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SFF Author: Ellen Kushner

Ellen KushnerEllen Kushner’s Riverside series begins with the cult classic Swordspoint, followed by the Locus Award winner and Nebula Award nominee The Privilege of the Sword; The Fall of the Kings, written with Delia Sherman; and, most recently, the collaborative prequel Tremontaine. Her mythic fantasy novel Thomas the Rhymer won the World Fantasy Award and the Mythopoeic Award. She also co-edited Welcome to Bordertown with Holly Black. A popular performer and public speaker, Kushner created and hosted the long-running public radio show Sound & Spirit, which Bill Moyers called “the best thing on public radio.” She has taught creative writing at the Clarion and Odyssey writing workshops and is an instructor at Hollins University’s children’s literature MFA program. She lives in New York City with Delia Sherman and no cats whatsoever, in an apartment full of theater and airplane ticket stubs. Visit her website.



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Swordspoint: A Melodrama of Manners

Swordspoint: A Melodrama of Manners by Ellen Kushner

Set in a fictional Georgian-era-type society, Swordspoint: A Melodrama of Manners is a “fantasy of manners” or “mannerpunk” novel. In contrast to epic fantasy, where the characters are fighting with swords and the fate of the universe is often at stake, mannerpunk novels are usually set in a hierarchical class-based society where the characters battle with words and wit. There may or may not be magic or sorcery involved and, in many ways, this subgenre of fantasy literature is more like historical fiction that takes place in an imaginary universe.


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The Privilege of the Sword: Enjoy another visit to Riverside

The Privilege of the Sword by Ellen Kushner

“Whatever the duke means to do with her, it can’t be anything decent.”

The Privilege of the Sword is Ellen Kushner’s sequel to her novel Swordspoint which was about the doings of the high and low societies in her fictional town of Riverside. The main characters of that novel were the nobleman Alec Tremontaine, a student, and his lover, the famous swordsman Richard St. Vier. You don’t need to read Swordspoint before reading The Privilege of the Sword,


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The Fall of the Kings: This book vanished like a ship in the Bermuda triangle, and I think I know why

The Fall of the Kings by Ellen Kushner & Delia Sherman

Ellen Kushner published Swordspoint in 1987. It gathered a swarm of fans who loved the prose, the magicless world with its glittering veneer and cloak-and-dagger intrigue, and the love story at its center. Readers clamored to know more of steadfast, enigmatic swordsman Richard St.Vier and his lover, the brilliant, neurotic noble Alec Campion.

In 2003, Ellen Kushner, writing with Delia Sherman, published The Fall of the Kings.


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Tremontaine Season One: Magic can’t always be re-created

Tremontaine Season One by Ellen Kushner, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Malinda Lo, Joel Derfner, Patty Bryant, Racheline Maltese & Paul Witcover

Serial Box is another way to consume entertainment, pairing the pleasure of episodic television with the joy of a well-written book. Serial Box provides original works of written fiction in the form of a “season,” 10-16 chapters or episodes, released weekly. Like television, they use the metaphor of a “writers room,” and each work is produced by a team of writers, rather than an individual writer. It’s an interesting concept.


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SHORTS: Kushner, Wilce, Tolbert, Novik, Dunsany, Peralta

There is so much free or inexpensive short fiction available on the internet these days. Here are a few stories we read this week that we wanted you to know about. 

“One Last, Great Adventure” by Ellen Kushner and Ysabeau S. Wilce (2013, free at Clarkesworld in Nov. 2015 issue, $6.99 for paperback magazine issue)

“One Last, Great Adventure” tells the story of the Hero, who is looking for one last heroic exploit before he retires from hero-ing. He gets a job killing a monster that,


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The Armless Maiden: And Other Tales for Childhood’s Survivors

The Armless Maiden: And Other Tales for Childhood’s Survivors by Terri Windling

I love adult fairy tales, but it seems that all too often, writers pump up the sex and violence to render the tales “adult,” rather than more deeply exploring the human emotional dramas in the stories. Maybe that’s why I love the anthology The Armless Maiden: And Other Tales for Childhood’s Survivors which was edited by Terri Windling. The tales and poems here do include sex and violence, yes, but at their heart is the strength and resilience of the human spirit.


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Next SFF Author: Henry Kuttner
Previous SFF Author: Katherine Kurtz

We have reviewed 8302 fantasy, science fiction, and horror books, audiobooks, magazines, comics, and films.

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