N.K. Jemisin

The Fifth Season

The Fifth Season

A season of endings has begun. It starts with the great red rift across the heart of the world's sole continent, from which enough ash spews to darken the sky for years. Or centuries.

It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter.

It starts with betrayal, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester.

And it ends with you. You are the Stillness, a land long familiar with catastrophe, where orogenes wield the power of the earth as a weapon and are feared far more than the long cold night. And you will have no mercy.

Learn more.

100K available for preorder!

OK, so the author name is wrong and there’s no cover image and for some reason Amazon seems to have pre-tagged it as “Chinese fantasy” (O.o)… but I imagine all these things are fixable. Anyway, if you reeeeeeeally really really want to make sure you get your hands on a copy, and you’re terrified that it’ll sell out or the world economy will collapse or the price of paper will surge or nanotech will turn us all into gray goo sometime within the next 9 months… you can now preorder The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms on Amazon!. And it’s actually coming up in the search results now, bigger yay!

Go see “Sleep Dealer”!

Just saw this film and it was phenomenal. Go see it!

(No nuanced critique, sorry; no coffee yet.)


I’ve been sitting on this for a few days now, bouncing in virtual little-girl excitement, struggling to hold it all in. But now at last, at last I can share the joy!!

The official cover!!

Like it? Then bop over to the Orbit blog to tell Art Director Lauren Panepinto that she is the shit. Except don’t use shit. OK you can use it but don’t tell her I told you to.


Seething envy — uh, I mean, love and admiration!

Am currently reading Kate Griffin’s A Madness of Angels, start of a magnificent urban fantasy series that’s far more China Mieville than Jim Butcher. (No offense to Butcher, whose stuff I like too; just noting that he’s kind of more typical of the genre than CM.) The story follows an “urban sorcerer” named Matthew Swift on his quest through the magical underworld of London as he tries to find out who a) killed him, and b) brought him back to life.

And… (grr) it’s good. I mean (snarr) really good. So good that (gnash) I’m finding myself… well, a bit jealous. Because see (ARGH WHYYYYY), I like her writing better than my own.

Which is disingenuous. I started writing years ago because the kinds of stories I wanted to read just weren’t being published fast enough for my tastes. This book is that kind of story. And I’m happy. Seriously — you have no idea how happy it makes me to crack open a book unawares and be instantly hooked into a story, then be dragged along by those hooks, in bliss. But at the same time, I can’t help feeling a little professional competitiveness. This is the kind of prose I love to write, but can’t sustain for long periods of time. I don’t have the… hrrm, the endurance? I’m not capable of telling a whole story with this kind of chewy, dense prose. I would gorge myself into a stupor on the deliciousness of my own description, wander far afield from the plot, and never return.

So here’s a writer who does what I yearn to do. This is the kind of book I’ve always wanted to write. But I didn’t write it, so in addition to being delighted, I’m also insanely, giddily jealous.

Well, no biggie; I’ll get over it.

Anyway, in the meantime (rraarrgh), go buy Griffin’s book!

Describing characters of color in writing

Some examples from my own writing, submitted for your consideration. Not a claim of correctness or The Best Way or anything of the sort. Just my way. And yeah, this is in part inspired by a certain very lengthy discussion of race, representation, and respect in the SF/F community that took place recently in the blogosphere. But I also just felt like sharing.

ETA: And because this post continues to get hits months later, folks might be interested in Part 2, which was posted at the Magic District, and part 3, written a few months later.

Some of this is published, some forthcoming, some is not pub’d and never shall be. Taken from shorts and novels.

Across the park’s wide avenue stood a new figure. He had depicted himself as a tall middle-aged male, Shanghainese and dignified, dressed in an outdated business suit.

Continue reading ›

100K update

…I had kind of mentioned this to friends and in passing, but hadn’t posted about it yet because there was still some up-in-the-airness going on. Anyway tho’, the official release date for The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is now February 2010. February 25, specifically, at least according to Amazon. (Quiet squee at the fact that MY BOOK IS ON AMAZON!!! …kinda. It’s not searchable on the US Amazon; I found it because it’s searchable on the UK Amazon and the US one is linked to that. Or something. Anyway, you might wanna bookmark that sucker; it’s slippery.)

As for why it got pushed back from Fall 2009, the date I’ve been shrieking at the top of my lungs since the book sold… well, here’s where my n00b ignorance of the book industry shows; see, it was never actually definite for Fall 2009. That was a tentative date. My bad. ::sheepish look:: So — rumor control — nothing shady’s going on, nobody’s dropping all their debut authors, no there’s been no prima donna-ing on my part (good grief, I’m a new author; you think I’m a moron?), all revisions and copyedits were turned in on time, everything’s fine. This is just how things go sometimes. And heck — just gives me more time to plan my launch celebration. =)

…Definitely a tattoo.

New Post on the Magic District…

…and behold, the Birthday Duck! (Which isn’t really what the post is about.)



The Fox network is making a reality show out of the troubled economy. An upcoming series titled, “Someone’s Gotta Go,” lets employees of a small business decide which one of their colleagues will be laid off.

Fox says it has no air date yet for the series, which is being developed by the company behind “Big Brother” and “Deal or No Deal.” Each week, a different company lays off an employee.

…because I’m frankly speechless with revulsion.

Authors… in… SPAAAAAAAACE!!!

…Well, not exactly. But as close as we can get without becoming astronauts or paying $5K for the privilege. I’m a-goin’ to Launch Pad!

Bwhuh? you say. To which I reply, from the Launch Pad website:

Launch Pad is a NASA-funded education/public outreach effort supplementing Mike Brotherton’s space-based astronomical research. Our budget allows us to provide a workshop that is essentially free to participants. Our primary goal is to teach writers of all types about modern science, specifically astronomy, and in turn reach their audiences. We hope to both educate the public and reach the next generation of scientists.

Though my first novel/trilogy is fantasy, I do write some science fiction, so I’m seriously psyched about going to this. On top of that, I’ll apparently be there with a whole lot of other cool people, some of whom are Big Names (::wibble::). First off, the event is organized by noted skiffy author Mike Brotherton; then the guest instructors this year will be Phil Plait and Joe Haldeman. Then my fellow students will be:

  • Julie V. Jones
  • Gord Sellar
  • Marc Laidlaw
  • Owl Goingback
  • Scott Sigler
  • Tara Fredette
  • Brian Malow
  • Pat Cadigan
  • Carolyn Clink
  • Robert Sawyer
  • Andy Duncan
  • Ed Lerner

The coolness!! OMG the coolness!! ::hyperventilates:: I’m all aflutter.

I can’t wait. Going to have to seriously motor on book 3, though, because I suspect that if I haven’t finished it by the time I go to this workshop, my head will be so full of sciency things that I may not be able to write fantasy for a bit. =)

You are likely to be eaten by your unfinished wordcount.

This. Is too funny. Go read it. My only regret is that now I get to follow this awesome post with my own tomorrow. -_-

Since I never got to play games like this as a kid (no computer, though the family did have a Pong unit, go figure), I figured there had to be a way I could experience the awe and majesty of Zork online, now. And lo and behold, there is! But now I’ve been playing for an hour and haven’t gotten any writing done. And f#@$ing grues keep eating me…