Next SFF Author: Wayne Gladstone
Previous SFF Author: Olesya Salnikova Gilmore

SFF Author: Max Gladstone

Max Gladstone graduated from Yale University, where he studied Chinese. While he was there, he wrote a short story that became a finalist in the Writers of the Future competition. Max has taught in southern Anhui, wrecked a bicycle in Angkor Wat, and been thrown from a horse in Mongolia. He currently lives in Boston, Massachusetts. Learn more at Max Gladstone’s website. Follow him at Twitter: @maxgladstone


CLICK HERE FORE MORE TITLES BY MAX GLADSTONE.



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Three Parts Dead: A wonderfully inventive story

Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone

Three Parts Dead (2012) is a wonderfully inventive story. Max Gladstone blends a plethora of ideas, ranging from vampires to magic to steampunk technology and adds interesting characters and a plot that is predictable but still enjoyable. The result is memorable.

Tara is a recently expelled student in the art of the Craft. A Craftsman or Craftswoman is the equivalent of a magician or sorcerer, someone who has learned how to use the energies of the world to do things that would otherwise be impossible.


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Two Serpents Rise: Officepunk

Two Serpents Rise by Max Gladstone

Two Serpents Rise (2013) is the second book by Max Gladstone and is set in the same world as Three Parts Dead. I struggle to define the “genre” that this series fits into. There are elements of urban fantasy and steampunk, but none of that really fits. It doesn’t matter because the books are awesome and Gladstone has built something that really works.

Two Serpents Rise features Caleb Altemoc,


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Full Fathom Five: Gladstone’s world is new and wildly different

Full Fathom Five by Max Gladstone

With each book in THE CRAFT SEQUENCE series I feel more and more out of joint, but intrigued at the same time. Max Gladstone continues to play with concepts like gods and souls in ways that feel very familiar and completely alien all at once. Throw in a lot of reverse gender and religious stereotypes and the world this series depicts is something new and wildly different.

Kai is a priestess working for the ruling order/corporation on the island of Kavekana. The whole feel of the island is very Polynesian for me,


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Last First Snow: Tense and gripping

Last First Snow by Max Gladstone

I will admit upfront that it took me quite a while to get through Last First Snow (2015), the fourth book in Max Gladstone’s CRAFT SEQUENCE, which would seem weird considering how much I enjoyed the other books in the series. At this point, I am just very glad that I did read it. Gladstone may have taken a while to capture my interest, but by the end of the story, I was reminded why I like his work so much.


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Four Roads Cross: CRAFT gets deeper but doesn’t skimp on the fun

Four Roads Cross by Max Gladstone

I can’t describe how much fun it was to be back with Tara Abernathy in Alt Coulumb in Four Roads Cross (2016), Max Gladstone’s fifth book in the CRAFT SEQUENCE. In Tara’s world, a year has passed since Three Parts Dead, and Tara has been working hard in the city of the god Kos the Ever-burning. Now, a new threat, aimed at the nascent goddess Seril, the Lady of the Skies,


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Ruin of Angels: Gods, sisterhood and venture capitalism collide

Ruin of Angels by Max Gladstone

Ruin of Angels, published in 2017, is Max Gladstone’s sixth book in the CRAFT series. This story follows Kai, a priestess we met in Full Fathom Five. Kai is a, well, a “venture priestess.” She creates internal spiritual spaces for clients, and invests in projects that reach into the metaphysical — as everything in this world does. A project has brought her to Agdel Lex, a modern city nested in the time and space of Alikand and a dead city as well,


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This Is How You Lose the Time War: Great blend of style, structure, and imagination

This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone

To: Reviewer

Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone are coming out with a new book — This Is How You Lose the Time War — and I was wondering when you would finally get around to reviewing it.

Reader

To: Reader

Contrary to what you apparently think, we reviewers don’t get the pages as the writers compose them.


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Empress of Forever: Thrilling space opera, but it is science fiction?

Empress of Forever by Max Gladstone

Max Gladstone’s Empress of Forever (2019) is definitely space opera. In a far distant future, tech genius, entrepreneur and loner Vivian Liao travels from planet to planet and system to system trying to find an advantage in a losing war against an all-powerful space empress. Viv, who is plucked by that same empress out of her our-present-day life (and planned rebellion), draws to herself the usual strange pack of uneasy allies in this battle. The book is complicated,


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Last Exit: Complex, compelling, and intense

Reposting to include Marion’s new review.

Last Exit by Max Gladstone

Here is Max Gladstone’s recipe for a Last Exit (2022) cocktail:

  • One part fervent, confident intensity of young adulthood
  • One part fever dream (or nightmare) of magic and alternate worlds
  • Add bitters in the form of mid-life fears, regrets, and resignations born out of both trauma and simple aging
  • Splash of Mad Max
  • Zest of Zelazny
  • Stir with a rusty spoon of entropy
  • Pour slowly into a clear (eyed) glass filled one-quarter with the crushed ice-dreams of Americana myth and rimmed with sugar for a little bit of innocent sweetness
  • Serve with a shot of hope (the kind that burns on the way down)(And don’t forget to tip your bartender — you’re going to be a regular)

Gladstone’s newest is a darkly compelling and intense work,


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Dead Country: A perfect place to enter this universe

Dead Country by Max Gladstone

Dead Country (2023) is Max Gladstone’s seventh title in his highly recommended CRAFT series (OK, technically, it’s the start of a new trilogy entitled CRAFT WARS), which might make some readers who sadly have yet to wade into the series hesitant to pick it up. But in some ways, Dead Country is oddly a perfect place to enter this universe. Let me explain.

No, there is too much.


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Wicked Problems: Save the world, or fix the world?

Reposting to include Bill’s new review.

Wicked Problems by Max Gladstone

Save the world, or fix the world? Can we do either? These questions underlie the second book in Max Gladstone’s CRAFT WARS series, Wicked Problems. Other things are happening in this 2024 installment, too, and the ending, while anticipated, is a gamechanger for everyone involved.

In Book One, Dead Country, Craftswoman Tara Abernathy took on a student, the orphaned and traumatized Dawn.


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Magazine Monday: Uncanny Magazine, Issues One and Two

Uncanny Magazine is a new bimonthly internet publication edited by Lynn M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas. The editors have explained their mission this way:

We chose the name Uncanny because we wanted a publication that has the feel of a contemporary magazine with a history — one that evolved from a fantastic pulp. Uncanny will bring the excitement and possibilities of the past, and the sensibilities and experimentation that the best of the present offers. . . . It’s our goal that Uncanny’s pages will be filled with gorgeous prose,


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SHORTS: Gladstone, Chiang, Bolander, Johnston, Swanwick, Vaughn

Our weekly sampling of free or inexpensive short fiction available on the internet. Here are some great stories that caught our eyes this week:

“A Kiss With Teeth” by Max Gladstone (2014, free at Tor.com, 99c Kindle Version)

Within the first two paragraphs “A Kiss With Teeth” has outlined an unusual premise: a vampire masquerades as human in order to be an ordinary husband and father. He isn’t blending in to feast on blood or evade capture, but simply to give his wife and especially his son a fighting chance at normalcy.


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SHORTS: Gladstone, Kress, Khaw, Ndoro, Seiner

Our exploration of free and inexpensive short fiction available on the internet. Here are a few stories we’ve read recently that we wanted you to know about. 

“Crispin’s Model” by Max Gladstone (Oct. 2017, free at Tor.com, 99c Kindle version)

A young woman, Delilah Dane, moves from Savannah to New York City to pursue her theatrical dreams; the cost of living in NYC being what it is, she supplements her waitressing income by posing for artists. (Nothing more than posing — she has very strict rules about conduct and respect.) After an extremely weird interview and some ground rules which are eccentric even by artists’ standards,


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The Witch Who Came in from the Cold: Spy vs. Spy in the city of a hundred spires

The Witch Who Came in from the Cold by Lindsay Smith, Max Gladstone, Cassandra Rose Clarke, Ian Tregillis & Michael Swanwick

The Witch Who Came in from the Cold (2017) is a study in contradictions. It’s a collaborative novel that feels seamless despite the five contributing authors: Lindsay Smith, Max Gladstone, Cassandra Rose Clarke, Ian Tregillis, and Michael Swanwick. It was originally published in serialized form by Serial Box — Season One comprising the contents of The Witch Who Came in from the Cold,


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The New Voices of Fantasy: A diverse and worthy collection

The New Voices of Fantasy edited by Peter Beagle

This collection of nineteen fantasy short works, edited by Peter Beagle, is definitely worthwhile if you like speculative short fiction. Many of them left an impact on me, and a few are true standouts. These stories are by relatively new authors in the speculative fiction genre and are all fantasy; otherwise there’s no discernable overarching theme.

These stories have almost all been published previously over the last seven years, and several of them are Hugo or Nebula winners or nominees.


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Max Gladstone: Oh gods!

Today we welcome Max Gladstone, author of Three Parts Dead which I found to be inventive and enjoyable. Max wants to know how you feel about gods as characters in speculative fiction. One commenter will win a hardcover copy of Three Parts Dead. Thanks for joining us, Max! 

When my book Three Parts Dead came out, as I trawled around reading reviews, I was intrigued by the number of comments on my book’s use of gods. Turns out people have pretty strong feelings about gods in science fiction and fantasy,


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What splinters are stuck under your fingernails?

We’re pleased to once more welcome Max Gladstone, author of the excellent CRAFT series. Max is here to talk about the psychic origins of some of his influences and to ask about images and ideas that linger on in your mind. One commenter will win a copy of Max’s new book Two Serpents Rise which was one of the best books I read this year.

For every inspiration we admit, another lies buried. At book events (for my first book, Three Parts Dead,


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Max Gladstone talks about writing fight scenes

Max Gladstone writes the CRAFT SEQUENCE which we love not only for its unique characters, world and plot, but for its awesome cover art. The most recent CRAFT book, Last First Snow, was released last week. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet (can’t wait!), but I’m assuming it’s got some amazing fight scenes in it because that’s what Max is here to talk about today: Writing fight scenes!

One commenter with a US or Candian address will win their very own copy (including awesome cover!) of Last First Snow.


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Next SFF Author: Wayne Gladstone
Previous SFF Author: Olesya Salnikova Gilmore

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