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Kameron Hurley

Kameron HurleyKameron Hurley is a marketing and advertising writer in Ohio. She’s lived in Fairbanks, Alaska; Durban, South Africa; and Chicago, but grew up in and around Washington State. Her personal and professional exploits have taken her all around the world. She earned history degrees from the University of Alaska and the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal. Learn more at Kameron Hurley’s website.

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Terry and Bill chat with Kameron Hurley

Today we welcome Kameron Hurley, the author of THE WORLDBREAKER SAGA, published by Angry Robot Books. The first two volumes are The Mirror Empire and Empire Ascendant, with a third, The Broken Heavens, expected to see publication in August 2017. Hurley’s saga deals with race, gender, sex roles, war, survival, slavery, genocide and many other hot topics in the context of war between and countries and between alternate worlds, with a number of philosophical issues raised along the way. We discuss the difficulty of writing about more than two genders, moral choices, and the challenge of writing about numerous societies and races and their counterparts in an alternate universe.

One lucky (and random) commenter with a U.S. address will win a copy of both The Mirror Empire and ... Read More

God’s War: Dark, edgy, highly imaginative

God's War by Kameron Hurley

Some reviews are harder to write than others. Take God’s War, the first novel by Kameron Hurley, an author whose blog I’ve been reading with interest. The book had a long journey getting published (which you can read about on said blog) and has now, finally, reached the shelves thanks to the awesome folks at Night Shade Books. I was excited to get my hands on this book, because it’s in a sub-genre (or maybe more accurately, the cross-section of a few sub-genres) I love, has a number of features I usually appreciate in books, and seems completely and in every way like a book that I should love unconditionally... but despite enjoying and admiring much of it, God’s War didn’t completely deliver on my expectations.

Living on the planet Umayma isn’t easy.... Read More

The Mirror Empire: The few flaws overcome by the richness and sense of ambition

The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley

So I finally got to Kameron Hurley’s The Mirror Empire, which has been hanging out on my Kindle for some time now. But with the sequel, Emperor Ascendant, due out in a few weeks, I figured it was time to pull it up. And I’m glad I did, since even if I had some issues, The Mirror Empire turned out to be a (mostly) engaging story set in a fascinating world filled with an intriguing crew of characters and cultures, most of which play with “traditional” gender roles.

The premise of the setting is a universe of parallel (or “mirror”) worlds that over time move closer to and farther from one another, with that distance affecting the ease of travel between worlds. The astronomical geography (akin to astrology, really) is also the basis of the novel’s magic system, as ce... Read More

Empire Ascendant: A disappointingly muddy follow-up to The Mirror Empire

Empire Ascendant by Kameron Hurley

I thought Kameron Hurley’s first book in her WORLDBREAKER SAGA, The Mirror Empire, was a richly imagined, ambitious novel that landed on the positive side of the ledger even if its flaws gave the book’s strengths a run for their money. Unfortunately, the flaws do a bit more than that in the sequel, Empire Ascendant, leading to an overall weaker second effort.

The Worldbreaker setting is a multi-verse with parallel worlds that, over time, shift relative to the others and with “ascendant” and “descendant” satellites that serve as sources of magical power for select people (known as “jistas”) sensitive to a particular one. One of those worlds, facing its destruction, is in the midst of invading another, with the complicatio... Read More

The Geek Feminist Revolution: Just didn’t do it for me

The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley

The Geek Feminist Revolution is a collection of writing by Kameron Hurley, much of which was originally published online. And at the risk of sounding curmudgeonly and persnickety, from my viewpoint the problem was they read that way. Some of that I think is in the nature of the writing, and some of that probably is my own issue in the expectations I come with when a book is subtitled “Essays” (and there’s that “persnickety” part).

The collection is made up of nearly 40 essays divided into four sections, though as one would expect, there’s a fair amount of overlap in their subject matter. The sections are: Level Up (dealing with the craft and business of writing), Geek (media criticism), Let’s Get Personal (these are, well, more personal), and Revolution (a call for changing the ... Read More

Magazine Monday: Fantasy Magazine, Women Destroy Fantasy

Fantasy Magazine was folded into Lightspeed Magazine in 2012, but it came out of retirement in October 2014 for the Women Destroy Fantasy issue, one of the stretch goals of a Kickstarter for an all-women edition of Lightspeed. I was one of the contributors to the Kickstarter, and, as my review last week revealed, I greatly enjoyed the Women Destroy Horror issue of Nightmare Magazine that was another stretch goal of the same Kickstarter. I’m pleased to report that the fantasy issue is just as “destructive” and enjoyable.

Cat Rambo guest-edited the new fiction for this issue of Fantasy. Her editorial remarks on the difficulty of seeing the shape of a field when you’re smack in the middle of it. You can see fine details, but the overall structure, size and scope tend to escape you. That means that sexism in genre literatu... Read More

Magazine Monday: Grimdark Magazine, Issue Two

The opening story of Issue 2 of Grimdark Magazine, “The Line” by T.R. Napper, presents a picture in nobility. You might not think that at first, as the tale concerns George, a wrestler who makes a practice of breaking his opponents’ bones; but, you soon learn, that’s the least harm he can do to end a match. George is so good at his game that his wins come to seem too easy, and that’s where danger seeps in. The thoroughly corrupt regime that runs the “free zones” — places that seem anything but free to the majority of those who live and work there — has plans for George. What will George do in the face of the implacable foe ironically called Hope Corporation? The story is predictable and manipulative, but nonetheless somehow exhilarating and, at the same time, depressing to read. I’m curious to see what Napper will do as his writing experience and skills grow.

Aaron Fox-Lerner’s “Drone Str... Read More

SHORTS: Dellamonica, Malik, Gilman, Vaughn, Fischer, Hurley

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.

“The Cage” by A.M. Dellamonica (2010, free online at Tor.com or purchase Kindle version)

“The Cage,” a stand-alone short story by A.M. Dellamonica, was published a few years ago on Tor.com; I read it a while ago, re-read it recently, and am happy to report that it was just as enjoyable the second time ... Read More

SHORTS: Hurley, Valentine, Miller, Campbell-Hicks, Warrick

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. 



“Elephants and Corpses” by Kameron Hurley (May 2015, free on Tor.com, 99c Kindle version).

Nev has the ability to jump from a dying body into a nearby dead one, as long as he's actually touched the dead body. He keeps a cache of dead bodies on hand so he's never stuck for something for his soul to jump into. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there’s some demand for body mercenaries like... Read More

SHORTS: Barthelme, McGuire, Hurley, Wong, Vaughn, Anders, Headley, Shawl, Bolander, Walton, El-Mohtar, Valente, Dick

Our weekly exploration of free or inexpensive short fiction available on the internet. Here are a few stories we read this week that we wanted you to know about. 


“Report” by Donald Barthelme (1967, originally published in the New Yorker, free at Jessamyn.com (reprinted by permission), also collected in Sixty Stories)
“Our group is against the war. But the war goes on. I was sent to Cleveland to talk to the engineers. The engineers were meeting in Cleveland. I was supposed to persuade them not to do what they were going to do.”
“Report,” by Donald Barthelme, was published in the New Yorker in 1967. Th... Read More