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N.K. Jemisin

N.K. JemisinN.K. Jemisin is a career counselor, political blogger, and would-be gourmand living in New York City. She’s been writing since the age of 10, although her early works will never see the light of day. Her short fiction has been published in a number of magazines and podcast markets, and has won a number of awards (the Speculative Literature Foundation’s Travel Grant, the Carl Brandon Society’s Kindred Shortlist, and Honorable Mentions in the Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, and the Year’s Best Science Fiction). Learn more at N.K. Jemisin’s website.

Hugo Winner N.K. Jemisin talks THE FIFTH SEASON and THE OBELISK GATE

Today, Fantasy Literature is honored to talk to N.K. Jemisin, who, in 2016, became the first Black author to win the Hugo in the Best Novel category for her work The Fifth Season, book one in the BROKEN EARTH series. In addition to writing the INHERITANCE trilogy, the DREAMBLOOD series, and the BROKEN EARTH series, N. K. Jemisin is also a speculative short fiction author. She has also won the Locus Award for Best First Novel and has been nominated for numerous other awards such as the World Fantasy Award. N.K. Jemisin made time to talk to Kevin at the Brooklyn Book Festival this year about her writing process and her latest novel Read More

The Inheritance Trilogy

The Inheritance Trilogy — (2010-2015) Available for download at Audible.comClick here for audio download. Publisher: Yeine Darr is heir to the throne of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. She is also an outcast. Until, that is, her mother dies under mysterious circumstances. Summoned by her grandfather to the majestic city of Sky, Yeine finds herself thrust into a vicious power struggle for the throne. As she fights for her life, she comes ever closer to discovering the truth about her mother’s death and her family’s bloody history — as well as the unsettling truths within herself. With the fate of the world hanging in the balance, Yeine will learn how perilous it can be when love and hate are bound inseparably together, for both mortals and gods alike.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews N.K. Jemisin The Inheritance Trilogy 1. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms 2. The Broken Kingdomsfantasy book reviews N.K. Jemisin The Inheritance Trilogy 1. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms 2. The Broken Kingdoms 3. The Kingdom of Gods

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms: Different

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Reposting to include Stuart's new review:

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin

CLASSIFICATION: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is epic fantasy that mixes together court intrigue, mythology, romantic/family drama, and celestial magics. It brought to mind everything from Jacqueline Carey, Lane Robins' Maledicte, and Marie Brennan’s Midnight Never Come to Gregory Frost’s Shadowbridge / Lord Tophet, Read More

The Broken Kingdoms: Adventure and tragedy

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Reposting to include Stuart's new review.

The Broken Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin

The world has changed over the last several years and the opportunities that are now possible are too hard for Oree to resist, so she left home to seek a new life in Sky. Oree is an artist with a gift for seeing magic, but magic is the only thing she can see. She has set up shop in a promenade section of the great city and has created a pleasant life for herself there amongst friends and Godlings. Things start to get ugly, though, when Oree stumbles upon a dead Godling. The gods have become angry and the religious factions are looking for someone to blame. Oree’s unique abilities and proximity to the crime make her a prime suspect.

When I read The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms I was taken completely by surprise. It was one of those rare moments where I read a book ... Read More

The Kingdom of the Gods: Ends an engaging trilogy

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The Kingdom of the Gods by N.K. Jemisin

The Kingdom of the Gods concludes N.K. Jemisin's debut series roughly a century after book two, The Broken Kingdoms, by focusing on Sieh, who seems to be dying despite being a god. And, once again, the end of the world as we know it becomes a major plot point.

THE INHERITANCE TRILOGY garnered a lot of praise with each book. While I didn’t have quite the same level of response, I did find the series entirely engaging throughout, mostly due to the voice of the narrators and the creative use of the gods and their stories.

The Kingdom of the Gods is bothersomely overlong. It definitely lagged in places for me even though I enjoyed the overall story. I would have been happy to see it lose 100-150 or so pages. Sieh is a good choice of charac... Read More

Dreamblood

Dreamblood — (2012) Available for download at Audible.comClick here for audio download. Publisher: The city burned beneath the Dreaming Moon. In the ancient city-state of Gujaareh, peace is the only law. Upon its rooftops and amongst the shadows of its cobbled streets wait the Gatherers — the keepers of this peace. Priests of the dream-goddess, their duty is to harvest the magic of the sleeping mind and use it to heal, soothe… and kill those judged corrupt. But when a conspiracy blooms within Gujaareh’s great temple, Ehiru — the most famous of the city’s Gatherers — must question everything he knows. Someone, or something, is murdering dreamers in the goddess’ name, stalking its prey both in Gujaareh’s alleys and the realm of dreams. Ehiru must now protect the woman he was sent to kill — or watch the city be devoured by war and forbidden magic.

fantasy book reviews N.K. Jemisin Dreamblood 1. The Killing Moonfantasy book reviews N.K. Jemisin Dreamblood 1. The Killing Moon 2. The Shadowed Sun

The Killing Moon: A challenging and excellently-crafted work

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Reposting to include Stuart's new review.

The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin

We’ve all read zillions of fantasies set in medieval Europe, or the equivalent thereof. But lately we’re being treated to fantasies set in cultures that are very different from Western civilization (or even Western Dark Ages), and set instead in places like China (Daniel Fox’s MOSHUI: THE BOOKS OF STONE AND WATER), Mexico (Aliette de Bodard’s OBSIDIAN AND BLOOD) and Arabia (Saladin Ahmed’s THE CRESCENT MOON KINGDOMS). And now N.K. Jemisin i... Read More

The Shadowed Sun: Mature, intelligent, challenging, unafraid

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The Shadowed Sun by N.K. Jemisin

The Shadowed Sun (2012) is the second book in N.K. Jemisin’s DREAMBLOOD two-book series, inspired the ancient kingdoms of Egypt and Nubia. However, rather than simply changing some names and using thinly-disguised history as her template, she introduces an entirely new religious and social system, one centered around worship of Hananja, the dream goddess represented by the moon. The story this time is set a decade after the events of the previous book, and features some of the same characters like Nijiri, now a full-fledged Gatherer, and Sunandi, member of the Kisuati Protectorate now ruling Gujaareh. However, Jemisin introduces three new main characters: Hanani, a young Sharer priestess, the first female granted this position; Prince Wa... Read More

The Broken Earth

The Broken Earth — (2015- ) Publisher: This is the way the world ends. Again. Three terrible things happen in a single day. Essun, a woman living an ordinary life in a small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Meanwhile, mighty Sanze — the world-spanning empire whose innovations have been civilization’s bedrock for a thousand years — collapses as most of its citizens are murdered to serve a madman’s vengeance. And worst of all, across the heart of the vast continent known as the Stillness, a great red rift has been been torn into the heart of the earth, spewing ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries. Now Essun must pursue the wreckage of her family through a deadly, dying land. Without sunlight, clean water, or arable land, and with limited stockpiles of supplies, there will be war all across the Stillness: a battle royale of nations not for power or territory, but simply for the basic resources necessary to get through the long dark night. Essun does not care if the world falls apart around her. She’ll break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsThe Stone Sky (The Broken Earth) Kindle Edition by N. K. Jemisin  (Author)

The Fifth Season: Stunning imagination

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Editor's update: The Fifth Season won the 2016 Hugo Award.

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

I am awestricken by the imagination of N.K. Jemisin, but it isn’t just her wild vision of a seismically turbulent planet that makes The Fifth Season so successful. Jemisin depicts her strange and harrowing world through the old-fashioned tools of fine writing and hard work, done so well that it looks easy – transparent – to the reader.

The world of The Fifth Season, or at least one large continent of it, is shaking apart. Against this backdrop we follow three different stories set in three different time periods, one in the immediate aftermath of a catastrophe, two sometime earlier. The three storylines have themes and plot points that eventually converge, but the changes in narration let us as reader... Read More

The Obelisk Gate: The weight of history crushes the present

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Reposting to include Stuart's new review:

The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin

The Obelisk Gate is the second in N.K. Jemisin’s BROKEN EARTH trilogy and the follow-up to her Hugo Award-winning The Fifth Season; expectations were understandably high for this installment, which promises to shed a little more light on The Stillness and the qualities that make its geology and its people so unique. The Obelisk Gate is compulsively readable, filled with characters and circumstances that will transfix the reader’s attention, and effectively picks up right where The Fifth Season ends with very little expositi... Read More

The Stone Sky: An Earth-shattering finale

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Reposting to include Jana and Marion's conversation about The Stone Sky.

The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin

The climactic conclusion to N.K. Jemisin’s THE BROKEN EARTH trilogy, The Stone Sky (2017), has expectations erupting into the stratosphere since both the previous books, The Fifth Season (2015) and The Obelisk Gate (2016), captured the Hugo Awards for Best SF Novels of 2015 and 2016, and these wins were well deserved. Having just finished it, I think THE BROKEN EARTH trilogy is one of the most intelligent, emotionally-... Read More

Women Destroy Science Fiction! The Stories: Special audiobook edition

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Women Destroy Science Fiction! Lightspeed Magazine Special Issue: The Stories edited by Christie Yant, Robyn Lupo, Rachel Swirsky

Last June, Hugo-winning Lightspeed Magazine, which is edited by John Joseph Adams, devoted an entire issue (Women Destroy Science Fiction!, June 2014, issue #49) to female science fiction writers and editors. Under Christie Yant’s and Robyn Lupo’s editorial leadership, they accepted 11 original short science fiction stories and 15 original pieces of SF flash fiction. Rachel Swirsky chose and reprinted 5 stories previously published elsewhere. Last month, Skyboat Media and Blackstone Audio released an audio version of the stories from Women Destroy Science Fiction. They gave these their usual excellent attention, casting each story’s... Read More

Magazine Monday: Weird Tales Is Weird

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I am happy to report that Weird Tales has grown weirder since Ann VanderMeer has taken the helm as Editor-in-Chief. This is to be expected of the co-anthologist (with her husband, Jeff VanderMeer) of The New Weird, an collection of tales essential to the library of everyone who loves the truly strange; and the co-anthologist of an enormous anthology d... Read More

SFM: Yu, Rosenblum, Bledsoe, Jemisin

Short Fiction Monday: 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 Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees” by E. Lily Yu (2011, free at Clarkesworld, $2.99 Kindle magazine issue). 2012 Hugo award nominee and 2011 Nebula award nominee (short story)

The village of Yiwei has an uneasy truce with the many paper wasps that live in and around the village, until one day, when a boy throws a rock at a wasp’s nest, causes it to fall to the ground, and is badly stung. His angry mother scalds the fallen nest a... Read More

SFM: Wong, Langford, Harrison, Garrity, Jemisin

Short Fiction Monday: 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. A couple of the stories reviewed this week are variations on Borges' concept of the Library of Babel. 


“A Fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers” by Alyssa Wong (March 2016, free at Tor.com, 99c Kindle version)

Two sisters with incredible powers are separated by more than miles. In “A Fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers,” one tries desperately to stop the world from ending, while the other triggers everything crumbling down.

“A Fist of Permutations in Lightni... Read More

SFM: Shepard, de Bodard, Bear, Jemisin, Parker, Holland

Short Fiction Monday: Our weekly exploration of free short fiction available on the internet. This week's theme, just for fun, is stories dealing with dragons. 

The Man Who Painted The Dragon Griaule by Lucius Shepard (1984, free online at Baen.com (sample from the Bestiary anthology), originally published in Fantasy & Science Fiction, also collected in The Dragon Griaule). 1985 Hugo and 1984 Nebula nominee (novelette), 1985 World Fantasy Award nominee (novella)

In ... Read More

SFM: Wahls, Jemisin, Gaiman, Coen, Pi

Short Fiction Monday: Our weekly exploration of free and inexpensive short fiction available on the internet. Here are a few stories we've read that we wanted you to know about. It's an outstanding group this week!

“Utopia, LOL?” by Jamie Wahls (June 2017, free on Strange Horizons)

Charlie Wilcox, after uncounted centuries of cryogenic frozenness, is decanted in a distant future. He’s cheerfully helped to adjust by an extremely ditzy person named Kit/dinaround, who is the assistant of the AI known as the Allocator, which watches over and guides humanity. Through a temporary upload station, Kit shows Charlie the ropes of their virtual society, which humans (who now number in the trillions) experience solely as digital entities, “uploaded consciousnesses in distributed Matryoshka brains.” It’s an immense, and immensely complex, Matrix type of w... Read More

The Nebula Awards Showcase 2011: Sample the best SFF

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The Nebula Awards Showcase 2011 edited by Kevin J. Anderson

The Nebula Awards are one of the great institutions in science fiction and fantasy. Each year since 1965, the members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) have voted for the Best Novel, Novella (40,000-17,500 words), Novelette (17,500-7,500 words), and Short Story (less than 7,500 words) in SF and fantasy. Compiling a list of the nominees and winners for all those years would get you an excellent reading list and a comprehensive cross-view of the best that can be found in the ... Read More

After: Like panning for gold

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After: Nineteen Stories of Apocalypse and Dystopia by editors Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

When I saw the new Datlow and Windling anthology After: Nineteen Stories of Apocalypse and Dystopia, I was so excited. I love YA fiction, I love dyslit, I love short story anthologies and I love Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling as editors, so I figured it was a match made in heaven. Unfortunately, my reading experience didn’t live up to my expectations.

After is an anthology of short stories set after. After what? Alien invasion, plague, environmental collapse, asteroid strike, it doesn’t matter. Just after. This leaves a lot of room for the authors to be creative, as they all can choose different afters to explore, and it leaves the anthology feeling a bit disjointed as you hop from one ... Read More

Epic: Legends of Fantasy: Lives up to its title

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Epic: Legends of Fantasy by John Joseph Adams (editor)

Epic: Legends of Fantasy, edited by John Joseph Adams, is an anthology of stories written by some of the biggest names in epic fantasy. The book clocks in at over 600 pages not just because it’s very difficult to tell short epic stories (though some of these authors do manage to pull it off) but because here the authors are not just telling epic legends, they are legends in and of themselves. George R.R. Martin, Patrick Rothfuss, Robin Hobb, Paolo Bacigalupi, Brandon Sanderson, Ursula K. LeGuin, Kate Elliott, Orson Scott Card, Tad Williams, Aliette de Bodard, Michael Moorcock, Melanie Rawn, Mary Robinette Kowal, N.K. Jemisin, Carrie Vaughn, Trudi Canavan,  and Juliet Marillier all contributed stories to this volume.

Epic: Legends of Fantasy opens with a novella by Read More