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Yoon Ha Lee Books In Order

Publication Order of Machineries Of Empire Trilogy Books

Ninefox Gambit (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Raven Stratagem (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

A Vector Alphabet of Interstellar Travel (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Combustion Hour (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Variations on an Apple (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Extracurricular Activities (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Author Yoon Ha Lee was born in January 26, 1979 in Houston, Texas and is a Korean American. He writes fantasy and science fiction stories; he also writes military fiction and fairy tales. Most of what Lee writes are short stories, but has written some poetry as well. As a child, he lived in both South Korea and in the state of Texas. It was in Korea that he went to high school, and learned English at the international school.

For college, Lee went to Cornell University where he majored in mathematics; he would later get his master’s in secondary mathematics education at Stanford University. Lee has taught mathematics, worked in web design, and worked as an analyst for an energy market intelligence company. He finds that math is a subject that can be mined for story ideas.

His writing has been published in many different magazines and anthologies since his first sale in the year 1999 (it was a story called “The Hundredth Question”). Over two dozen stories have followed since then. Lee finally published his first collection of some of his stories in the year 2013, when “Conservation of Shadows” came out. This includes Gardner Dozois’s yearly best science fiction of the year anthology; Lee has had three stories published in this in the past. Two other of Lee’s stories were re-printed in other best stories of the year anthologies.

He was born a female, but later became a man; he knew that at around the age of twelve that he identified more like a man than a woman. In Texas, he wrote his first story while he was in middle school. It featured a trans character that changes their gender in the middle of the story. A teacher saw him writing all the time and wanted to read the story he worked on. So he showed it to the teacher, and in Texas, what he had written about was something that caused the teacher to get his parents involved. This lead to more and more conversing between the teacher and his parents. After that, his mother tried to get him to act more like a proper female. He was told not to stomp when he walked, talk softer, and to wear makeup. Lee would not give in to what his mother wanted him to do. For quite a while, Lee would not write about any trans characters, finding that it was like he was slitting his wrists for the world to see and enjoy.

He lives in the state of Louisiana with his husband and their daughter and a very lazy cat.

“Ninefox Gambit” is Yoon Ha Lee’s debut novel and first novel in the “Machineries of Empire” series that came out in the year 2016. Kel Cheris (she has a great mind for mathematics) is disgraced for going to unconventional lengths to win a battle against heretics. Kel Command allows her the ability to redeem herself, but she must retake the Fortress of Scattered Needles (which is a star fortress, recently captured by the heretics). Cheris’s career is only one of the things that is at stake here. If the fortress does in fact fall, then the hexarchate might be next to fall. Shuos Jedao (an undead and brilliant tactician) is her best hope as an ally. Jedao never lost a battle, and might be the sole person who can figure a way to besiege the fortress. That is the good news. The bad news is much worse. While alive, Jedao went mad and slaughtered two armies, one of which was his own. The siege goes on, and the longer it does, the more she has to decide how much she can trust the dead general. She may just be his next victim.

Fans of the novel found that the novel captivates the reader and finds that it is not the typical in military fiction that is out there. Some things are not explicit, but the reader is required to figure out some things for themselves. There is a nuance to the world that has been built by the author here. Some found that there was some humorous parts in the book that they did not see coming, but they liked them anyway. Some found that the book is not for everyone, but it is a great read. This novel has a feel to it that you are simply dumped into things without much of an explanation. It is more up to the reader whether or not they will continue reading the story. It has a great character-driven story. Some felt that this was a novel that you may have to read a few times to really and completely understand what is going on.

“Raven Stratagem” is the second novel in the “Machineries of Empire” series that came out in the year 2017. Captain Kel Cheris has been possessed by a general that has been long dead and was a traitor while alive. The pair must both face what may be quite a bad invasion and the rivaling hexarchate. The gifted captain for the hexarchate, who is young and named Kel Cheris, summoned the ghost of General Shuos Jedao, she had no idea that he would break free from his centuries long imprisonment and possess her. The Hafn, an enemy race, is invading the planet; Jedao takes over the fleet that belongs to General Kel Khiruev. The job of the fleet was to stop the invasion from succeeding. Only Lieutenant Colonel Kel Brezan (the subordinate to Khiruev) is able to resist the influence that Jedao, a brilliant but also psychotic ghost. Jedao says that he wants to defend the hexarchate, but is really to be trusted? Will the masters wipe out the whole fleet just to take out the rogue general?

Lee has been nominated for the Locus and Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for the stories “Flower, Mercy Needle, Chain” and “Ghostweight”. “WSFA Small Press Award” nominated “The Pirate Captain’s Daughter”. “Ninefox Gambit” was nominated for the best novel award by Nebula in 2016. It has been said about Lee’s work that he is an author that is helping to bring science fiction and fantasy into the twenty-first century.

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