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About Rivers Solomon
RIVERS SOLOMON, a cyborg wannabe and a refugee of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, writes about life in the margins, where they're much at home.
Their work has appeared in or is forthcoming from the New York Times, Guernica Magazine, Black Warrior Review, the Rumpus, Emrys Journal, Best American Short Stories, and elsewhere. In addition to winning a Firecracker Award and being named a best book of the year by the Guardian, NPR, Chicago Public Library, Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly, their debut novel AN UNKINDNESS OF GHOSTS was selected as a Stonewall Honor Book and was nominated for a Lambda, Locus, and Hurston/Wright Award.
Solomon graduated from Stanford University with a BA and the Michener Center for Writers with an MFA, but are currently based in Cambridge, England. Solomon has been shortlisted for the John C. Campbell Award for New Writers and is at work on a second novel.
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Books By Rivers Solomon
Orphan, refugee, and soldier-for-hire Asala Sikou doesn't think too much about the end of civilization. Her system's star is dying, and the only person she can afford to look out for is herself.
When a ship called The Vela vanishes during what was supposed to be a flashy rescue mission, a reluctant Asala is hired to team up with Niko, the child of a wealthy inner planet's president, to find it and the outer system refugees on board.
But this is no ordinary rescue mission; The Vela holds a secret that places the fate of the universe in the balance, and forces Asala to decide—in a dying world where good and evil are far from black and white, who deserves to survive?
From award-winning science fiction authors Becky Chambers (The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, A Closed and Common Orbit, and Record of a Spaceborn Few), Yoon Ha Lee (Ninefox Gambit, Raven Stratagem, Revenant Gun, Dragon Pearl), Rivers Solomon (An Unkindness of Ghosts), SL Huang (Zero Sum Game.)
Don't miss the sequel to the Vela, coming in 2020 from Serial Box (serialbox.com)
"A wonderland of fantastical and frightening, magical and real." Marlon James
"A fantastical, fierce reckoning... Sorrowland is gorgeous." Roxanne Gay
"Dark, magical and incredibly satisfying." Independent
"An exhilarating journey to the outer limits of science fiction." Guardian.
Vern, a hunted woman alone in the woods, gives birth to twins and raises them
away from the influence of the outside world. But something is wrong - not with
them, but with her own body. It's changing, it's itching, it's stronger, it's... not
To understand her body's metamorphosis, Vern must investigate not just the
secluded religious compound she fled but the violent history of dehumanization,
medical experimentation, and genocide that produced it. In the course of
reclaiming her own darkness, Vern learns that monsters aren't just individuals,
but entire histories, systems, and nations.
Sorrowland is a memorable work of Gothic fiction that wrestles with the tangled
history of racism in America and the marginalisation of society's undesirables. It
is a searing, seminal book that marks the arrival of a bold, unignorable voice in
WINNER OF THE LAMBDA LITERARY LGBTQ SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY/HORROR AWARD
The water-breathing descendants of African slave women tossed overboard have built their own underwater society-and must reclaim the memories of their past to shape their future in this brilliantly imaginative novella inspired by the Hugo Award-nominated song "The Deep" from Daveed Diggs's rap group clipping.
Yetu holds the memories for her people-water-dwelling descendants of pregnant African slave women thrown overboard by slave owners-who live idyllic lives in the deep. Their past, too traumatic to be remembered regularly, is forgotten by everyone, save one-the historian. This demanding role has been bestowed on Yetu.
Yetu remembers for everyone, and the memories, painful and wonderful, traumatic and terrible and miraculous, are destroying her. And so, she flees to the surface, escaping the memories, the expectations, and the responsibilities-and discovers a world her people left behind long ago.
Yetu will learn more than she ever expected to about her own past-and about the future of her people. If they are all to survive, they'll need to reclaim the memories, reclaim their identity-and own who they really are.
Inspired by a song produced by the rap group Clipping for the This American Life episode "We Are In The Future," The Deep is vividly original and uniquely affecting.
One of the Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of the past decade, selected by NPR
One of the 50 Best Sci-Fi Books of All Time, selected by Esquire
One of the 100 Most Influential Queer Books of All Time, selected by Booklist
A Best Book of 2017: NPR, The Guardian, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Bustle, Bookish, Barnes & Noble, Chicago Public Library, Book Scrolling.
CLMP Firecracker Award Winner
A Stonewall Book Award Honor Book
Finalist for the 2018 Locus Award, John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and the Lambda Literary Award.
Nominated for the 2018 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Debut Novel
"What Solomon achieves with this debut--the sharpness, the depth, the precision--puts me in mind of a syringe full of stars. I want to say about this book, its only imperfection is that it ended. But that might give the wrong impression: that it is a happy book, a book that makes a body feel good. It is not a happy book. I love it like I love food, I love it for what it did to me, I love it for having made me feel stronger and more sure in a nightmare world, but it is not a happy book. It is an antidote to poison. It is inoculation against pervasive, enduring disease. Like a vaccine, it is briefly painful, leaves a lingering soreness, but armors you from the inside out."
"In Rivers Solomon's highly imaginative sci-fi novel An Unkindness of Ghosts, eccentric Aster was born into slavery on--and is trying to escape from--a brutally segregated spaceship that for generations has been trying to escort the last humans from a dying planet to a Promised Land. When she discovers clues about the circumstances of her mother's death, she also comes closer to disturbing truths about the ship and its journey."
"What Solomon does brilliantly in this novel is in the creation of a society in which dichotomies loom over certain aspects of the narrative, and are eschewed by others...Hearkening back to the past in visions of the future can hold a number of narrative purposes...The past offers us countless nightmares and cautionary tales; so too, I'm afraid, can the array of possible futures lurking up ahead."
"This book is a clear descendent of Octavia Butler's Black science fiction legacy, but grounded in more explicit queerness and neuroatypicality."
"Ghosts are 'the past refusing to be forgot,' says a character in this assured science-fiction debut. That's certainly the case aboard the HSS Matilda, a massive spacecraft arranged along the cruel racial divides of pre-Civil War America."
Aster has little to offer folks in the way of rebuttal when they call her ogre and freak. She's used to the names; she only wishes there was more truth to them. If she were truly a monster, she'd be powerful enough to tear down the walls around her until nothing remains of her world.
Aster lives in the lowdeck slums of the HSS Matilda, a space vessel organized much like the antebellum South.
Vern est enceinte de sept mois et décide de s'échapper de la secte où elle a été élevée. Cachée dans une forêt, elle donne naissance à des jumeaux, et prévoit de les élever loin de l’influence du monde extérieur.
Mais, même dans la forêt, Vern reste une proie. Forcée de se battre contre la communauté qui refuse son départ, elle montre une brutalité terrifiante, résultat de changements inexplicables et étranges que son corps traverse.
Pour comprendre sa métamorphose et protéger sa petite famille, Vern doit affronter le passé et l’avenir. Trouver la vérité signifiera découvrir les secrets du culte qu’elle a fui, mais aussi l’histoire violente de Amérique qui l’a produit.
Yetu guarda en su interior la dolorosa historia de su pueblo, unos seres que viven en las profundidades del océano y que son descendientes de esclavas a las que tiraban por la borda en su travesía hacia el nuevo mundo. Durante la mayor parte del tiempo, su gente vive feliz sin memoria a largo plazo, ajena a su traumático origen. Una vez al año, sin embargo, Yetu debe narrarles su historia para que puedan continuar su idílica existencia. Lo que nadie sospecha es que las consecuencias de esa responsabilidad están a punto de destruirla: la memoria colectiva contiene recuerdos maravillosos, pero también otros dolorosos y aterradores. Desesperada, Yetu intentará escapar de un destino sombrío y lleno de sufrimiento. ¿Podrán Yetu y su pueblo sobrevivir a su huida? ¿Conseguirán reclamar su identidad?
Esta novela, inspirada en hechos reales y en The Deep, una canción del grupo musical clipping, está llena de reflexiones sobre el amor, la pertenencia, la raza y el deber para con una comunidad.