Monday, November 17, 2008

Liz Williams’ Novel Winterstrike One of UK's Best SF/F Books of 2008

Amazon UK’s The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of 2008 includes Winterstrike (September 2008), by British author Liz Williams. Set on Mars, the novel is the first in a Gothic SF trilogy. Here’s
a spoiled description of Winterstrike:

"In the centre of Winterstrike, Mars's first city, in the middle of the meteorite crater that gave the city its name, stands the fortress: a mass of vitrified stone striped as white as a bone and as red as a still-beating heart. And on one particular night, at the top of the fortress and on the eve of war, at the summit of a tower so high that from it one could see out across the basalt walls to the dim, shimmering slopes of Olympus, stood a woman ...

Winterstrike spy Hestia Mar has been sent to Caud to recover details of an ancient weapon. During her stay in the Martian city, she encounters the ghost of a warrior, who turns out to be the encoded representation of the city's bombed library. Hestia Mar manages to access the library's data, but realizes too late what she has done: by downloading the information, she has virtually guaranteed the use of the weapon against Caud by her own government. Desperate to rescue the situation, she makes her way back home across the dangers of the Crater Plain.

Meanwhile, in Winterstrike itself, the festival of Ombre has been taking place on the eve of war. Hestia's cousin Shorn -- imprisoned by her family for accidentally consorting with a male -- manages to escape. Her sister Essegui, pursuing her to the dangerous mountains of Mars, discovers a plot by creatures who hold the secrets of the Martian past, and its future. While Essegui battles forces back in Winterstrike, Hestia travels to Earth in an attempt to save her city."

Winterstrike was reviewed by the blogs Fantasy Book Critic, Walker of Worlds,, Cheryl’s Mewsings, and the newspaper The Guardian. The novel is not yet available in the United States.

No comments: