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Descent by Ken MacLeod

DESCENT Ken MacLeod

Author of 2013 Arthur C. Clarke Award-nominated Intrusion tells a science fiction story for the twenty-first century – what happens when conspiracy theorists meet Big Brother?
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THE LASCAR’S DAGGERGlenda Larke

The start of a brand new epic fantasy trilogy from the author of the Stormlord series – full of scheming, spying, action and adventure.
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Rachel Aaron

If you look at the early reviews of my new novel, FORTUNE’S PAWN (out now, by the way! [US | UK | AUS]), you’ll find one word repeated over and over again: fun. This word also appeared in reviews of my fantasy series, THE LEGEND OF ELI MONPRESS (written as Rachel Aaron [US | UK | ANZ]), so much so that I was actually joking to my husband that I should call myself “Rachel Aaron, the fun author!”

And you know, I’m okay with that.

Fun is a seriously underrated novel component. There are plenty of serious books that make you cry or think in a different way or show you something beautiful and deep. I strive for all that in my works as well, but never at the cost of a good time. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a cathartic cry as much as the next person, but the books I come back to over and over again are the ones that left me smiling and exhilarated and hungry to read more.

Too often, we say “escapist reading” like it’s something lesser. Like we should be ashamed that we’re enjoying something just because it’s fun. I think that’s absurd. It’s like saying ice cream is lesser because all it does is taste delicious. We need delicious, because life is hard. Bad things happen even to the luckiest of us, and the world can too often be a stressful, dark, unfriendly, unkind place. A good, fun book is like an escape hatch from all that grim reality. It’s a safe space where we can run away and have a good, dramatic, thrilling time, and sometimes, when you really need to a respite, that can feel like a miracle.

Hearing someone had a blast reading my books is the greatest complement I can receive as a writer. I’m proud to be a trusted provider of quality life escape hatches. And while I can’t guarantee my story will change your world forever, I can promise that it’ll be one hell of a ride. So come have fun in my imagination. Let me entertain you. At the very least, you’ll never be bored.

FORTUNE’S PAWN is available now! Check out the first chapter here, and get ready for even more fun this Thursday. Rachel Bach will be joining authors Daniel Abraham (1/2 of the James S. A. Corey writing duo) and Ann Leckie tomorrow for an evening of science fiction, technology, and space opera. RSVP to the Google event today

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Rachel Aaron

Rachel Bach

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  1. Paul (@princejvstin)

    November 6, 2013
    at 5:26 pm

    Reply

    This reminds me of a recent SF Signal interview Gail Carriger did where she talks about fun and humor in her books, and how she is always inclined to “Reach” for it.

    And Fun definitely seems to be in *your* toolbox too, Rachel.

  2. pontifus

    November 7, 2013
    at 11:25 am

    Reply

    I wonder if you’ve been made to feel as though you need to defend yourself by those people who wail and moan about “escapism,” etc. They aren’t worth bothering with until they can engage with escape as a functional thing.

    I don’t think it’s possible to escape in the way that they often mean. One necessarily brings one’s experience, problems and all, into reading; one brings what one finds in fiction back into the world. The boundary isn’t solid. For me, literary escape isn’t so much about stepping out of the world and recharging (which in itself can be useful) — it’s about re-contextualizing, challenging, and expanding the ways in which I understand the world.

    Escape doesn’t make the world go away. It makes the world richer. It makes a person’s worldview bigger. There certainly must be value in that.

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