Tor.com content by

Naomi Novik

Fiction and Excerpts [1]
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Fiction and Excerpts [1]

A New Reality: The Optimism of Zen Cho

I love so much those moments in a story that just make me wriggle inwardly with glee for how they reveal a character or a place or a society:

Dealing with the aunts had actually been less difficult than she had expected. They had told her off for not staying home and doing her homework, but it was a half-hearted telling off. The aunts knew they had forfeited the moral high ground by trying to eat her classmate. Ah Lee had listened without saying a word to their unconvinced lectures as they flew home.

I’ve been enjoying Zen Cho’s work in fandom since long before she began publishing original work. “The House of Aunts” (from her collection Spirits Abroad) is one of my favorite examples of her work. It’s so alive to the reader’s pleasure, with an underlying optimism that can survive even inconvenient realities like death and vampirism and school.

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Series: That Was Awesome! Writers on Writing

Uprooted (Excerpt)

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.

Uprooted is out on May 19th, 2015 in the U.S. from Del Rey and May 21st, 2015 from Tor Books UK.

[Read Uprooted by Naomi Novik]