Jul 16 2012

The 101 best whats of which?


Just before leaving for Readercon, as I was waiting for Sabine to show up at my DayJob so we could drive to Burlington MA, I was killing some time browsing the Readercon website.   More or less just because it was there, I clicked on my bio on the Guests page.


This is what I saw:

Rosemary Kirstein‘s eponymous first volume in The Steerswoman series from Del Rey (1989) was recently selected by Damien Broderick and Paul Di Filippo for Science Fiction: The 101 Best Novels 1985-2010 and was a Compton Crook finalist . It and its sequel, The Outskirter’s Secret (1992), are available together as The Steerswoman’s Road (2003). Volumes 3 and 4, The Lost Steersman and The Language of Power, appeared in 2003 and 2004, and she is working on the untitled Volume 5 after having done much work on the concluding City in the Crags. Kirstein’s short fiction has appeared in Asimov’s and in Aboriginal SF. You can follow her blog at www.rosemarykirstein.com, or on Facebook. She tweets random non sequiturs on Twitter as @rkirstein.


Wait, what?  I say to myself, The 101 best whats of which?    (Well, actually, the first thing that I say to myself is: That’s not what “eponymous” means.  But after that.)

Well, apparently it is the case.   I am, as the Brits say, chuffed.

There it is

Click. You know you want to.

The link will take you Amazon (and so will this one), where you can read the entry for yourself (and buy the book, because these guys obviously must be encouraged as much as possible!).

Many wonderful things are said about me by these two gentlemen, who obviously have outstanding taste and discernment. Seriously. Their analyses are spot-on. I have clearly been read, and read well.

Plus: Even though it’s The Steerswoman that’s selected to be among the 101 best, they don’t stop there. They go on to recommend the entire series, book-by-book, in detail, which is astoundingly generous of them.

(They also quote the wonderful, Jo Walton, another reviewer who got it right.)

My favorite line: “What Kirstein is doing is portraying how humanity’s innate desire to unriddle the phenomenological universe will persist through all sorts of dark-ages setbacks. Rowan’s adherence to the tenets of her guild make her a kind of proto-scientist, and thus a perfect exemplar of the science-fictional mindset.”

Okay, as a favorite line, that sounds kind of dry… How about: “Kirstein’s compassion for even minor characters is evident on every page, and her prose is measured and alluring without being overworked.”

Ah. My prose is “alluring”. I do like that.

Well, I suppose I could keep gloating. But I’ve just used up most of today’s writing time writing this blog post!

But I must take a moment to say that I believe that what an author most wants in the world is to be understood. Broderick and di Fillipo clearly do understand my work — as did Walton, and any number of you reading this — and what I most feel, really, is gratitude.