Monday, March 14, 2016

What is Helen Lowe reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Helen Lowe, author of Daughter of Blood.

Her entry begins:
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Station Eleven pursues two distinct, but not entirely disconnected, storylines: between the immediate future and a period twenty years later when a ’flu virus has wiped out 99% of the world’s population. The story follows six central characters in either time period, but in the post-pandemic future the narrative focuses on a band of actors and musicians called the Travelling Symphony, who perform concerts and Shakespeare’s plays to scattered, remnant settlements.

As post-apocalyptic fiction, Station Eleven makes a reasonable fist of exploring what a world without electricity and mass transport—but possibly far more critically, modern medicine and public health engineering—could “look” like. More importantly, though, it is a book about people and the connections, sometimes curious and often fragile, that bind us together. Station Eleven traverses the emotional experience of survival, rather than the physical, examining what a statement like “Survival Is Insufficient” (the Star Trek-derived tagline of the Travelling Symphony) can mean for both individuals and society. As the story moves between present and future, pre- and post-apocalypse, the elements that make existence sufficient are explored in the context of both experiences—and that’s a big part of what makes...[read on]
About Daughter of Blood, from the publisher:
Malian of Night and Kalan, her trusted ally, are returning to the Wall of Night—but already it may be too late. The Wall is dangerously weakened, the Nine Houses of the Derai fractured by rivalry and hate. And now, the Darkswarm is rising...

Among Grayharbor backstreets, an orphan boy falls foul of dark forces. On the Wall, a Daughter of Blood must be married off to the Earl of Night, a pawn in the web of her family's ambition. On the Field of Blood, Kalan fights for a place in the bride's honor guard, while Malian dodges deadly pursuers in a hunt against time for the fabled Shield of Heaven. But the Darkswarm is gaining strength, and time is running out—for Malian, for Kalan, and for all of Haarth...
Visit Helen Lowe's website. She posts regularly on her “…on Anything, Really” blog, occasionally on SF Signal, and is also on Twitter.

The Page 69 Test: Daughter of Blood.

Writers Read: Helen Lowe.

--Marshal Zeringue