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Arkady Martine Books In Order

Publication Order of Teixcalaan Books

A Memory Called Empire (2019)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Desolation Called Peace (2021)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Author Arkady Martine grew up in New York City and spent some time in Canada, Turkey, and Sweden. She went five years without having a fixed address, and grew to like it after a while. During this time in her life, she lived in seven cities in four countries, and she was a non-tenured research-focused academic.

New York City is a place that she has always been madly in love with, and for her, the jagged clutch of steel and light is home for her. She wrote her PhD dissertation about this very thing, although she did not realize it at the time. It was about Byzantine diplomats who lived on the frontier and would write letters back home to their colleagues and friends in Constantinople. She spent a long time contemplating what folks do to preserve their ideologies and identities when they are removed from the contexts that they grew up in.

Arkady Martine was a student at Viable Paradise XVII. She lives in the city of Baltimore, Maryland with her wife, author Vivian Shaw, as she has finally settled down.

She met Vivian Shaw after leaving some elaborate comments that she left on some Star Wars fanfic Vivian had written in early 2016. They found each other because they are compelled by the same kinds of stories, and interested in telling and retelling them, both to each other and to the world.

She finds that fanfiction is something that allows you to share the type of story you enjoy with other people that delight in it, too. It gives you the chance to participate in making that kind of story for those very same people that like reading it.

Arkady Martine spent a lot of time in her childhood reading mythology books, both from of her own culture, Eastern European Ashkenazi Jewish, as well as from other cultures. These other myths include the Popul Vuh, and D’Aulaires Book of Greek Myths, as well as an endless series of books on Egyptian myths. It culminated in her getting her own copy of Budge’s translation of the Papyrus of Ani version “Book of the Dead”. She still has it today, and it made it with her when she lived in Sweden. The stories told in all of these books have always compelled her.

Arkady writes speculative fiction, and as Dr. Anna Linden Weller, is a historian of the Byzantine Empire. Under both of these names, she writes about rhetoric, border politics, propaganda, and the edges of the world.

She writes about what she sees in the world around her, which means there are a great number of queer people in her stories of all kinds. She likes writing about them without having to mark them in some specific way. They are people, just like everybody else.

Arkady Martine writes science fiction, unless she tries very hard not to. It is the mode that she finds the easiest to be in, it does not matter whatever else she is playing around with.

The “Jacob’s Ladder” trilogy written by Elizabeth Bear was a huge inspiration for her when she wrote “Nothing Must Be Wasted. It was this trilogy that gave her the seed for her own story. The series is about a proper generation ship Gothic. The trilogy works with an excellent fallen angel/ AI, which Arkady greatly missed out on playing with in her own story. Her odd encounter during her early childhood with “The Worthing Saga” by Orson Scott Card influenced her while penning the story, too. This last is a confusing book with some great stories.

For her, writing a novel is the worst thing she could have done for herself. It is the most she has ever written about one thing ever in her entire life, except for her PhD. It is a hard thing for her to do.

As she writes, she is, in part, at least, trying to formulate a poetics of exile. It means her poor characters do not really ever get the chance to go back home.

When she is in the final stages of drafting a novel of hers, her reading usually shifts one hundred percent to non-fiction. It occurs when she is too full of her own fictional narratives in need of being woven together into a whole.

Arkady likes juxtapositions in stories a lot. She also finds that unexpected or older story frames take on fascinating new angles when placed in the context of science fiction’s concerns with modeling otherwise ways of living, speculating on futures.

Her debut novel, which is called “A Memory Called Empire” was released in the year 2019, and is the first book in her “Teixcalaan” series. Martine’s work has appeared in Ideomancer, Apex Magazine, Strange Horizons, as well as various academic journals and other places.

“A Memory Called Empire” is the first novel in the “Teixcalaan” series, which was released in the year 2019. Ambassador Mahit Dzmare gets to the center of the multi-system Teixcalaanli Empire just to find out that her predecessor, the former ambassador from their tiny but independent mining station just died. No one is admitting that his death was not an accident, or that Mahit could be the next one to die. And this during a time of political instability in the imperial court’s highest echelons.

Mahit has to figure out just who is behind the killing, save herself, and save her station from Teixcalaan’s never ending expansion. All while she navigates an alien culture that is far too seductive, getting up to intrigues of her own, and keeping a deadly technological secret, one that might end her station and her way or life. It could also rescue it from annihilation.

This book balances intrigue and action with matters of identity and empire perfectly. This is the most thrilling ride that some have ever been on, and for some Mahit is one of their favorite characters they have ever read about. The prose is engaging, vivid, and so easy to follow, even with the myriad of terminologies and some unique names to keep track of.

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