The Books

I’m the author of the Steerswoman Series:  4 novels (so far).

All were originally published by Del Rey/Ballantine/Random House, but I’ve since recovered all the rights, and I’m currently releasing them in ebook form.

I have plenty of ideas for works outside of the Steerswoman’s world –but given time constraints (and the state of my health currently), I’m focusing on the series for the most part, right now. But watch my blog for news of other works.

Meanwhile:

Steerswoman cover

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION

If you ask, she must answer. A steerswoman’s knowledge is shared with any who request it; no steerswoman may refuse a question, and no steerswoman may answer with anything but the truth.

And if she asks, you must answer. It is the other side of tradition’s contract — and if you refuse the question, or lie, no steerswoman will ever again answer even your most casual question.

And so, the steerswomen — always seeking, always investigating — have gathered more and more knowledge about the world they traveled, and they share that knowledge freely.

Until the day that the steerswoman Rowan begins asking innocent questions about one small, lovely, inexplicable object…

Her discoveries grow stranger and deeper, and more dangerous, until suddenly she finds she must flee or fight for her life. Or worse — lie.

Because one kind of knowledge has always been denied the the steerswomen:

Magic.

“If you haven’t read Kirstein’s Steerswoman books I envy you the chance to read them now for the first time…. I think they have a very good claim to be my favorite thing still being written. […] If you like science, and if you like watching someone work out mysteries, and if you like detailed weird alien worlds and human cultures, if really good prose appeals… you’re really in luck.” — Jo Walton, Hugo and Nebula Awards winner, author of Among Others and Farthing.

“[Kirstein] walks the tightrope between fantasy and science fiction with precision and grace… [her] compassion for even minor characters is evident on every page, and her prose is measured and alluring without being overworked.” — Damien Broderick & Paul Di Filippo, in Science Fiction: The 101 Best Novels 1985-2010

TOS cover final

WHEN A GUIDESTAR FALLS

Two shining lights hung above, motionless in the night sky as the constellations slowly passed behind them.  The common folk knew them well, and used them to count the hours, mark the seasons.

But when the steerswoman Rowan discovered a number of broken blue jewels of clearly magical origin, her investigations led to a startling discovery: a Guidestar had fallen.

There were more than two; the others hung above the opposite side of the world; something had caused one of those to fall.

But what? And what might it mean?  Rowan had no answers…

But she knew one thing: where the fallen Guidestar was located.  To reach it, she must cross the Inner Lands and pass deep into the wild and deadly Outskirts.

Rowan’s travelling companion, Bel,  is an Outskirter herself.  Together the steerswoman and the warrior-poet have a chance of surviving the cruel landscape,  the barbarian tribes, and the bizarre native wildlife.

But there are more secrets than one in the Outskirts: and each step closer to the Guidestar brings new truths, leading to the most startling secret of all…

“[Kirstein] walks the tightrope between fantasy and science fiction with precision and grace… [her] compassion for even minor characters is evident on every page, and her prose is measured and alluring without being overworked.” — Damien Broderick & Paul Di Filippo, in Science Fiction: The 101 Best Novels 1985-2010

“If you haven’t read Kirstein’s Steerswoman books I envy you the chance to read them now for the first time…. I think they have a very good claim to be my favorite thing still being written. […] If you like science, and if you like watching someone work out mysteries, and if you like detailed weird alien worlds and human cultures, if really good prose appeals… you’re really in luck.” — Jo Walton, Hugo and Nebula Awards winner, author of Among Others and Farthing.

“The world Kirstein creates is captivating.” — Publisher’s Weekly

TLS cover small

THE BLIND SEARCH

How do you find someone?

How, if you have never seen him, never heard him described, did not know where he lived? How, if he wished not to be found?

And how, most especially, if he were the most powerful wizard in the world?

The steerswoman Rowan has discovered that the fall of the Guidestar and the massacre of Outskirter tribes were caused by one man: the secret master-wizard, Slado. But until now, no steerswoman had known of his existence, nor knew that the wizards answered to any single authority. Now, Rowan must find him.

She comes to the seaside town of Alemeth, where centuries of records might help her find clues for her search. Then, an unexpected encounter with a lost friend: Janus, a steersman who had resigned his membership in the Steerswomen, giving no explanation.

Now Rowan has hope for help in her search — but Janus has changed. The bright intellect is now shrouded in a dark, shattered spirit…

Then death comes to sleepy Alemeth, monsters from the Outskirts, and Rowan can not help but wonder: are all these strange events connected?

“An original and fascinating take on the tensions between science and belief, observation and expectaion, courage and fear. Highly recommended.” — Suzy McKee Charnas, author of Motherlines and Walk to the End of the World

“Kirstein’s striking portrait of an innovative woman who is scientist, judge, historian, and adventurer makes for a good, thought-provoking read.” — Publisher’s Weekly

“If you haven’t read Kirstein’s Steerswoman books I envy you the chance to read them now for the first time…. I think they have a very good claim to be my favorite thing still being written. […] If you like science, and if you like watching someone work out mysteries, and if you like detailed weird alien worlds and human cultures, if really good prose appeals… you’re really in luck.” — Jo Walton, Hugo and Nebula Awards winner, author of Among Others and Farthing.

tlop final large

A STEERSWOMAN ASKS, AND IS ALWAYS ANSWERED

The steerswoman Rowan has learned much about the master-wizard Slado: how his spells are devastating the distant lands known as the Outskirts, and how they will ultimately threaten even the Inner Lands. But she knows nothing else about him, not even why he is hiding his actions from the other wizards.

He must be found, and stopped.

Now, following the slimmest of clues, Rowan arrives in the city of Donner hoping to learn more about Slado’s plans. But when the answers begin coming in faster than the questions can be asked, a strange tale from the past emerges, a tale behind all the secrets of the present…

Fortunate that Rowan has the Outskirter warrior Bel on hand to watch her back. Because there’s one sure way to know that the steerswoman is on the right track: Someone will try to kill her.

 “The world Kirstein creates is captivating.” — Publisher’s Weekly

If you haven’t read Kirstein’s Steerswoman books I envy you the chance to read them now for the first time…. I think they have a very good claim to be my favorite thing still being written. […] If you like science, and if you like watching someone work out mysteries, and if you like detailed weird alien worlds and human cultures, if really good prose appeals… you’re really in luck.” — Jo Walton, Hugo and Nebula Awards winner, author of Among Others and Farthing.

“[Kirstein] walks the tightrope between fantasy and science fiction with precision and grace… [her] compassion for even minor characters is evident on every page, and her prose is measured and alluring without being overworked.” — Damien Broderick & Paul Di Filippo, in Science Fiction: The 101 Best Novels 1985-2010

“Kirstein’s striking portrait of an innovative woman who is scientist, judge, historian, and adventurer makes for a good, thought-provoking read.” — Publisher’s Weekly

 

Available for Kindle at Amazon, and on all platforms at Smashwords — or check your favorite ebook sellers:  iBooks, Barnes & Noble, etc.