Plus Angels, Demons, and Stuff They Don’t Want You to Know
|Hi there! With less than two weeks until Christmas, we’re mainlining all the holiday content we can, including romances that combine tree-trimming with another favorite trope: time travel.|
|Rebecca Roanhorse’s Angels and Demons |
Card sharp Celeste cares about one thing: her sister Mariel. When Mariel is found covered in the blood of a man from the highest ranks of society, Celeste must defend her sister while navigating the politics of their rough-and-tumble magical mining town.
Rebecca Roanhorse has been nominated for every major speculative fiction award and won most of them. She took a step away from her epic fantasy series Between Earth and Sky to talk to us about her new mystery-western-fantasy hybrid, Tread of Angels.
What sparked your interest in writing a western?
Rebecca Roanhorse: The idea came to me on a drive through Leadville, Colorado. It's surrounded by jagged, rocky mountain peaks. If angels were to fall to heaven, this is where they would fall. Leadville was once a booming mining town known for its brothels and its dance halls and its saloons. You can imagine the vice and villainy that was going on and the wealth that was being passed around. I wanted to create a fantasy world in a town like that.
Is there something that makes the American West a particularly good setting for speculative fiction?
RR: The West lends itself to fantasy, to mythos and myth building. Steven Graham Jones, a Native author who writes horror, once told me something like “Every step you take in the west leaves a footprint filled with blood.” The big skies and the mountains and the history feel steeped in biblical proportions already; it lent itself to the idea of fallen angels and demons.
The relationship between Celeste and Mariel drives much of the story. Why did you want to write about sisters?
RR: I find sibling relationships very complicated. It's supposed to be the simplest one, but that's not the way it plays out in reality. It's usually the most fraught relationship; the one most filled with misunderstanding.You are sort of metaphorically blind to their flaws and to who they really are because, if you looked too closely at them, you might have to look too closely at yourself. And none of us really like to do that—even in fiction.
Check out some recent speculative fiction that Rebecca recommends:
|RR: "R.F. Kuang did a masterful job creating an indictment of colonialism while making a fast-paced but quite intellectual story about the art of translation."|
|Gideon the Ninth |
|RR: "I loved The Locked Tomb series. I thought it was just amazing…blew my mind."|
|The Genesis of Misery |
|RR: "Add in some Pacific Rim, some giant robots, someone with a savior complex and out comes this incredible story."|
|Together with |
|“For better or worse, we all want to feel like a part of something bigger than ourselves. We like having an ‘in.’ Secret societies are the bread, butter, and adrenochrome of conspiratorial thought… Many of the stories surrounding these groups are myths. Which, for some members of secret societies, is just fine, since some of these tall tales may well have been created by them.”|
|Stuff They Don’t Want You to Know |
|From internet rumors to lying politicians to the tinderbox that is social media, it has become remarkably clear that a vast swath of people believe really bonkers things. Why is that? How did these theories proliferate? Is there a kernel of truth to them or are they fully fiction?|
|Holiday Time-Travel Rom-Coms |
|Time travel and Christmas go together like candy canes and hot chocolate. Just ask Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol is arguably the world’s first and most popular time travel novel. 179 years later, writers are still blending holiday feels with stories about characters hopping through time. Here are three time-travel Christmas rom-coms perfect for reading in the countdown to Christmas.|
|In a Holidaze |
|Mae finishes a disastrous holiday vacation by getting hit by car, only to wake up at the beginning of the annual trip. Can she save Christmas—and her love life—the second time around?|
|All About Us |
|On a cold December evening on the eve of his divorce, Ben buys a watch from a mysterious stranger. The next morning he wakes up in 2005, on the day he first kissed his soon-to-be ex. Given a chance to do it over, what will Ben choose?|
|Home in Time for Christmas |
|On her way home for Christmas, Melody hits a stranger in old-fashioned clothes who appears suddenly in front of her car. He insists that he’s a soldier from the Revolutionary War; she’s skeptical but finds herself drawn to Jake just the same.|
Readers loved You Can Run, the first book in the Laurel Snow series. Likewise user Erin said, “I read it in 1 day! It keeps you guessing till the end.” The sequel is out now.
|You Can Hide |
|When a serial killer targets FBI Special Agent Laurel Snow’s half-sister Hannah, Laurel will do anything to protect her—even as evidence mounts that Hannah may be involved in something sinister herself.|
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