Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Oh, hey, good news from Bujold

Here’s a tor.com column by Alan Brown about LMB’s Sharing Knife series.

The column is fine, though Beguilement is certainly not my favorite in the four-book series (and may not be Brown’s favorite either, but he sure liked it a whole bunch.)

But here’s the important bit:


A few weeks ago, on Christmas Day, Bujold announced on her blog that “I am pleased to report that I have finished the first draft of a new novella in the world of The Sharing Knife. Functionally a novella, anyway; its length, at the moment, is a tad over 49,000 words, so it’s technically a short novel.”

I would not personally call 49,000 words any kind of novel (and I don’t think LMB really would either, or she wouldn’t have said “technically.” No matter where the technical lines are drawn, 49,000 words is a novella. On the other hand, I will be right there for a Sharing Knife novella, especially if it is set after the four books, because in my opinion this series got decidedly better as it went on.

Best line in the whole series: “No one said anything about giant bats!”

Anyway:

a) Beguilement — a nice story, a sweet romance, I liked it a lot. This book immediately became a comfort read, one I reach again for if I have a bad cold and don’t feel like reading anything challenging, but need a warm, fuzzy novel that I know well and still enjoy.

b) Legacy — I wasn’t a huuuuge fan of Fawn’s family, but I loathed Dag’s toxic family. Some parts of this book are just painful to read. I still like the book okay, but.

c) Passage — Now we’re talking! Fun slice-of-life river trip, interrupted by the occasional need to deal with some minor (or major) crisis.

d) Horizon — I really like seeing Dag get his life actually in order, make those big, important decisions about what direction he’s going to take. I liked Arkady, I liked Dag’s niece, whose name I’m temporarily forgetting; I liked the whole book a ton. Plus giant bats!

The new novella is apparently going to be called Knife Children.

There is zero information about it so far at Goodreads, just the cover and a publication date of Any Minute Now; ie, it says January 2019, but the story is not up at Amazon yet.

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4 Comments Oh, hey, good news from Bujold

  1. Hanneke

    On Bujold’s blog, she’s talked about the new novella a little bit, mostly regarding what to name it. One of the things mentioned was “Barr and Lily”, from the epilogue of book 4, Horizon. She also said (paraphrasing from memory, here) that would make one of those sound more important than they should be, not being the intended protagonist.
    From that, I’d consider it a safe bet that it’s set some years after the end of Horizon.
    From the plural in “children” I’m hoping it will be about both Nattie-Mari and Lily, giving us a glimpse of how the new Bluefield families are doing, and how Dag’s project of spreading knowledge and contact is going. Barr grew up a lot, in Horizon – even if he still is a ‘feckless young patroller’ I don’t think he could be classed as part of ‘children’ in anything but jest.

    And yes, she considers it a novella; she was talking about the gap between the official naming conventions for a novella (up to 40.000 words) and the shorter length for a novel of 80.000 words and up (50 years ago, novels were often 80.000-100.000 words, nowadays 120.000-140.000 is more common).

  2. Rachel

    Thanks for the link, Hanneke. I agree that the name all by itself implies the next generation and that Barr and Remo don’t count as children. I’m looking forward to what I trust will be a promising start on shifting the Lakewalker / farmer societies in a positive direction.

    Elaine, no, I didn’t. Skimmed right across it, or else possibly it wasn’t there yet at the time I saw the Bujold column. Thanks for the pointers, both of you.

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