Excerpt and Giveaway: The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley
***The giveaway is now over, thanks to everyone who entered!***
Today I’m excited to share with you all a special excerpt and giveaway for a book that has been getting a lot of attention lately. The good news is that there’s not long to wait for it now! Next week Saga Press will be publishing The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley, a science fiction novel described as a gritty, action-packed and feminist space opera. It will be available on February 7, 2017 wherever books are sold, so be sure to check it out! In the meantime, please enjoy the following excerpt and don’t forget to enter our giveaway if you’re in the US for a chance to win a copy of your own.
On the outer rim of the universe, a galactic war has been waged for centuries upon hundreds of world-ships. But these worlds will continue to die through decay and constant war unless a desperate plan succeeds.Anat, leader of the Katazyrna world-ship and the most fearsome raiding force on the Outer Rim, wants peace. To do so she offers the hand of her daughter, Jayd, to her rival. Jayd has dreamed about leading her mother’s armies to victory her whole life—but she has a unique ability, and that makes her leverage, not a leader. As Anat convinces her to spend the rest of her life wed to her family’s greatest enemy, it is up to Jayd’s sister Zan—with no stomach for war—to lead the cast off warriors she has banded together to victory and rescue Jayd. But the war does not go at all as planned…
In the tradition of The Fall of Hyperion and Dune, The Stars are Legion is an epic and thrilling tale about familial love, revenge, and war as imagined by one of the genre’s most imaginative new writers.
Excerpt from The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley, on-sale February 7, 2017. Published by Saga Press. Copyright © 2017 Kameron Hurley, reprinted with permission from Saga Press.
“There is nothing I fear more than someone without memory.
A person without memory
is free to do anything she likes.”
–Lord Mokshi, Annals of the Legion
I remember throwing away a child.
That’s the only memory I know for certain is mine. The rest is a gory blackness. All I have, then, are the things I’ve been told are true:
My name is Zan.
I once commanded a great army.
My mission was to destroy a world that does not exist.
I’m told my army was scattered, or eaten, or blown apart into a thousand twinkling bits of debris, and I went missing.
I don’t know why I’d ever want to lead an army—especially a losing one—but I’m told I spend my life pushing hard to get to the rank and skill I attained. And when I came back, spit out by the world or wrenched free of my own will, I came back wrong. What wrong means I don’t know yet, only that it’s also resulted in my lack of memory.
The first face I see when I wake each period in my sickbed is full-lipped and luminous, like looking into the face of some life-giving sun. The woman says her name is Jayd, and it is she who has told me all I know to be true. When I ask, now, why there is a dead body on the flood behind her, she only smiles and says, “There are many bodies on the world,” and I realize the words for world and ship are nearly identical. I don’t know which she used.
When I wake net, the body is gone, and Jayd is bustling around me. She helps me sit up for the first time. I marvel at the dark bruises on the insides of my arms and legs. A broad scar cuts my belly in two, low near my groin, and there is something strange about my left hand; it’s clearly smaller than the right. When I try to make a fist, it closes only halfway, like a tortured claw. When I slide to the floor, I discover that the bottoms of my feet are mostly numb. Jayd does not give me time to examine them as she pulls a porous, draping robe over my shoulders. It’s the same cut and heft as hers, only dark green to her blue.
“It’s time for your first debriefing,” Jady says as I try to make sense of my injuries. She takes my hand and leads me from the room, down a dark, pulsing corridor. I squint. I see that our entwined hands are the same tawny color, but her skin is much softer than mine.
“You were gone for a half-dozen turns,” she says, and she sits me down beside her in a room off the corridor. I stare at my palms, trying to open and close my hands. If I work at it, I can get the left to close a bit more. The room, like the corridors, is a warm, glistening space with walls that throb like a beating heart. Jayd smooths the dark hair from my brow with comforting fingers, the movement as reverent and well practiced as a prayer.
“We thought you dead,” she days, “Recycled.”
“Recycled into what?” I say, but the all blooms open, the door unfurling like a flower, and an older woman beckons us inside, and Jayd ignores my question.
Jayd and I go after her and sit on a damp bench on one side of the great plain of a table. The woman sits across from us. Patterns move over the surface of the table, though whether they are writing or purely decorative or something else entirety, I don’t know. The more I look at them, the more my head throbs. I touch my temple, only to find that my fingers come away sticky with viscous lubricant or salve. I trace my finger along the ridge of a long scar that runs from the edge of my left brow to the curl of my left ear. I have still not seen my own face. I have encountered no reflective surfaces. There is indeed something very wrong here, but I don’t think it’s me.
“I’m Gavatra,” the older woman says, her voice a low rumble. Her black hair is shorn against her dark scalp, revealing four long scars like scratch marks on the side of her head. She wears a long, durable garment of shiny blue fabric, like something excreted from the walls. It’s all held together with intricate knotted ties. She peers into my face and sighs. “Do you know who you are?”
Jayd says, “It’s the same as all the other times.”
“Other times?” I say, because how many times can one lose an army and get eaten by a ship and come back with injuries like these and live?
Jayd gazes deeply into my eyes, desperately searching my face for something. She has a broad, intense face with sunken eyes, and a bold beak of nose. I feel I should know or understand something for her look, but my memory is a hot, sticky void. I intuit nothing. I flex my hands again.
“Eight hundred and six of your sisters have tried to board the Mokshi.” Gavatra says, tapping her fingers across the surface of the table. The patterns change, and she scrutinizes them as if scrying. “You’re the only one who ever comes out, Zan. This appears to be why Lord Katazyrna keeps sending you there, despite the fact that you’ve never successfully led an army inside. Only yourself.”
“The Mokshi,” I say. “The world that doesn’t exist?”
“Yes,” Jayd says. “You remember?” Hopeful or doubtful?
I shake my head. The phrase means nothing to me. It has simply surfaced. “How many times has this happened to me?” I say. My left hand trembles, and I gaze at it as if belongs to someone else. It occurs to me that maybe it once did, and that chills me. I want to know what’s happened to my memory, and why there was a body on the floor in my sick room, and why I threw away a child. But I know they aren’t going to be pretty answers.
The Stars Are Legion Giveaway
And now time for the giveaway! With thanks to the publisher and the wonderful folks at Wunderkind PR, the BiblioSanctum has one print copy of The Stars Are Legion up for grabs. The giveaway is open to residents of the US. To enter, all you have to do is send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your Name and valid Mailing Address using the subject line “THE STARS ARE LEGION” by 11:59pm Eastern time on Thursday, February 9, 2017 and we’ll take care of all the rest.
Only one entry per household, please. The winner will be randomly selected when the giveaway ends and then be notified by email. All information will only be used for the purposes of contacting the winner and sending them their prize. Once the giveaway ends all entry emails will be deleted.
So what are you waiting for? Enter to win! Good luck!