Friday, July 18, 2014

Title spotlight - "Scale Bright" by Benjanun Sriduangkaew

I am always thrilled to see a favorite writer publishing a new book, there is a joyful anticipation in opening a preferred author’s new work, a delightful feeling of meeting an old friend again. But there is a different, wonderful excitement to be had at the discovery of a new writer, a new author who enrich and refresh the reading experience and puts a spell on me with her/his writing. My latest such excitement comes from Benjanun Sriduangkaew, a name heavily underlined on the list of newly discovered writers, who kept me mesmerized from her first story I’ve read, “Fade to Gold” (“End of the Road” edited by Jonathan Oliver), until the last, the recently re-published “Courtship in the Country of Machine-Gods” (The Future Fire, September 2012/“The Apex Book of World SF 3” edited by Lavie Tidhar/Apex Magazine, July 2014). And every single one of these stories turned Benjanun Sriduangkaew into a certainty for me. Unfortunately, I haven’t read all of her stories published so far, for one reason or another some of them skipped under my radar. However, besides the two stories already mentioned, “The Bees Her Heart, The Hive Her Belly”, “The Crows Her Dragon’s Gate”, “Annex”, “Vector”, “Silent Bridge, Pale Cascade”, “Zeraquesh in Absentia”, “Autodidact” and “Golden Daughter, Stone Wife” were as many motives of delight, of immersing into magical worlds and tales, as many challenging stories full of beautiful writing and sensibility. But as I am still in love with the printed books, without much chance of falling out of it, I was delighted to learn that I’ll soon have the chance to add a book bearing Benjanun Sriduangkaew’s name on the bookshelves with my favorite volumes. “Scale Bright” is Benjanun Sriduangkaew’s upcoming novella, due to be released by Immersion Press, and by the sounds of its blurb we can expect once again a fascinating world within our own, a captivating and original story, with melancholically and delicate touches. Besides the assured writing of Benjanun Sriduangkaew. To make things even better, Immersion Press didn’t repeat the slip it made with Aliette de Bodard’s “On a Red Station, Drifting” (as excellent as that novella was its cover was nowhere near its true value) and accompanied Benjanun Sriduangkaew’s “Scale Bright” with an equally seductive cover, created by Richard Wagner. As a result, there are plenty of arguments for me not to miss “Scale Bright” when it is released.

Julienne’s aunts are the archer who shot down the suns and the woman who lives on the moon. They teach her that there’s more to the city of her birth than meets the eye—that beneath the modern chrome and glass of Hong Kong there are demons, gods, and the seethe of ancient feuds. As a mortal Julienne is to give them wide berth, for unlike her divine aunts she is painfully vulnerable, and choice prey for any demon.
Until one day, she comes across a wounded, bleeding woman no one else can see, and is drawn into an old, old story of love, snake women, and the deathless monk who hunts them.

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