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Chris Roberson

Chris Roberson’s writings include the novels Here, There & Everywhere, The Voyage of Night Shining White, Paragaea: A Planetary Romance, X-Men: The Return, Set the Seas on Fire, The Dragon’s Nine Sons, End of the Century, Iron Jaw and Hummingbird, Three Unbroken, and Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War II, and the comic book series Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love and I, Zombie. His short stories have appeared in such magazines as Asimov’s, Interzone, Postscripts, and Subterranean, and in anthologies such as Live Without a Net, FutureShocks, and Forbidden Planets. Along with his business partner and spouse Allison Baker, he is the publisher of MonkeyBrain Books, an independent publishing house specializing in genre fiction and nonfiction genre studies, and he is the editor of anthology Adventure Vol. 1. He has been a finalist for the World Fantasy Award four times — once each for writing and editing, and twice for publishing — twice a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and four times for the Sidewise Award for Best Alternate History (winning the Short Form in 2004 with his story “O One” and the Long Form in 2008 with his novel The Dragon’s Nine Sons). Chris and Allison live in Austin, Texas with their daughter Georgia. Learn more at Chris Roberson’s website.
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Set the Seas on Fire: Appealing historical fantasy

Set the Seas on Fire by Chris Roberson

Author of many short stories and novels, the three-time World Fantasy Award-nominated and two-time John W. Campbell Award-nominated Chris Roberson is also a co-founder of the writers’ collective Clockwork Storybook and owner/operator of the indie publisher MonkeyBrain Books (Michael Moorcock, Alan Moore, Jeff VanderMeer). Set the Seas On Fire is part of the Bonaventure-Carmody universe which includes the books Cybermancy, Incorporated (... Read More

End of the Century: Roberson deftly juggles three stories

End of the Century by Chris Roberson

In End of the Century, Chris Roberson takes us on an Arthurian quest for the Holy Grail. While that would be plenty for most writers, Roberson isn’t content to stop with only one story; he also tells the story of a search for a serial killer in London around the time of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897, and of Alice Fell, a sixteen-year-old following a vision that may simply be a symptom of epilepsy in 2000. The three stories have a number of factors that seem to be similar, particularly the big fellow who goes around attacking people with a sword that can slice through anything, accompanied by dogs with blood-red ears and teeth. Only in the last 75 pages or so do things start to come together in a startling way.

The book begins in 498 Anno Domini, when Galaad arrives in Caer Llundain, home of the Count of Britannia and victor of Badon, the... Read More

Book of Secrets: Roberson is a great storyteller

Book of Secrets by Chris Roberson

Spencer Finch is an investigative journalist who is researching billionaire J. Nathan Pierce for one of his stories. In the course of his research, he discovers that a mysterious book was recently stolen from Pierce, and it’s this book that will lead Finch on a fascinating and unlikely journey with far-reaching implications. Early on in the story, Finch also receives his recently deceased grandfather’s inheritance: a box full of stories and other texts. These gradually add a whole new dimension to both his grandfather’s legacy and the secret, real history of the world...

If all of this sounds confusing, rest assured: Chris Roberson is a great storyteller who expertly reveals the layers of his tale as Finch slowly discovers the real reason for his story assignment. Finch is an interesting main character: a hard-drinking, chain-smoking investigator with a shady past and a chip... Read More

Further: Beyond the Threshold

Further: Beyond the Threshold by Chris Roberson

Some premises are so great that authors can’t resist trying them out again. In Further: Beyond the Threshold, Chris Roberson tries his hand at Charlton Heston waking up from cryogenic sleep in the distant future. Well, actually, our hero is Captain Ramachandra Jason Stone, who left earth in the 22nd century to journey to Alpha Centauri B. He wakes up over ten thousand years later, when Further begins.

Roberson is aware of the connections between his work and his predecessors, and Captain Stone regularly describes the science fiction that he read and watched with his father as a boy. Planet of the Apes, for example, is acknowledged almost before the reader has learned the main character’s name.

Though reverent, Further is more than homage. My favorite twist is tha... Read More

The Solaris Book of New Fantasy: Celebrates the rich diversity of the genre

The Solaris Book of New Fantasy by George Mann (ed.)

I’m pretty much a novice when it comes to short fiction. Because of my lack of experience in this area, I hope that you will bear with me as I try to provide a thoughtful and comprehensive analysis of The Solaris Book of New Fantasy, even if I don’t always succeed. The plan is to first look at each short story individually providing synopses and commentary, followed by my evaluation of the compilation as a whole. So, let’s look at the stories:

1) “Who Slays the Gyant, Wounds the Beast” by Mark Chadbourn. On Christmas Eve in the year 1598 in a world where England is at war against the Faerie, England’s greatest spy Will Swyfte is on a mission of the greatest import — he has until dawn to prevent the Faerie Queen from crossing over to the other side. If he doesn’t, then the Unseelie Court will... Read More

Masked: Superheroes move into the realm of prose

Masked edited by Lou Anders

Superheroes — and supervillains — have always been problematic. They are usually all but impossible to kill, but have a single vulnerability that everyone seems to know about, and to aim for, a tradition that goes all the way back to Achilles (who was invulnerable because he was dipped in the River Styx as a baby — except for the ankle by which his mother held him when doing the dipping). Even after death, they always seem to come back in some form or another; Superman, for instance, has been resurrected quite a few times (though losing him led nearly 20 years ago to one of the best graphic novels ever written, World Without a Superman). Because they are so superhumanly strong, they sometimes appear ludicrous, fighting off impossible task after incredible burden after outrageous situation. No wonder authors have sometimes taken their creations in odd directions, as Read More

More speculative fiction by Chris Roberson

Celestial Empire — (2008-2009) Publisher: In a distant future where the Chinese have seized control of the world and colonised the stars, a disgraced naval captain and a commando who knows secrets he should never have learned are picked to lead a suicide mission. Piloting a salvaged Mexica spacecraft to Xolotl, the asteroid stronghold of their enemies, they are armed with enough explosives to reduce the Mexica base to dust. But when they arrive to find dozens of Chinese prisoners destined to be used as human sacrifices, their suicide mission suddenly becomes a rescue operation. This is a clash of empires old and new.

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Click here for more stories by Chris Roberson.