I spoke with Elizabeth Bear at the Tucson Festival of Books back in March. And like her boyfriend Scott Lynch, she immediately gravitated towards a certain fantasy novel that I seem to be the only person who didn’t like. I’m really going to have to revisit it, especially if it wins the Hugo and World Fantasy Award this year…
So, Elizabeth Bear, what books do you recommend?
In that sweep of epic fantasy or just fantasy in general, steampunk elves, economics, racial politics, surviving an abusive family — it’s just a great political novel. It scratches that political fantasy itch that is rarely scratched, the thing that the best Frank Herbert does. It’s got all these interwoven threads that finally make sense at the end.
If you are looking for epic fantasy with a twist, I think he’s calling it “silk-punk.” It has some technology in it but it has the fantasy structure. If you don’t mind that stately pace of epic fantasy, it’s definitely something new.
For something different, this is a contemporary fantasy about a woman on a Caribbean island who rescues a mermaid and hijinks ensue.