Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bright Of The Sky

I had the pleasure of sitting next to Kay Kenyon at last year's World Fantasy Awards banquet. (Thanks for arranging that, Lou Anders.) She's quite gracious, and she taught me a thing or two about how to survey a room (looking for famous people and stuff) without looking like you're surveying the room. Useful advice.

Ever since then I've wanted to read her work, in particular the Entire and the Rose Series that begins with Bright of the Sky. I finally got to it, and I'm glad I did. I enjoyed it quite a bit. It's sci-fi, but I find the characters, the world and the epic nature of the conflict to draw me in ways that good fantasy does. I don't quite know what I mean by that, but I felt the same way reading Peter F. Hamilton's The Dreaming Void. Her alternate universe is authentically weird, dangerous, fascinating.

Here's what Publishers Weekly had to say in a Starred review...

At the start of this riveting launch of a new far-future SF series from Kenyon (Tropic of Creation), a disastrous mishap during interstellar space travel catapults pilot Titus Quinn with his wife, Johanna Arlis, and nine-year-old daughter, Sydney, into a parallel universe called the Entire. Titus makes it back to this dimension, his hair turned white, his memory gone, his family presumed dead and his reputation ruined with the corporation that employed him. The corporation (in search of radical space travel methods) sends Titus (in search of Johanna and Sydney) back through the space-time warp. There, he gradually, painfully regains knowledge of its rulers, the cruel, alien Tarig; its subordinate, Chinese-inspired humanoid population, the Chalin; and his daughter's enslavement. Titus's transformative odyssey to reclaim Sydney reveals a Tarig plan whose ramifications will be felt far beyond his immediate family. Kenyon's deft prose, high-stakes suspense and skilled, thorough world building will have readers anxious for the next installment.

I particularly like Sidney's adventures among the Inyx. You'd have to read it to know what I mean, but I find the relationship between rider and mount - both sentient - to be really fascinating. Also, folks, there's the advantage that she already has three books out! The other two are A World Too Near and City Without End. They've all been well-received, and I believe the concluding volume, Prince of Storms is due out from Pyr in Jan 2010. All in all, some good reading.

Here's Kay talking for herself at SFWORLD.COM.

If you want other confirmation here are a few more reviews...

SF Site


The Washington Post

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Blogger Kay Kenyon said...

Thanks for the comments, David! Interesting that you found Bright to have a fantasy feel, since some people say no; but I agree w/ you. Glad to sit next to you at the banquet! 'Twould have been dreary w/o you, since we were on the quiet side of the table, and on other side, with Lou holding forth, I caught only every other word.

11:23 AM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...

Hi Kay. My pleasure.

I remain somewhat unsure of what I mean by the fantasy feel thing. It's just that for me your sci-fi aspects merged nicely with a more humanistic approach to people and culture. The details of the other are rendered through engagement with character emotions and motivations. There's some sci-fi that I engage with intellectually but don't particularly warm to emotionally. Yours managed both for me.

1:41 PM  

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