Last night Joanne and I finally made it along to a Borderlands Books Sponsor’s Social, and I baked some cookies since it was a potluck. My efforts were thrown into the shade by the wonderful edible pieces of art you see above though! One of the other perks of the event was a preview sample of a few chapters of the upcoming book Steal the Sky by Megan E. O’Keefe. It was only after I read those tonight that I realized Megan was also the author of the cookies, and they were inspired by the world she created.
The sample only included the first 22 pages of the novel, but there was enough there to leave me wanting more. The impression I was left with was that the book was going to be fun, in the best possible sense, and without losing out on depth. She sketches out an interesting fantasy world with a very light hand, mercifully skipping genealogy trees or invented languages, and has drawn characters that feel worth following. There’s definitely some darkness lurking, but the world doesn’t have the all-encompassing gloom of Game of Thrones or a lot of other modern fantasy. I had a similar feeling with the Goblin Emperor, where one of my friends complained it was just ‘too nice’, but I appreciated the chance to enjoy a world that was wider than just a monotonous Mordor.
I’m also a sucker for doppelgangers, whether it’s the Changers from Consider Phlebas, the Kandra’s from Mistborn, or even P.K. Dick’s wild array of objects passing for humans, so I’m looking forward to seeing how Megan develops that theme. They can be really effective ways to ask a lot of questions about identity and loyalty, so it will be good to see how they work in this story.
It was great to see Borderlands supporting a first-time local author like this, discovering new work is exactly why I’m so glad to be a sponsor. Big thanks to Alan and the rest of the community for organizing this event, and I look forward to the next one in January!