updates

shiny review roundup of shininess

June 29th, 2015

So much love for Wasp out there on the internets. Reviewers, book bloggers, handsellers, those of you shoving the book at your friends on Twitter/Facebook/real life/etc — thank you all so much! This is the book of my heart, so when it finds and clicks with its readers, it’s personal.

Some people who liked it!

Kirkus says: “A ravishing, profane, and bittersweet post-apocalyptic bildungsroman transcends genre into myth … Difficult, provocative, and unforgettable—the most dangerous kind of fiction.” (Starred review)

NPR says: “A jarring yet satisfying reveal, one that fully justifies the obscuring of truth and arrangement of clues that leads up to it. It’s also modestly, quietly profound. “We bring our own monsters with us” is a refrain in the book, and as pat as that statement sounds, it’s not used glibly. With understated skill, Archivist Wasp twists myth, fantasy and science fiction into a resonant tale of erasure and absence — and an aching reminder that regaining what has been lost isn’t always the answer.”

School Library Journal says: “Young adults will be able to relate to Wasp’s inner turmoil and her battle to understand a world full of inexplicable hatred and violence. The fast pace and graphic action will draw in reluctant readers. VERDICT: A must-have for dystopian fans who prefer to avoid love stories and pat endings.”

Lightspeed says: “More than anything else, this book is sharp. You could cut yourself on the prose — Wasp’s world is one of thorns, knives, edges of thick, broken glass, a constant background-hum of pain that sometimes swells into a shout. Wasp’s perspective absolutely thrums with tension and violence, but also aches with a fierce, hollow loneliness to break the heart. The longing and gratitude for the smallest beginnings of true friendship make the betrayals more vicious, and the stakes just keep rising. I burned through this book in about three hours, desperately rooting for her. It’s also a brilliantly constructed narrative and world. The gods are cruel and absent. The underworld is a maze in layers, a twisting, turning palimpsest, one that allows Wasp to descend almost archaeologically through time by literally experiencing her ghost-partner’s memories. The pre- and post-apocalyptic worlds reflect each other in shards and fragments, all the more powerful for being subtle, for their resistance to being spelled out. It was also keenly refreshing — especially in something that’s ostensibly YA, where the Love Triangle of Doom is so annoyingly pervasive — to find a book in which all of the strongest, primary relationships are friendships; where friendship has the narrative, motive force usually reserved for sexualized romance. I very much wanted to see the A in QUILTBAG represented in this column, and this is a fine example: while the connection between the ghost and his (female) partner is intense and loving, it is never represented as sexual, and sex is in fact completely irrelevant.”

Geekly Inc says: “Her action sequences are flawless: the language and imagery is precise, nothing distracting from the narrative. But when she needs to pull out the stops, her wordsmithing is remarkable to behold. She doesn’t over-explain, but you do get an immediate and thorough sense of the world(s) she’s created. It reminds of nothing so much as Gene Wolfe, the way she drops you into a world of magic and dilapidated technology and gives you just enough to stay afloat and to feed your sense of wonder. I savored her metaphors, and the scenes of emotional revelation were gut punches in the best possible way. This book had more creative juice and emotional depth than books twice its length.”

Locus Online says: “Kornher-Stace exhibits immense fluidity and grace of prose. She is able to evoke the creepy, barren, stifled post-collapse world; the other-dimensional byways down which the ghost brings Wasp; and the pre-collapse Project Latchkey environment where Foster works, all in differing but equally vivid styles. The reader will feel the cold and damp, the scalpels and clamps, the fairytale ambiance of a ghostly “waystation,” with exactitude and weight. Likewise, Kornher-Stace exhibits fine skills with characterization: Wasp and the ghost both emerge fully rounded. And her action scenes are cinematic.”

YA Books Central says: “Some of my favorite scenes are between the ghost and Wasp. While they both come into this journey with their own lies, they commit themselves to the journey that lies ahead. Something incredible happens, a ghost and a ghost hunter find a kind of bond (it isn’t quite friendship) after being alone for so long. The scenes of the ghost and Wasp in the underworld are dreamlike, imaginative, and luxe. The worlds are created with a touch of whimsy and horror, and just enough realism to make the idea of death palatable. All of this works its way into the greater journey of Wasp discovering who is is and who she can be by breaking from her expected role, and finding that freedom that she longed for in the beginning … This isn’t your typical YA novel. With myth, mystery, and heart, it is a post-apocalyptic world unlike anything you’ve ever read.”

Vol. 1 Brooklyn says: “Call this novel YA, call it science fiction or science fantasy, call it a new mythology. But by all means, call it compelling.”

LA Times Summer Reading

Locus recommended reading

io9 Most Essential SF/F Books in April

Readercon schedule

June 28th, 2015

Friday July 11

11:00 AM G Drift-Compatibile Fictional Characters. Amal El-Mohtar, Victoria Janssen, Nicole Kornher-Stace (leader), A. J. Odasso, Navah Wolfe. The film Pacific Rim created the idea of two people who are “drift-compatible,” able to live inside each other’s minds and memories without sustaining massive psychic damage. Let’s use this as a metaphor to explore our favorite speculative fiction duos—whether they’re friends, traveling companions, siblings, or spouses—and talk about what makes those deeply intimate pairings work.

3:00 PM ENL How We Wrote Get in Trouble and Archivist Wasp. Nicole Kornher-Stace, Kelly Link. Kelly Link and Nicole Kornher-Stace converse about how they created their recent works: Link’s collection Get in Trouble and Kornher-Stace’s first YA novel, Archivist Wasp. Link’s book of stories for adults continues her explorations of myth and human relationships, while Kornher-Stace’s novel (published by Link’s Big Mouth House) explores what happens when the underpinnings of myths are discovered in a society where those myths still matter very, very much. The two will discuss their work and their strategies for writing.

Saturday July 12

12:00 PM ENV Reading: Nicole Kornher-Stace. Nicole Kornher-Stace.
Nicole Kornher-Stace reads from the sequel-in-progress to her post-apocalyptic descent-into-the-underworld novel ARCHIVIST WASP (Small Beer, May 2015).

Sunday July 13

10:00 AM E Autographs. Toni Kelner, Nicole Kornher-Stace.

More ARCHIVIST WASP stuff!

April 15th, 2015

Couple things:

Tor.com has put up chapter 1 as a free excerpt for your reading pleasure. (There’s a prologue that would have given it a little more context, but you get the basic idea!

The book launches on May 12, but Amazon released the Kindle version this week, so if that’s your poison…

If free books are more your speed, there’s a LibraryThing giveaway running through April 27. Scroll down!

Less than a month to go!

ARCHIVIST WASP giveaway!

March 30th, 2015

Enter to win a free copy of ARCHIVIST WASP on Goodreads! March 28 through April 7, US/CA.

ARCHIVIST WASP forthcoming from Small Beer Press in May!

February 24th, 2015

So I’ve been very remiss in posting here, and I hope to have the whole site updated at some point, but meantime!

My novel ARCHIVIST WASP is due out from Small Beer Press’s YA imprint Big Mouth House on May 12, 2015.

Starred review from Kirkus!

“Archivist Wasp is a gorgeous and complex book, featuring a deadly girl who traverses an equally deadly landscape. Wasp won me over, and she’s sure to find fans among teens and grown-ups alike.”
— Phoebe North, author of Starglass

“A tremendously inventive and smart novel. Archivist Wasp is like Kafka by way of Holly Black and Shirley Jackson, but completely original. Highly recommended.”
— Jeff VanderMeer, author of the Southern Reach trilogy

“A gorgeous, disturbing, compelling book with a smart, complicated heroine who bestrides her post-apocalyptic world like a bewildered force of nature. Reading it was a wild ride and a thoroughly satisfying one.”
— Delia Sherman, author of The Freedom Maze

“Brutal post-apocalypse meets sci-fi techno-thriller meets a ghost story for the ages in this astonishingly original novel from Nicole Kornher-Stace. You’ve never read anything like Archivist Wasp, but once you have you’ll be clamoring for more.”
— Mike Allen, author of Unseaming

“One of the most revelatory and sublime books I’ve ever read, Archivist Wasp is a must-read for fans of post-apocalyptic fiction. Kornher-Stace is a genius, and I can’t wait to see what she does next!”
— Tiffany Trent, author of The Unnaturalists

It’s preorderable on Amazon right now.

I’ll be reading from it at KGB on May 20, and hopefully also at WisCon, Readercon, and World Fantasy.

Short story with tip jar

September 4th, 2011

To help pay for $30,000+ of Suddenly Very Necessary Repairs to our house and property, here’s an unpublished short story for you to read. There’s a tip jar below — anything you could throw in would be greatly appreciated!










Bakesale/booksale to save my house!

September 2nd, 2011

I’m running an ongoing bakesale/booksale over on Livejournal, proceeds to help pay for $30,000+ worth of water damage repairs to our house and property (a few photos here). I also have a posted a new unpublished short story with a tip jar for those of you who’d like to help but aren’t interested in ordering cookies, caramels, or books. Thanks so much!

March 14th, 2011

For the week of March 13 through March 21, I’ll be donating all my royalties from book sales to Doctors Without Borders in the wake of the crisis in Japan. (Sales tracked through Amazon’s Author Central and rounded up when in doubt.) So if you were thinking of checking out either Desideria or The Winter Triptych, please consider doing so this week. Help me lose as much royalty money as I possibly can!

Two things!

March 13th, 2011

New poem “The Witch’s Heart” live at Apex and an interview with the Interstitial Arts Foundation!

The Winter Triptych

February 14th, 2011

The Winter Triptych was released today with paperback and e-book versions available direct from Papaveria Press and a Kindle edition available on Amazon.