October 29, 2014

The Big 1,000

Was pleased to learn today that CITY OF STAIRS tops Aidan Moher’s list of Best Novel candidates for the 2015 Hugo!

Say hello to the best fantasy novel of 2014.

Even as I was startled by its twisted depth, I adored every moment I spent with City of Stairs. Colonialism lies at City of Stairs‘ centre, and RJB handles it with equal parts boldness and delicacy. The ruined beauty of Bulikov and its fallen gods haunted me long after I turned the final page.

Robert Jackson Bennett is best known for his contemporary fantasy and horror crossovers, such as American Elsewhere and The Troupe, so his move into more traditional epic fantasy put him on the radar of a lot of new readers, and the result is something special. On first readingCity of Stairs, I described it to a friend as “China Mieville without the ego.” I’m not sure I still agree with that statement, because it’s unfair to saddle one writer with another’s baggage, but while reading City of Stairs I couldn’t fight the feeling that RJB was mixing and refining elements from some of my recent favourite fantasies. Other touchstones exists, such as Kameron Hurley’s The Mirror Empire and Max Gladstone’s Craft Sequence, that place RJB among the most exciting and vibrant young fantasy writers working today.

Good stuff all around!

In related news, CITY OF STAIRS is just 50 ratings away from having 1,000 ratings over at Goodreads. If you haven’t already – maybe head on over there and rate it? I’m quite pleased with the way things are settling as we approach the 1,000 mark: