I’ve been looking forward to Lawrence M. Schoen’s Barsk since I first glimpsed the cover over the summer. It will be released this week, and the pre-release buzz has been impressive. Nancy Hightower at The Washington Post ranked it as one of the Best SF and Fantasy titles of December, saying:
Barsk is set 62,000 years into a human-less future, where anthropomorphic animals rule the galaxy. There is no record of human existence, and while the different species get along relatively well, the Fant, an elephant-like hybrid, are completely shunned and exiled to live on a rainy planet called Barsk. While labeled less intelligent and “dirty,” the Fant nonetheless are the only species to produce a drug that allows clairvoyants known as Speakers to commune with the dead. When the planet is threatened with invasion and annihilation by the galaxy Senate, Jorl, a Fant Speaker, must race to save it by communing with ancient beings who hold even darker truths. Suspenseful and emotionally engaging, Barsk brings readers into a fascinating speculative world.
Lawrence has been nominated for the Nebula Award three times, and the Hugo Award once. The early reviews for Barsk have been glowing, with Karl Schroeder calling it “A compulsive page-turner and immensely enjoyable,” and James L. Cambias proclaiming it “Captivating… [a] heartwarming story in a unique and fantastic world… as rich and mysterious as Dune.” We first covered the book last month.
Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard will be published by Tor Books on December 29, 2015. It is 384 pages, priced at $25.99 in hardcover and $12.99 for the digital edition. The marvelous cover is by Victo Ngai.