Gail Carriger explains why her heroine has no soul

By Kelly Faircloth at io9
Gail Carriger mashes up urban fantasy, steampunk, and Victorian gothics in her Parasol Protectorate series. She explains what inspired the series, how she arrived at her soulless protagonist, and what’s next for her heroine. Carriger’s series follows the adventures of Alexia Tarabotti, a youngish woman living in an alternate Victorian London populated with all manner of supernatural creatures.

The fact that the main character is actually soulless—how did you come to that? What inspired that concept?

This had two hooks. First, once I restricted so everything had to be scientifically explained, I really started looking into the mindset of a scientist from the period. A lot of Victorian medical doctors used to think was there would be this balance in the natural world. Next to a poisonous plant will be the cure. In the series, I call this the counterbalance theorem. So if scientists are studying vampires and werewolves, they’re going to think there’s something that’s not necessarily a slayer, but is kind of a ground. So then I started to think, what if vampires aren’t soulless? What if, in fact, they have something that’s extra, that allows them to survive better than everyone else? What if you have an excess of something and that’s what allows you to survive that bite? And what if that excess is impossible to predict and very rare?

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Human or Angel? Boyfriend Advice from Fallen’s Lauren Kate

by Tom at Omnivoracious
Are angels the new vampires? One reason readers (and publishers!) have been asking that question is the success of Lauren Kate’s Fallen series, beginning last fall with the opening volume–called, yes, Fallen–and followed this week by Torment, the next tale in the story of Luce and her fallen angel boyfriend, Daniel. We asked Kate a few questions about her series (concocted by one of our in-house Fallen fans), which we have posted on our page for Torment, but we saved one more for Omni, perhaps the most crucial question of all. Here’s her answer…

Amazon: What’s better, a human boyfriend or an angel boyfriend?

Lauren Kate: The day Fallen was published last December, I did my first reading at a bookstore. Afterwards, a girl came up to me and asked one of the best questions I’ve ever been asked. First, I should preface this story by saying that the passage I read that night at the bookstore featured a heated argument between Luce and Daniel, in which Daniel comes off like a bit of a jerk and Luce comes of as somewhat unhinged. (There are many of these moments, I know). But I was surprised when this girl came up to me afterwards and asked—very earnestly—whether I believed in a love as wonderful and true as the love Daniel and Luce shared. I told her, of course, that I did. I pointed to my husband who was standing across the store and I waxed on about how we first met. I asked her whether she was thinking of someone in particular when she asked the question. She was about thirteen and she shook her head very briskly, but said that she wanted to believe in this kind of love for the future. I was amazed and impressed and humbled that what this girl took away from the tumultuous scene I’d read was that these two characters were very deeply in love.

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Books That Made a Difference to Kazuo Ishiguro (Author of Never Let Me Go)

By Kazuo Ishiguro for O, The Oprah Magazine
The Odyssey By Homer (Translated by Robert Fagles)

A magical experience, this 2,700-year-old poem reads to a surprising extent like a modern novel. It has a sophisticated structure, with alluring subplots and flashbacks supporting the central story of Odysseus, the exhausted, traumatized veteran of the Trojan War, and his decade long struggle to get back home across a wonderfully evoked world of strange islands and dangerous seas.

It’s about the memory of home and the fear that it may no longer correspond to reality, the sadness of losing comrades, the kindness of strangers, the will to keep going against relentless obstacles, and a whole lot more. Robert Fagles’s translation is full of startling, lovely phrases, giving weight to the view that for all its narrative drive and psychologically complex characters, this work should be read as verse.

See the Rest here

The exclusive first chapter of Towers of Midnight

by Bella Pagan at Orbit
The wheel has been turning and now it’s almost time to release Towers of Midnight in hardback, the extraordinary penultimate volume of the Wheel of Time. It will be available from 2nd November, but we want to give you a taste of what is to come …

So what more can be said than the Wheel of Time turns, and ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the age that gave it birth comes again. But now, the end draws near. It’s time to roll the dice.

Get the first chapter here

For anyone who hasn’t read Soulless, I highly recommend it. It’s incredibly funny and the kind of book that you start reading and when you look up, two hours have passed. It’s the first in a series of five, but only three are out now.

What did you think of the Lauren Kate interview? Are you excited for Torment? Are you going to see Never Let Me Go? What did you think of the Wheel of Time excerpt?