I should note that I’m really excited because this is my first starred review. Happy, happy dances!
VALOUR AND VANITY[STARRED REVIEW!] Author: Mary Robinette Kowal
Renowned glamourists Lord and Lady Vincent become the victims of an elaborate scam that leaves them in dire straits until they conceive of a daring strategy to strike back.
After an extended voyage with her family, Jane and Vincent are anxious to find some time to themselves, traveling to Murano. They have a letter of introduction from the prince regent and hope to work with an artisan to experiment on infusing glamour—magical illusions of sight, sound and light—into glass. On the way, they’re waylaid by pirates, then rescued by a fellow passenger who takes them under his wing in the city. Without papers or money and with Vincent suffering a concussion from the attack, they’re grateful for the gentleman’s help. Once they make progress on their revolutionary glamour process, however, they’re detained by the local police and accused of fraud. Realizing their “friend” is a con man who has disappeared with all their notes and finished work, Jane and Vincent are left broke, in debt and under suspicion: “They had no funds and no friends at all. The only resources they had were the clothes upon their backs, and even those they owed money for.” Unable to find employment, Vincent becomes dispirited, especially when he must depend on the meager salary Jane manages to secure from a nearby convent. Things look up when a chance sighting of one of the crooks enables Vincent and Jane to turn the tables on them: “[S]he could see his mind working and putting together pieces of a plan, as surely as if he was plotting a glamural.” Kowal continues her creative Regency-set Glamourist Histories series with a clever, captivating plot that culminates in a magical heist storyline. Before we get there, though, we are treated to a touching examination of a loving marriage under duress and the connections and collaborations these extraordinary partners must create and reaffirm with each other and those around them in order to thrive.
Combining history, magic and adventure, the book balances emotional depth with buoyant storytelling.
I was a particular fan of Paul Cornell’s London Falling so the award is a serious, serious honor. Part of what delights me about this is that I’m writing novels about a happily married couple so I’m really happy about the fact that the love story element is still strong enough to appeal to the RT staff. The Jane and Vincent relationship is what I enjoy most about writing these. I say that Without a Summer is a political thriller disguised as a Regency Romance, but really… I’m there for the love story.
And the clothes. Okay, and the magic.
Plus! It means I get to wear a pretty dress to the awards ceremony, which is in New Orleans which should be fabulous.
Location: 2nd Floor, Studio 4 – (Preservation Hall)
Description: You can’t blame a homogenous cast on using history or old rules as a model. The real world has always been wonderfully diverse. Fantasy worlds should be as well! Don’t stifle your creativity by sticking to old rules! Today you can have diversity of themes, characters, and stories that you might not find in old-style fantasy. Come listen to how these authors have done just that.
Speakers: PJ Schnyder, Kristen Callihan, Mary Robinette Kowal, Mur Lafferty, Sarah J. Maas, Tamora Pierce
Location: 2nd Floor, Studio 1 – (Preservation Hall)
Description: Bug-eyed monsters, ray-guns, and fainting damsels-in-distress are out the airlock. Today’s SF and its subgenres contain stories and characters that push physical, scientific, emotional, political and sexual boundaries. But what does the future hold for SF writers? Have we gone too far and are lost in space? Or are we boldly going where the genre should have gone decades before? Beam in and sound off!
Speakers: Linnea Sinclair, Catherine Asaro, Jenna Bennett, Ilsa J. Bick, Mary Robinette Kowal, Beth Revis, Sarah Zettel
Description: Meet a revolving door of hundreds of authors as they make appearances every 30 minutes in this high-energy event. Be one of the first 500 attendees and you’ll receive a goody bag filled with free books and promotional items. Among the authors you’ll meet are: Lara Adrian, Ilona Andrews (aka Ilona and Gordon Andrews), Jennifer L. Armentrout (aka J. Lynn), Jaci Burton, Lee Child, Sylvia Day, Jeaniene Frost, Abbi Glines, E.L. James, Eloisa James, Laura Kaye, Lisa Kleypas, Mary Robinette Kowal, Christina Lauren, Jamie McGuire, Jennifer Probst, Tiffany Reisz, Jill Shalvis, Nalini Singh, and Julie Ann Walker!
Choose “FAN-tastic Day Pass” when you register for a pass that includes the party, the goody bag (first 500 entrants), the workshops and the Giant Book Fair.
The FAN-tastic Day Party is hosted by Dreamspinner Press, who will be providing cool refreshments and sweet treats for all to enjoy along with lots of free books and giveaways. Meet several of their authors and the staff.
The magical book that might result if Jane Austen’s Emma were set against the Luddite uprising in the Year Without a Summer Up-and-coming fantasist Mary Robinette Kowal enchanted fans with award-winning short stories and beloved novels featuring Regency pair Jane and David Vincent. In Without a Summer the master glamourists return home, but in a world where […]
C2E2: Opening the Clubhouse Doors: Creating More Inclusive Geek Communities on April 25, 2014
Time: 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Description: Speakers: Jeffrey Smith, Karlyn Meyer, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Mary Robinette Kowal, Michi Trota, Scott Snyder
As visibility of Fans, creators and organizers from marginalized communities increases, geek communities are having more discussions about diversity, tokenism and re-examining just how “welcoming” geek spaces are. This moderated panel will discuss what “diversity” in geek culture means, what it looks like and why it’s necessary. Sponsored in part by the Chicago Nerd Social Club.
Description: Speakers: C. Robert Cargill, Colleen Lindsay, Douglas Hulick, Katherine Addison, Mary Robinette Kowal, Simon Green, Steve Bein
Heroes and villains, wizards and goblins, fairies and demons...stories told in another realm are full of characters and creatures that stretch the imagination and these authors populate their novels with a host of magical and otherworldly beings. Join Katherine Addison, Steve Bein, C. Rogert Cargill, Simon Green, Douglas Hulick and Mary Robinette Kowal as they discuss all things fantastic.