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Rjurik Davidson

Fiction and Excerpts [4]
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Fiction and Excerpts [4]

Unwrapped Sky

|| Book 1 in the Caeli-Amur Series. Three people—an assassin, a bureaucrat, and a seditionist—risk everything for a future that they can create only by throwing off the shackles of tradition and superstition, as their destinies collide at ground zero of a conflagration that will transform the world… or destroy it.

The Stars Askew

Rjurik Davidson’s The Stars Askew—available July 12th from Tor Books—continues the story that began with Unwrapped Sky. With the seditionists in power, Caeli-Amur has begun a new age. Or has it? The escaped House officials no longer send food, and the city is starving.

When the moderate leader Aceline is murdered, the trail leads Kata to a mysterious book that explains how to control the fabled Prism of Alerion. But when the last person to possess the book is found dead, it becomes clear that a conspiracy is afoot. At its center is former House Officiate Armand, who has hidden the Prism. Armand is vying for control of the Directorate, the highest political position in the city, until Armand is betrayed and sent to a prison camp to mine deadly bloodstone.

Meanwhile, Maximilian is sharing his mind with another being: the joker-god Aya. Aya leads Max to the realm of the Elo-Talern to seek a power source to remove Aya from Max’s brain. But when Max and Aya return, they find the vigilants destroying the last remnants of House power.

It seems the seditionists’ hopes for a new age of peace and prosperity in Caeli-Amur have come to naught, and every attempt to improve the situation makes it worse. The question now is not just whether Kata, Max, and Armand can do anything to stop the bloody battle in the city, but if they can escape with their lives.

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Unwrapped Sky

Once, it is said, gods used magic to create reality, with powers that defied explanation. But the magic—or science, if one believes those who try to master the dangers of thaumaturgy—now seems more like a dream. Industrial workers for House Technis, farmers for House Arbor, and fisher folk of House Marin eke out a living and hope for a better future. But the philosopher-assassin Kata plots a betrayal that will cost the lives of godlike Minotaurs; the ambitious bureaucrat Boris Autec rises through the ranks as his private life turns to ashes; and the idealistic seditionist Maximilian hatches a mad plot to unlock the vaunted secrets of the Great Library of Caeli-Enas, drowned in the fabled city at the bottom of the sea, its strangeness visible from the skies above.

These three people, reflecting all the hopes and dreams of the ancient city, risk everything for a future that they can create only by throwing off the shackles of tradition and superstition, as their destinies collide at ground zero of a conflagration that will transform the world… or destroy it.

Unwrapped Sky is the first book in Rjurik Davidson’s genre-bending series, Caeli-Amur. Get started with chapters one and two below, and watch out for book two, The Stars Askew, publishing July 12th from Tor Books!

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Writing the Weird: In Praise of M. John Harrison’s Nova Swing

One of the great attractions of the weird, both in its old and new varieties, is its attempt to describe the indescribable, to conceive the inconceivable, and to write the unwritable. For those in love with language, weird fiction drives that the word to its very limits, to that point where it breaks down.

H. P. Lovecraft is famous for his attempts to describe the indescribable. His works are full of angles which make no sense, creatures which cannot be explained (though in his later work he made an attempt), and horrors that can only be summed up in waterfalls of adjectives: eldritch and cyclopean and gibbous and squamous and, most important for our topic here, indescribable and unnameable.

But it is perhaps M. John Harrison who has been the most successful of us, particularly in his far future science fiction novel Nova Swing.

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Series: That Was Awesome! Writers on Writing

A Dream of Caeli-Amur: Finding Unwrapped Sky

Last night I dreamed I went to Caeli-Amur again. It seemed I stood by the Ancient Forum, looking out over the spirit-haunted ruins where the gods Aya and Alerion fought, and for a while I could not enter. The way was barred to me, for I was only the author, and such a person does not belong in a world of Minotaurs and Sirens, of sorcerers called thaumaturgists. The writer can’t access their own city, in this case a city something like ancient Rome and something like St Petersburg or Turin at the start of the 20th Century.

Only readers can visit the city of Caeli-Amur the way it was intended, without seeing the foundations that hold up its walls. Most will discover it through my novel Unwrapped Sky. Its tagline—in the UK version at least—is ‘The Revolution is Coming.’

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Unwrapped Sky (Excerpt)

Check out Unwrapped Sky, a stunningly original debut by Rjurik Davidson, available April 15th from Tor Books!

Once, it is said, gods used magic to create reality, with powers that defied explanation. But the magic—or science, if one believes those who try to master the dangers of thaumaturgy—now seems more like a dream. Industrial workers for House Technis, farmers for House Arbor, and fisher folk of House Marin eke out a living and hope for a better future. But the philosopher-assassin Kata plots a betrayal that will cost the lives of godlike Minotaurs; the ambitious bureaucrat Boris Autec rises through the ranks as his private life turns to ashes; and the idealistic seditionist Maximilian hatches a mad plot to unlock the vaunted secrets of the Great Library of Caeli-Enas, drowned in the fabled city at the bottom of the sea, its strangeness visible from the skies above.

These three people, reflecting all the hopes and dreams of the ancient city, risk everything for a future that they can create only by throwing off the shackles of tradition and superstition, as their destinies collide at ground zero of a conflagration that will transform the world… or destroy it.

[Read an Excerpt]

Nighttime in Caeli-Amur

Caeli-Amur is a city-state where magic and technology are interchangeable; where minotaurs and sirens are real; where philosopher-assassins and seditionists are not the most dangerous elements in a city alive with threat. During the day, the ordinary citizens do what they must to get along. But at night, the spirit of the ancient city comes alive, to haunt the old places.

“Nighttime in Caeli-Amur” is not about minotaurs or sirens, but about a family whose lives in this place are fated in the ways of families everywhere . . . only not quite the same.

[Read “Nighttime in Caeli-Amur” by Rjurik Davidson]