Saturday, February 21, 2015

Kickstarter day 4 (25 days left) Mountain Pic & Book Rec

The Labyrinth of Flame's Kickstarter has funded!!!  I am so happy and grateful, I can't even find the words to tell you.  All I want to do is give everyone who's backed the book a huge hug (and likely sob all over your shoulders in a combo of delight and relief, so perhaps it's just as well we have a computer screen between us!).  It's so wonderful to know I can do this book just the way I hoped: with every bit of professional editing and design that went into the first two.  Plus a map!  Maybe even two maps, if the Kickstarter keeps going well.  I'd thought it could be cool to have one larger-scale map of the various countries, and another more detailed map of the areas Dev and Kiran travel in this third book...but we'll see.  Right now I'm just over the moon that the book will be a reality.

Speaking of the Kickstarter, I've heard from some people that they'd like to support it and get copies of The Labyrinth of Flame, but they don't have credit cards (which Kickstarter apparently requires now).  If that's true for you, please contact me at courtney (at) courtneyschafer (dot) com, and we'll work out a way for you to contribute and receive a KS-style reward without having to go through KS itself. 

Anyway! To celebrate such a big milestone, I'm going hog-wild with pictures of some of my favorite places in the Sierra Nevada (my favorite mountains!):

On top of Alpine Col

Deadman Canyon, deep in the Sierra - a great basecamp location for exploring unnamed cirques and scrambling up peaks

Pic from my very first trip to the Sierra, with friends Jason Hollinger and Ken Manatt. This is near the Mosquito Flat trailhead, which at 10,255 ft is the highest major trailhead in the Sierra
Third Recess Lake - the "recesses" (canyons) near Mono Pass are among my favorite spots to camp in the Sierra
My husband Robert on our way up Mt Whitney (visible at top right), tallest peak in the contiguous US


For today's book rec, I'll go with another favorite that hasn't gotten nearly as much recognition as I think it should: Martha Wells's City of Bones.  I love books that mix elements of SF and fantasy, and Wells writes a wonderful setting here: a post-apocalyptic stone desert populated by a bioengineered race, and a richly described and dangerous city whose laws are enforced by mages.  The part I love best, though, are Wells's characters.  Protagonist Khat (one of the bioengineered krismen) is smart, dryly sarcastic, and has a fascinating backstory (one I wish Wells would someday return to in a short story, perhaps!).  Co-protagonist Elen (one of the city's Warders) is equally engaging; she's smart, determined, and forthright in a way that plays very nicely off the more reserved Khat.  The story is standalone (though as I said, I sure wish there was more), and a great read, combining archaeological mystery with exciting action and magic.  It was originally published by Tor but has been republished in ebook form by Martha herself; if you like adventure SF/fantasy, you definitely should read it.


  1. More visual evidence for me to visit the Sierras. :)

    And I love Martha's work. I've read it all...

    1. Yes, she's one of my favorite veteran authors - so many wonderful books to enjoy!

  2. I can see why John Muir was so smitten with the Sierras.

    1. They are such beautiful mountains. Everyone's heard of Yosemite but far fewer realize the rest of the range is spectacular as well.

  3. I need to start a new list of books-to-read: Book I bought long ago but never got to but that someone's recommending right now and I realize "woah this sounds great for me, time to get around to it!" City of Bones sounds great (no wonder I bought it), and I should've read it long ago.

    (My shelves are full of books like this; my interest in books far outstrips my time and energy.)