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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

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The Craft

The Craft — (2012-2016) Publisher: Publisher: A god has died, and it’s up to Tara, first-year associate in the international necromantic firm of Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao, to bring Him back to life before His city falls apart. Her client is Kos, recently deceased fire god of the city of Alt Coulumb. Without Him, the metropolis’s steam generators will shut down, its trains will cease running, and its four million citizens will riot. Tara’s job: resurrect Kos before chaos sets in. Her only help: Abelard, a chain-smoking priest of the dead god, who’s having an understandable crisis of faith. When Tara and Abelard discover that Kos was murdered, they have to make a case in Alt Coulumb’s courts—and their quest for the truth endangers their partnership, their lives, and Alt Coulumb’s slim hope of survival. Set in a phenomenally built world in which justice is a collective force bestowed on a few, craftsmen fly on lightning bolts, and gargoyles can rule cities, Three Parts Dead introduces readers to an ethical landscape in which the line between right and wrong blurs.

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Three Parts Dead: A wonderfully inventive story

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Reposting to include Marion's new review:

Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone

Three Parts Dead 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. Tara’s fall from the Hidden Schools — think of a floating university for sorcerers — was both literal and logical: she had to fight her way out of the school before being physically dropped from its heights. Tara’s story is central to the book as sh... Read More

Two Serpents Rise: Officepunk

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Two Serpents Rise by Max Gladstone

Two Serpents Rise 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, a mid-level risk management analyst for Red King Consolidated (RKC). As with Three Parts Dead, the story follows the intriguing and complex corporate connections between powerful Craftsmen, wielders of magic, and the gods. Caleb is caught in the middle of a huge incident when one of the main water supplies for the city of Dresediel Lex becomes infested with demonic parasites. This is truly catastrophic b... Read More

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

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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, but Gladstone doesn’t really say it. I felt like I was in a major city on a Hawaiian island with a huge volcano looming over the city, not threatening, but a very real presence and reminder of the power it contains.

The original Gods/Godesses of Kavekana left the island long ago to fight in the wars of gods and d... Read More

Last First Snow: Another enjoyable installment in THE CRAFT SEQUENCE

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Last First Snow by Max Gladstone

I will admit upfront that it took me quite a while to get through Last First Snow, 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.

To begin with, the story in Last First Snow takes place before Two Serpents Rise and happens to be set in the same city, Dresediel Lex, and has characters that carry over from the future into the past. It feels that way because we read about them in the future and now we... Read More

Four Roads Cross: Gladstone’s books get deeper but don’t skimp on the fun

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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, 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, emerges, forcing Tara to take even greater risks, and making her friends question nearly everything about their lives in the city.

Seril was believed to have been killed during the God Wars. Among the citizens of Alt Coulumb she is a fearsome myth, a mad god used t... Read More

Magazine Monday: Uncanny Magazine, Issues One and Two

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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, exciting ideas, provocative essays, and contributors from every possible background.
Issue One opens with “If You Were a Tiger, I’d Have to Wear White” by Maria Dahvana Headley, in which the animal stars of movies ... Read More

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, which got me thinking about how gods function in the genre, and where they come from.

Gods have a complicated relationship with storytelling. Th... Read More

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, and for the most recent in the series, Read More

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.

Fantasy writers and readers spend a lot of time talking about action. We want cool fight scenes! But what do we mean when we say that?

Fights are tricky. We think we know what a “good fight scene” looks like, most of the time, because we know what a good fight scene looks lik... Read More