Thursday, October 2, 2008

Forthcoming: The Empress of Mars, a novel by Kage Baker

The Empress of Mars, a full-length novel by Kage Baker scheduled to be published in December 2008, is an expansion of her Sturgeon Award-winning 2003 novella of the same title. Here’s how Subterranean Press, the publisher, describes the forthcoming novel:

“First came Edgar Rice Burroughs' view of the Red Planet, then the romance of Leigh Brackett, the poetic visions of Ray Bradbury, and the hard sf underpinnings of Kim Stanley Robinson’s trilogy. Now, added to that estimable list, we have Kage Baker, who makes Earth’s nearest neighbor all her own.

When the British Arean Company founded its Martian colony, it welcomed any settlers it could get to undertake the grueling task of terraforming the cold red planet. Outcasts, misfits and dreamers emigrated there in droves -- only to be abandoned when the BAC discovered it couldn’t turn a profit on Mars. This is the story of Mary Griffith, a determined woman with three daughters, who opened the only place to buy a beer on the Tharsis Bulge. It’s the story of Manco Inca, whose attempt to terraform Mars brought a new goddess vividly to life; of Stanford Crosley, con man extraordinaire; of Ottorino Vespucci, space cowboy and romantic hero; of the Clan Morrigan, of the denizens of the Martian Motel, and of the machinations of another Company entirely, all of whom contribute to the downfall of the BAC and the founding of a new world.”

Baker’s novel will be published first as a limited edition hardcover from Subterranean Press and then as a trade edition by Tor Books.

Baker’s novella, “The Empress of Mars,” was published in Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine in July 2003 and can be read online. She discussed the work in a 2005 interview. Both Variety SF and provide a summary and commentary. Free SF, which rates the novella a 3 out of 5, calls it a “Pub float.”

Kage Baker maintains her own website at

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