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Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2015's Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Nancy Fulda is a Hugo and Nebula Nominee, a Phobos Award winner and a Vera Hinckley Mayhew Award recipient. She is the first (and so far only) female recipient of the Jim Baen Memorial Award. She has been a featured writer at Apex Online, a guest on the Writing Excuses podcast, and is a regular attendee of the Villa Diodati Writers' Workshop.
Nancy Fulda is a Phobos Award winner, a Jim Baen Memorial Award recipient, and a past Hugo and Nebula nominee. During her graduate work at Brigham Young University she studied artificial intelligence, machine learning, and quantum computing. In the years since, she has grappled with the far more complex process of raising three small children. All of these experiences sometimes infiltrate her writing.
Praise from Reviewers:
"As engrossing and brief and clever as a Twilight Zone episode, Fulda's story hooks your attention from the first sentence and stays with you long past the startling, yet fitting, end." -- Tangent Online
"The Breath of Heaven -- essentially a retelling of the HAL 9000 story, but with a very different outcome -- with its intricate examination of directives was a quite plausible updating of the classic three laws of robotics, and in some ways outshone both Asimov and Clarke in the way the story unfolded." -- Pearson Moore, Sift Book Reviews
"Movement is an award-caliber story, and clearly a major breakthrough in the career of Nancy Fulda." -- Aaron Hughes, Fantastic Reviews Blog
I love book samplers and anthologies, they give you a small (and hopefully sweet taste) of the writers abilities. This 3 story sampler was PERFECT! I'm reviewing the stories in the order that I loved them.
In the Halls of the Sky-Palace: You find out what happens when you let yourdreams and hopes for the future die; and the heart-breaking price that has to be made to bring those hopes and dreams alive again. Beautifuly told -- in happier times I'd love to visit the breath-taking beauty of the Sky-Palace.
Knowing Neither Kin nor Foe: Being the child of destiny is a heavy burden, especially when you don't have kin to share it with. Reading the prophecy of your destiny doesn't mean you'll understand it. Meeting your destiny and finding that your weakness is actually your strength can be very bitter. What will you decide to do with the knowledge you gain? This gem introduces you to the 'flawed' hero, who'd like nothing more than to be like everyone else. You'll feel with the hero and question her final decision -- what would YOU do?
The Breath of Heaven: I had trouble relating to the character; both human and robotic and really couldn't get into the story. It's very well told, it just wasn't my cup of tea.
Download the book, put your feet up and enjoy the three vastly different worlds you'll visit -- then go back and vist them again.
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This ebook on Kindle features three stories by Fulda, the titular work and two more.
In "Knowing Neither Kin Nor Foe," the story follows an alien being named Kitjaya. Kitjaya has the onerous burden of being born as the chosen one of her people. This follows many of the familiar paths of the hero narrative: the pain of predestination, the reluctance, the eventual rise to face the challenge. However, the take here feels fresh because there's not a single human character in the cast. It's alien and unique, yet completely relate-able.
"The Breath of Heaven" also takes an unusual vantage point: that of a human colony's computer system, immediately after the other computers have rebelled. The thought processes of a computer are clear; this means that the decisions she and the others make, however horrible, make perfect sense. However, there is also a certain humanity that comes with Sacia's newfound sentience and her appreciation of beauty.
The final story is in the fantasy genre. "In the Halls of the Sky-Palace" the child Aesva is the only one who can see that her mother and the other dancers are gradually being consumed by a being that stalks the palace halls at night. As much as I love fantasy, that wasn't the element that made me love this story so much--it was the deep take of the story on the powers of regret, memory, and letting go.
I can't say that I had any favorites. Each of the stories is strong and beautiful in its own right.
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