Dec 6 2014

Laurie J. Marks : Elemental Logic and more




The new world of ebooks has benefitted a lot of writers.  I’m one, as you know.   (My ebook sales this year will exceed my writing income from any previous year.)

It looks like Laurie J. Marks might turn out be another.

Laurie is best known for her Elemental Logic series (originally from Tor Books).   The first two volumes are out of print… But now all three books have been released as ebooks by her current publisher, Small Beer Press.

This makes me glad.  I just now went and bought them.  (I now have them in two forms…)

Also making me glad:  I know there won’t be a long wait for the fourth volume.   In fact, I have a pre-final-edit copy right here…

Well, I won’t gloat too much.  But it helps to know the author.

I especially like the design of Laurie’s magical system, and how it operates through the citizens of the land of Shaftal.  You can (sometimes) work magic. But more often magic is working you — and not at your convenience.   The land has its own plans and needs.

Years and years ago, I wrote a review of the first book in the Elemental Logic series, Fire Logic.   I actually can’t now recall where it was published (online somewhere).   I thought I’d just link to it, but after searching the Internet assiduously, I find I can’t locate it anywhere…

Fortunately, I have a copy,  and I’ve put it here for you to read in its original oddly stilted and slightly turgid entirety. 

Well, I wrote it ages ago, as I said.. but I still stand by it!

Here are some cogent quotes from it:

“Marks delivers her story in prose that is rich, graceful, and often stunning.   I have far too often read authors whose prose merely gets the job done, gets the character from point A to point B by relating the events between: prose so colorless that it is often referred to as “invisible”, as if that were a virtue.   But life itself is not like that; events vibrate with connection and connotation. Marks’ skill with the language allows her to gift us with a fuller experience. Her characters feel deeply, think fiercely, love sharply.”


“In designing her system of magic, Marks displays both literary skill and psychological wisdom. The traits of each element are personality traits that we recognize, representing categories of people that we can identify in our own world. We know these people; we’ve met them all our lives.   Marks gives us a name for them and their ways, and this real-world link makes it easy and natural for us to take one more step and accept, for the story’s sake, the possibilities of Shaftali magic.”

Oh, and you know who else wrote a glowing review?  James Davis Nicoll, who has titled it his review: “Someone whose books I need to obsessively collect”

(One thing you should note: if you are a person who is put off by same-sex romance in a novel, this is not a book for you.)

Laurie’s other books are also hard to find, and out of print — but she has plans to put them up as ebooks, too.  So, you might soon have a lot of Laurie J. Marks books to add to your ebook library.

Laurie J. Marks’ ebooks from Small Beer Press (epub and mobi)

Laurie J. Marks’ Water Logic trade paperback from Small Beer Press

Laurie J. Marks’ books and ebooks on Amazon

The audiobook version of Fire Logic

And here’s where you can hear me sing “The Loyal General”,  a song from Shaftal, with words by Laurie and music by me (contains spoilers for Water Logic)

James Davis Nicoll’s review of Fire Logic

Laurie’s own website, (including Elemental Profile Quiz)


Dec 10 2012

The best source for your steerswomanly needs


It’s that gift-giving season again and, as has become traditional, I’ve waited until almost too late to remind people that I’m a writer, and that you can buy my books as gifts for your friends and family!


traditional Kirstein Christmas Zebra

On the door.

Two ways to buy:

METHOD 1 – DIRECT FROM ME: I have copies of the stand-alone mass-market version of The Steerswoman(British edition w/ spooky cover) for $15 which includes Priority shipping (3 business days) anywhere in the US. (Outside the US, cost for shipping would be based on destination.)



british steerswoman has a suspicious gaze

Brit edition!

Also, I have copies of The Lost Steersmanfor $20 including Priority shipping in the US.  (Again, outside the US, cost for shipping would depend on destination.  It costs something like $80 to get to New Zealand!)


cover by cliff Neilsen

The Lost Steersman is currently out of print — so if you buy it through Amazon, you’d be buying from a rare-books dealer, and paying extra bucks. The same is true of the stand-alone version of The Steerswoman (“stand-alone” meaning: not as part of the Steerswoman’s Road omnibus that combines it with The Outskirter’s Secret.)

Those are the only two books currently available from me.    To buy from me, email me at, and we’ll sort out addresses and payment method. (Coming soon: Paypal button! But not quite yet, so email until then.)

METHOD 2 – AMAZON.COM: For copies of The Steerswoman’s Road and The Language of Power, your best bet is  (If you gasp as the price of The Steerswoman’s Road, just remember that it’s two books in one: The Steerswoman and The Outskirter’s Secret. Double-sized!)

So, it’s not too late!


Dec 13 2010

nine shopping days left


I have risen up from my cold/flu thingie long enough to remember that:

a) there are nine shopping days left before the most popular gift-giving holiday
b) sometimes people give books as gifts
c) I actually write books!

You’re here because you like my books; and you like your friends; so why not put them together?

Also: In general, the more of my books that get sold, the better I look to my publisher, and the more likely they are to buy & publish the next book in the series.

It’s win-win all around!

Plus: Several people have told me about the Amazon Associates Program, and yes I have signed up. (This means that if you click to Amazon from any link on my page and buy anything, not just my books but anything at all, Amazon pays me a small advertising fee. Which adds up, if enough people do it. Hint. Hello, trying to make a living, here!)

Frequently asked question: Hey, why does The Steerswoman’s Road cost twice as much as the other books? What’s up with that?

A: It’s two books in one. It’s twice as big. It’s The Steerswoman and The Outskirter’s Secret in one volume.

Q: Yeah, but I remember that it used to be the same price as the others!

A: True. When Del Rey first released this combined volume, they priced it the same as The Lost Steersman and The Language of Power
, and got it into stores just before those two books hit the stands. Thus to tempt readers, and get them hooked on the whole series. Alas, that time has passed. But when they increased the price, they did something else too: It’s a better edition. Seriously: better paper, larger size, nicer all around. I went and bought a copy myself, just to check, and it really is better.

Seriously, take a look:

old edition left, new edition right

old edition left, new edition right

Here's where you can see the diff

Here's where you can see the diff

new edition has brighter paper, too

new edition has brighter paper, too

So, there’s my obligatory mercenary post…

But I’d like to remind you, too, of the books not by me that have been mentioned here — these are all fine authors, so why not share them with your friends?

Authors like:

Catherynne M. Valente
Chad Orzel
Laurie J. Marks
Ann Tonsor Zeddies
Geary Gravel
Delia Sherman
Ellen Kushner

Ack! I’m out of time — I’m doing this over lunch at work (yes, I dragged myself to work).