The World SF Blog

Speculative Fiction from Around the World

Karen Lord’s Redemption in Indigo – review and giveaway!

Karen Lord’s Redemption in Indigo is currently nominated for the Kitschies Golden Tentacle Award and, in association with the award, we’re delighted to offer here a review of the novel by Charles Human, as well as an exclusive giveaway courtesy of Quercus BooksETA: The giveaway is now closed, congratulations to the winners!

Redemption in Indigo

We have two copies each of both Redemption in Indigo and of Lord’s new novel, The Best of All Possible Worlds to give away. Simply comment below (making sure to include your e-mail address in the required field – this will not show when you post) and we will choose two people at random to receive them. Competition closes Friday!

 Redemption in Indigo

Reviewed by Charles Human

I’m an appreciator of food in literature, being one of those strange few who are always very interested in the menus of the various inns and taverns visited in fantasy literature.

Redemption in Indigo features several stews, soups and honeycakes that sound delicious enough to make it difficult not to turn this into a Michelin review.  Good thing too because it’s our heroine’s superpower.

Yes, Paama kills it as a chef and her husband, Ansige, can’t get enough of the fine dining experience that being her husband entails.  Tragically eating is all he’s good for and Paama is eventually forced to leave the useless glutton and go back to her family.

That’s when a senior djombi, the powerful race of supernatural undying ones, become interested in Paama and gifts her with the Chaos Stick, a magical item with the power to nudge chance and tweak fate.

The Indigo Lord, also a djombi but not the human-liking kind, is a little peeved hat a nasty little homo sapien got given the best djombi tech and sets out on a mission to recover it from Paama. That’s when it all kicks off with human vs. djombi in a battle of wits for the ultimate prize.

Redemption in Indigo is a really fun book.  It skips around like the story is not predetermined but happens according to the whim of the storyteller. It’s the experience of listening to a storyteller rather than reading that is captured so well by Lord in this book.

The narrator is really the central character in the book, his sly asides, in-jokes and preempting of audience concerns is one of the real joys, and one gets the feeling that if he were to tell the story again his choices could be different.

That’s also a good thing because choice is central to the story. The Indigo Lord’s choices,  Paama’s choices, Ansige’s choices.  Whether djombi or human they’re all subject to the forces of chaos and chance but also to those of predestination and perhaps even destiny.  Sure, it’s not the not the orphan-born- under- a- special- star kinda destiny but the our-choices-shape-who-we-are kinda destiny that Lord is most concerned with, but it serves make the story very real and human.

My only criticisms are that having a narrator means that sometimes that action does lag and that changeable nature of the djombi means that, although they are interesting, the villains never seem truly evil and thus the stakes are not quite high enough for there to be real tension. Also there’s no recipe for honeycakes.

It’s an enjoyable read, both progressive and intelligent, and well worth putting on your TBR pile.

February 25, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 23 Comments

Jagannath Giveaway Winners

Our winners of our Jagannath giveaway are: Kyle, Francene Lewis, and kummakissa. Congratulations!

November 21, 2012 Posted by | November 2012 | , , | Comments Off

Author Week #5: Karin Tidbeck

We have another Author Week here at the World SF Blog after our hiatus. This time, it’s Swedish writer Karin Tidbeck, and to mark the release of her latest collection, Jagannath: Stories, published by Cheeky Frawg, we’re giving away three (3) copies of the book. For a chance to win, simply comment down below, and make sure to fill in your e-mail address so we know to contact you if you won. Competition closes on Friday, and we’ll announce the winners on Monday.

Also, watch this space as we publish a short story, an interview, a review, and a guest post from Tibeck.

Karin Tidbeck has published short stories and poetry in Swedish since 2002, and in English since 2010. Her 2010 book debut, the short story collection Vem är Arvid Pekon?, awarded her the coveted one-year working grant from the Swedish Authors’ Fund. Her English publication history includesWeird TalesShimmer MagazineUnstuck Annual and the anthology Odd?.  She also recently sold her first novel to Sweden’s largest publisher.

Ursula K. Le Guin wrote: “I have never read anything like Jagannath. Karin Tidbeck’s imagination is recognizably Nordic, but otherwise unclassifiable–quietly, intelligently, unutterably strange. And various. And ominous. And funny. And mysteriously tender. These are wonderful stories.”

Update: From Jeff VanderMeer in the comments: Just to make it interesting, Cheeky Frawg will also throw in ebooks by Amal El-Mohtar, Amos Tutuola, and Leena Krohn for those winners who want them (the Tutuola and Krohn will be available by the end of the month). In addition, we will stick in a couple extra treats with the Jagannaths that are sent out….

Update 2: The winners are Kyle, Francene Lewis, and kummakissa. Congratulations!

November 12, 2012 Posted by | November 2012 | , , , | 42 Comments

Author Week #4: Samit Basu

I’m delighted to say it’s time for our fourth Author Week feature on the World SF Blog!

This time we turn our spotlight on Indian author Samit Basu, a recent contributor to the just-released The Apex Book of World SF 2 and author of the wonderful Indian superhero novel Turbulenceavailable now in paperback or Kindle edition from Titan Books in the UK (and coming soon to the United States!).

We have 3 copies of the paperback to give away to our readers, courtesy of Titan. As always on the World SF Blog, the competition is open to anyone, anywhere in the world. For a chance to win, simply comment down below, and make sure to fill in your e-mail address so we know to contact you if you won. Competition closes on Friday, and we’ll announce the winners on Monday.

ETA: the giveaway is now closed, and the winners (picked with a random number generator) are: Jash, Nuno and Galoot. Congratulations!

Coming up this week we have an original short story from Samit; an interview with the author; a review of the novel by Anil Menon; and a guest-post from the author.

‘For wicked wit, for post-modern superheroics, for sheer verbal energy and dazzle, Samit Basu doesn’t so much push the envelope as fold it into an n-dimensional hyper-envelope, address it to your hind-brain and mail it with a rail gun.’- Mike Carey (X-men, Lucifer, the Felix Castor series)

‘You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll gasp and you will demand a sequel.’- Ben Aaronovitch (Doctor Who, Rivers of London)

Aman Sen is smart, young, ambitious and going nowhere. He thinks this is because he doesn’t have the right connections – but then he gets on a plane from London to Delhi and discovers, a few days later, that he has turned into a communications demigod, able to control and manipulate all networks, including the internet. And he’s not the only one with a secret.

Everyone on Aman’s flight now has extraordinary abilities corresponding to their innermost desires. Vir, an Indian Air Force pilot, can now fly. Uzma, a British-Pakistani aspiring Bollywood actress, now possesses infinite charisma. Tia, a housewife from the troubled Indian north-east, can now live out all the lives she dreamt of by splitting into multiple bodies. And these are just the nice ones. Terrible new forces have been unleashed. Businessmen, politicians, criminals, each with their own agenda. One of these is Jai, an indestructible one-man army with an old-fashioned goal – military conquest of the world. And there’s another, even more sinister force at work. A mind capable of manipulating mobs, of driving humans and superhumans into an all-destroying frenzy.

Aman and his rag-tag collective of superhumans find themselves in grave danger in a part of the world that needs radical change much more than it needs protection. They must decide what to do with their powers and their lives – and quickly. Aman dreams of uniting their powers to fight the world’s real villains – faceless, amorphous corporations, corrupt government officials, religious fanatics. Of ensuring that their new powers aren’t wasted on costumed crime-fighting, celebrity endorsements, or reality television. He wants to help those who need it most – untold millions without food, power, schools or voices. He intends to heal the planet. Save the world. But with each step he takes, he finds helping some means harming others, playing with lives, making huge, potentially disastrous decisions. Will they actually make the world better or will it all end, as 80 years of superhero fiction suggest, in a meaningless, explosive slugfest?

TURBULENCE is a hyper-real novel set in an over-the-top world. It features the 21st-century Indian subcontinent in all its insane glory – F-16s, Bollywood, radical religious parties, nuclear plants, cricket, terrorists, luxury resorts, crazy TV shows – but is essentially about two very human questions.

How would you feel if you actually got what you wanted?

What would you do if you were given the power to change the world?

August 27, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 18 Comments

Author Week #3: S.L. Grey

It’s time for our third special Author Week here on the World SF Blog!

Our guest(s) this week are South African writing duo S.L. Grey, author(s) of The Mall, a big, fantastic horror novel set in Johannesburg. S.L. Grey are made up of Sarah Lotz and Louis Greenberg, who will be contributing this week with a short story and a guest post, respectively. We’ll also have an interview with the authors, and a review of The Mall.

And, of course – we have a giveaway!

We have 3 copies of The Mall to give away, courtesy of the fab people at Corvus. For a chance to win, simply comment down below, and make sure to fill in your e-mail address so we know to contact you if you won. Competition closes on Friday! will run over the weekend and we’ll announce the winners on Monday.

About The Mall:

Dan works at a bookstore in a deadly dull shopping mall where nothing ever happens. He’s an angsty emo-kid who sells mid-list books to mid-list people for the minimum wage. He hates his job. Rhoda has dragged her babysitting charge to the mall so she can meet her dealer and score some coke. Now the kid’s run off, and she has two hours to find him. She hates her life. Rhoda bullies Dan into helping her search, but as they explore the neon-lit corridors behind the mall, disturbing text messages lure them into the bowels of the building, where old mannequins are stored in grave-like piles and raw sewage drips off the ceiling. The only escape is down, and before long Dan and Rhoda are trapped in a service lift listening to head-splitting musak. Worst of all, the lift’s not stopping at the bottom floor. Plummeting into the earth, Dan and Rhoda enter a sinister underworld that mirrors their worst fears. Forced to complete a series of twisted tasks to find their way out, they finally emerge into the brightly lit food court, sick with relief at the banal sight of people shopping and eating. But something feels different. Why are the shoppers all pumped full of silicone? Why are the shop assistants chained to their counters? And why is a cafe called McColon’s selling lumps of bleeding meat? Just when they think they’ve made it back to the mall, they realise their nightmare has only just begun…

October 10, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 12 Comments

And the winners are!

We had two copies of Guy Hasson’s Secret Thoughts to give away this week – and the winners are:

Prezzey and Susanna.

An e-mail has been sent to the winners.

Thanks once again for participating!

April 15, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Comments Off

Author Week #2: Guy Hasson

Welcome to our second Author Week! This week we feature Israeli author Guy Hasson, in celebration of his new book, Secret Thoughts, published by the Apex Book Company.

Secret Thoughts is a startling examination of sexuality, motherhood, and society told in three novellas by Geffen Award-winning author Guy Hasson.

In “The Perfect Girl”, Alexandra Watson is a newcomer to Indianapolis Academy of Telepathic Studies. By touch alone, she can delve into your memories, desires, insecurities… everything that makes a person. When she bonds with Professor Parks, her world grows complicated. Soon, she’s reading the residual memories of a recently dead and tracking down the mystery of her demise.

“The Linguist” continues the story of telepathic-enabled women, except now the author has moved us several years in the future. The US government has determined that people like Rachel Akerman are a threat to the nation and orders countrywide extermination of those with telepathic powers. When a G-man uncovers Rachel and offers her a chance to help her country in exchange for her life, what choice is she left with? Rachel finds herself attempting to communicate with a frightened and imprisoned alien life form for the military.

Finally, in “Most Beautiful Intimacy”, Guy Hasson posits “What if a woman were psychically attached to an embryo growing within her uterus?” Set years after the previous novella, Susan DiOrio and her husband hide in a remote region of Montana. Cut off from the world, all they have is each other, and that is threatened when Susan becomes pregnant. A telepath has never successfully given birth to a child. Poignant and urgent, Hasson effectively explores the fear and wide-eyed amazement associated with having a baby.

These three novellas will open your eyes, raise uncomfortable questions, and make you fall in love with the protagonists three times over.

We have two copies of Secret Thoughts to give away! To enter, simply post in the comments to this post with your name and e-mail address. Winners will be chosen at random on Friday.

As before, we’ll be running an interview with Hasson, by Charles Tan; a review of the book, by Anil Menon; a short story, and a guest-post by the author. We hope you enjoy them!

April 11, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 5 Comments

Haikasoru Week: And the winners are…

And we have winners!

I’d like to thank everyone who entered the competition this week, and everyone who’s visited the blog to check out our Haikasoru Week. I’m very pleased with the turnout, and hope we can feature another publisher highlight soon. In the meantime, the next Author Week is just around the corner!

As before, I used a random number generator to pick up the winners.

And the winners – of current Philip K. Dick Award nominee Harmony, by Project Itoh, generously donated by Haikasoru – are!

Jason Mathaisson, Joey, Pavel Itzkov and Rob Haines.

An e-mail has been sent to the winners.

March 25, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Comments Off

Haikasoru Week!

Following our first Author Week – featuring Ekaterina Sedia – which was both a success and a lot of fun (with more forthcoming), we’ve decided to do, in addition, a series of weeks focusing on genre publishers of international fiction, starting with the most exciting imprint to come around in a long time – Haikasoru, the Viz imprint dedicated to publishing Japanese science fiction in English translations, edited by Nick Mamatas.

During the week, we’ll have an exclusive interview with Nick Mamatas; an original novelette by Tow Ubukata; a review of Housuke Nojiri’s Rocket Girls, and The Last Planet, reviewed by Anil Menon; and a guest-editorial, On Japanese SF, from Nick Mamatas.

And, to celebrate the first Japanese title to be nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award this year, we have four copies of Harmony, by the late Project Itoh, to give away!

As before, this post will remain at the top of the blog for the remainder of the week. To enter a chance to win a copy of Harmony, simply post a comment below with your name and e-mail address. We will choose 4 winners at random at the end of the week. And, this being the World SF Blog, we’ll ship them anywhere in the world.

We hope you enjoy’s this week’s unique look at current Japanese SF!

March 21, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

And the winners are!

And we have winners!

I’d like to thank everyone who entered the competition this week, and everyone who’s visited the blog to check out our Ekaterina Sedia Week. It seems to have been a great success, so I’ll look forward to running another author week soon!

I used a random number generator to pick up the winners – apologies to those asking for According To Crow but, as you can see in the original post, we didn’t have copies of that one to give away!

So, without further ado, the winners are… <drum roll, please!>

Carly wins a copy of Running with the Pack!

Sara wins The Secret History of Moscow

SMD wins a copy of Alchemy of Stone

And Ashley wins a copy of House of Discarded Dreams!

Congratulations! An e-mail will be sent to all winners, with a request for your mailing address – drop us a line if you don’t hear from us, for whatever reason.

February 4, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Comments Off

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