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Malinda Lo

Malinda LoMalinda Lo was born in China and moved to the United States as a child. She grew up in Colorado and has since lived in Boston, New York, London, Beijing, Los Angeles and San Francisco. She is the former managing editor of AfterEllen.com. Here’s Malinda Lo’s website.

Ash: A promising and creative debut

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Ash by Malinda Lo

Malinda Lo combines several highly creative ideas in her debut novel, Ash. We all know the tale of Cinderella, but it’s never been told quite like this. Cinderella (here called Aisling, Ash for short) falls for a young woman instead of the prince. And the fairy who helps Ash break free of her stepmother is no rosy-cheeked godmother, but a coldly beautiful fairy lord right out of the older, darker legends of the fey folk, and he demands a steep price for his aid. On paper, I love everything about this concept, and I also liked Lo’s writing:
She walked this way for a long time, but the light did not change; it seemed to always be morning. The sun continued its bright blinking overhead, and when shafts of golden light came through the leafy canopy, dust motes hung in the air, glittering as bright as diamonds. It was a... Read More

Huntress: Noble characters, beautiful imagery, selfless love

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Huntress by Malinda Lo

Huntress is a prequel to Malinda Lo’s debut novel, Ash, though the two books can stand independently. Huntress takes place several centuries earlier, in a time when the country’s culture was more analogous to that of feudal China.

In the past few years, a shift in the weather has resulted in famine. Then the Fairy Queen, who has long been out of contact with humans, issues a surprising invitation to her city, Taninli. The King and the sages are sure the timing is no coincidence, and put together a delegation. Among those chosen to undertake this hazardous journey are Kaede and Taisin, two seventeen-year-old girls growing up in the sages’ Academy.

Along the way, the girls begin to fall in love. There’s no stigma attached to being a lesbian in the world of the novel, ... Read More

Magazine Monday: Subterranean Online Summer 2011

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Subterranean Online’s summer issue is devoted to young adult fiction, but the authors seem to have taken that directive as license to be subversive. It’s been true for a while now that the only thing “young adult” about most “young adult” science fiction, fantasy and horror is that the protagonist is not an adult. The stories just as entertaining for 50-year-olds as for 15-year-olds, and the themes are by no means limited to the worries of teens. This issue makes it clear why so many genre readers pay no attention to the labels slapped on books these days, but browse around the entire bookstore for the best stuff. But it’s more than that: many of the stories in this issue are exceptional.

“Queen of Atlantis” by Read More

More speculative fiction by Malinda Lo

Adaptation — (2012-2013) Publisher: Reese can’t remember anything from the time between the accident and the day she woke up almost a month later. She only knows one thing: She’s different nowAcross North America, flocks of birds hurl themselves into airplanes, causing at least a dozen to crash. Thousands of people die. Fearing terrorism, the United States government grounds all flights, and millions of travelers are stranded. Reese and her debate team partner and longtime crush David are in Arizona when it happens. Everyone knows the world will never be the same. On their drive home to San Francisco, along a stretch of empty highway at night in the middle of Nevada, a bird flies into their headlights. The car flips over. When they wake up in a military hospital, the doctor won’t tell them what happened, where they are — or how they’ve been miraculously healed. Things become even stranger when Reese returns home. San Francisco feels like a different place with police enforcing curfew, hazmat teams collecting dead birds, and a strange presence that seems to be following her. When Reese unexpectedly collides with the beautiful Amber Gray, her search for the truth is forced in an entirely new direction — and threatens to expose a vast global conspiracy that the government has worked for decades to keep secret. Adaptation is a bold contemporary science-fiction thriller from the acclaimed author of Ash.

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World Fantasy Convention 2011: Day Two

I'm reporting about Day 2 today. Read about Day One here.

There were lots of interesting panels today, and it was frustrating to try to boil them down into the ones I wanted to see.

My first choice was “Retelling Old Stories: The New Fairy Tales.” I’ve got all the modern fairy tale collections edited by Terri Windling and Ellen Datlow and many other rewritings, so I was eager to hear this discussion, and it didn’t disappoint. The first question addressed by the panel was the obvious one: why rewrite fairy tales? Jessica Day George Read More