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Robert Jackson Bennett

Fiction and Excerpts [2]
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Fiction and Excerpts [2]

City of Stairs (Excerpt)

, || The city of Bulikov once wielded the powers of the gods to conquer the world, enslaving and brutalizing millions—until its divine protectors were killed. Now Bulikov has become just another colonial outpost of the world's new geopolitical power, but the surreal landscape of the city itself—first shaped, now shattered, by the thousands of miracles its guardians once worked upon it—stands as a constant, haunting reminder of its former supremacy. Into this broken city steps Shara Thivani. Officially, the unassuming young woman is just another junior diplomat sent by Bulikov's oppressors. Unofficially, she is one of her country's most accomplished spies, dispatched to catch a murderer. But as Shara pursues the killer, she starts to suspect that the beings who ruled this terrible place may not be as dead as they seem—and that Bulikov's cruel reign may not yet be over.

City of Stairs (Excerpt)

, || The city of Bulikov once wielded the powers of the gods to conquer the world, enslaving and brutalizing millions—until its divine protectors were killed. Now Bulikov has become just another colonial outpost of the world's new geopolitical power, but the surreal landscape of the city itself—first shaped, now shattered, by the thousands of miracles its guardians once worked upon it—stands as a constant, haunting reminder of its former supremacy. Into this broken city steps Shara Thivani. Officially, the unassuming young woman is just another junior diplomat sent by Bulikov's oppressors. Unofficially, she is one of her country's most accomplished spies, dispatched to catch a murderer. But as Shara pursues the killer, she starts to suspect that the beings who ruled this terrible place may not be as dead as they seem—and that Bulikov's cruel reign may not yet be over.

My Lousy Children Are Both Fake Geeks

We all know that there is really only one reason we have kids. I mean, yeah, there’s the whole “walking bag of donateable organs and blood” part. But the real reason one has children, the true reason, is so that you can fill up their bizarre little brains with your own pet affections, vigilantly programming them to love the things you love, and also to love you, I guess. It’s like having a parrot, but instead of teaching them to say the things you want, it’s to have the emotional bonds to the pop culture that you want.

Friends, I am going to straight up say this right here—I have miserably failed in my efforts to indoctrinate my children with the appropriate pop culture references. Well, I say that I have failed, but I feel like at least 70% of the burden of failure rests on my two very bad garbage sons, who have both proven to be just dogshit at liking the right things.

[Learn from my mistakes…]

Cooking a Bigass Piece of Meat: A Fantastical, Magical Process

Please enjoy this encore post on fantasy kitchens and real-life barbecue, originally published January 2016.

In this ongoing series, we ask SF/F authors to describe a specialty in their lives that has nothing (or very little) to do with writing. Join us as we discover what draws authors to their various hobbies, how they fit into their daily lives, and how and they inform the author’s literary identity!

When I was a kid reading fantasy fiction, the second the story got to a forge or an inn or a kitchen, I slowed down and read closely.

To my 12-year-old head, such gathering points of classic fantasy fiction were places where you saw people conduct the business that would sustain the needs of their everyday lives. This business was often primitive but ingenious: you got to glimpse how they prepped skins for carrying water, put their boots together, mended weapons, and preserved their food. You learned how everyday people did the most with the least.

[Read more]

The Fantastical, Magical Process of Cooking a Bigass Piece of Meat

In this ongoing series, we ask SF/F authors to describe a specialty in their lives that has nothing (or very little) to do with writing. Join us as we discover what draws authors to their various hobbies, how they fit into their daily lives, and how and they inform the author’s literary identity!

When I was a kid reading fantasy fiction, the second the story got to a forge or an inn or a kitchen, I slowed down and read closely.

To my 12-year-old head, such gathering points of classic fantasy fiction were places where you saw people conduct the business that would sustain the needs of their everyday lives. This business was often primitive but ingenious: you got to glimpse how they prepped skins for carrying water, put their boots together, mended weapons, and preserved their food. You learned how everyday people did the most with the least.

[Read more]

City of Stairs (Excerpt)

The city of Bulikov once wielded the powers of the gods to conquer the world, enslaving and brutalizing millions—until its divine protectors were killed. Now Bulikov has become just another colonial outpost of the world’s new geopolitical power, but the surreal landscape of the city itself—first shaped, now shattered, by the thousands of miracles its guardians once worked upon it—stands as a constant, haunting reminder of its former supremacy.

Into this broken city steps Shara Thivani. Officially, the unassuming young woman is just another junior diplomat sent by Bulikov’s oppressors. Unofficially, she is one of her country’s most accomplished spies, dispatched to catch a murderer. But as Shara pursues the killer, she starts to suspect that the beings who ruled this terrible place may not be as dead as they seem—and that Bulikov’s cruel reign may not yet be over.

An atmospheric and intrigue-filled novel of dead gods, buried histories, and a mysterious, protean city—Robert Jackson Bennett’s City of Stairs is available now in the US from Crown Publishing in the UK from Jo Fletcher Books.

[Read an excerpt]

Magic and a Little Bit of Luck: Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

In 2009, I made what at first seemed to be a very bad decision: I purchased the novel Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.

The reason this decision seemed to be quite bad was that I bought this book for airplane reading: my girlfriend and I were going to be flying to Spain, and as anyone can tell you, carrying an absolute cinderblock of a book around international airports is about one of the most Sisyphean tasks one can imagine.

But I soon decided that I had, in fact, made the right decision. Because this book quickly shot to my list of the top ten fantasy novels of the 2000s.

[Read More]

Series: That Was Awesome! Writers on Writing

City of Stairs (Excerpt)

The city of Bulikov once wielded the powers of the gods to conquer the world, enslaving and brutalizing millions—until its divine protectors were killed. Now Bulikov has become just another colonial outpost of the world’s new geopolitical power, but the surreal landscape of the city itself—first shaped, now shattered, by the thousands of miracles its guardians once worked upon it—stands as a constant, haunting reminder of its former supremacy.

Into this broken city steps Shara Thivani. Officially, the unassuming young woman is just another junior diplomat sent by Bulikov’s oppressors. Unofficially, she is one of her country’s most accomplished spies, dispatched to catch a murderer. But as Shara pursues the killer, she starts to suspect that the beings who ruled this terrible place may not be as dead as they seem—and that Bulikov’s cruel reign may not yet be over.

An atmospheric and intrigue-filled novel of dead gods, buried histories, and a mysterious, protean city—Robert Jackson Bennett’s City of Stairs is available September 9th in the US (Crown Publishing) and October 2nd in the UK (Jo Fletcher Books).

[Read an excerpt]