Lawrence M. Schoen’s novel Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard was nominated for a Nebula Award, and Nancy Hightower at The Washington Post gave it a concise and enthusiastic review, 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.
It was widely praised in the genre. Walter Jon Williams called it “a work of singular imaginative power,” and Karl Schroeder proclaimed it “a compulsive page-turner and immensely enjoyable.”
I’ve been looking forward to the sequel, and I’m not the only one. It was selected as one of the the Best Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books of August 2018 by both Unbound Worlds and the Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi 7 Fantasy Blog; the latter said, “With a cast of uplifted animals of all stripes and unparalleled worldbuilding, this series is a sorely under-appreciated, highly original delight.” It arrives in hardcover next week from Tor.
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We covered the first volume in the series here, and Lawrence’s 2016 guest post for us was “Let Lawrence M. Schoen Hypnotize You Into Becoming a Writer.”
Here’s the description for The Moons of Barsk.
Pizlo, the lonely young outcast and physically-challenged Fant, is now a teenager. He still believes he hears voices from the planet’s moons, imparting secret knowledge to him alone. And so embarks on a dangerous voyage to learn the truth behind the messages. His quest will catapult him offworld for second time in his short life, and reveal things the galaxy isn’t yet ready to know.
Elsewhere, Barsk’s Senator Jorl, who can speak with the dead, navigates galactic politics as Barsk’s unwelcome representative, and digs even deeper into the past than ever before to discover new truths of his own.
The Moons of Barsk will be published by Tor Books on August 14, 2018. It is 432 pages, priced at $25.99 in hardcover and $13.99 for the digital edition. The cover is by Victo Ngai. Read an excerpt here.
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