was “published” in Australia in the way that most US/UK-originated conglomerate-published fiction is: it was imported by the local branch of the conglomerate. So we’re all on the same (American) page.

    I’m surprised by Traviss’s claim that she’s “not a reader”, because I experienced a bit of literary anxiety when starting this novel, worried that I hadn’t read enough stories about super-powerful alien protectors to really appreciate Traviss’s handling of the trope. Once we’re all done reading, I’d be interested in hearing about this aspect from those who are well read in this tradition.

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