Kameron Hurley’s great vacation read, APOCALYPSE NYX, is wonderfully bloody and emotionally sharp
Reviews keep rolling in for Kameron Hurley’s forthcoming APOCALYPSE NYX.
For SCI-FI AND FANTASY REVIEWS, Chris Meadows praises the collection.
Lets talk about that world for a minute. It’s one defined, at both the personal and macro levels, by conflict. Nyx’s nation has been waging war with one of its neighbours for what feels like generations. In pursuit of victory, they’ve used guns. Bombs. Espionage. Tailored viruses. Genetically engineered bugs. As have the enemy. All this has led to large portions of the country being uninhabitable. It’s also led to almost the entirety of the male population doing mandatory military service in fantastically lethal war zones, with a very low life expectancy. Socially, this is a world run by women, because all of the men are either fighting, or dead.
Of course, the world is broken, which makes everything a bit more difficult. It’s a world of faith – one where the call to prayer goes out on schedule, and where mullah’s are in competition for the attentions of the faithful. But also one which encourages a loss of that faith, in tragedy, in pain, in loss.
I won’t get into the details of the stories in this collection, to avoid spoilers. But there’s a lot of great stuff here. There’s tense heists, to be sure. Then there’s comedy of errors, as Nyx’s team of badasses runs their own sense of competence up against reality. There’s moments that hint toward a larger agenda, and a lot of great background. If you’ve ever wondered how Nyx’s team got together, how they stayed together, then there are stories here to answer your questions. If you wanted to see more of the world, the bug bombs, the endless, society-breaking war, the glimpses of high technology wrapped in an enigma – there’s some of that, too. If you want to see Nyx and the gang kicking arse and taking names, painting the walls with blood, then drowning the memories in alcohol – this is one for you.
It’s fast paced sci-fi action, absolutely. It’s got enough blood and guts to satiate and satisfy, yes. But it’s also a thoughtful collection, one which gets us further into the characters heads, one which isn’t afraid to get the reader thinking about the way pain and hurt can make us act, and isn’t afraid to explore larger issues.
If you’re new to Nyx, this may be a good place to start, taking place before the current series of which she’s the star. If you’re already a fan, this adds some wonderfully bloody, emotionally sharp texture to an already intriguing world and characters – get on it.
Kate Stockdale at THE MINARET enjoys the stories.
If you’re looking for sci-fi action with a fantasy twist, APOCALYPSE NYX is a good stepping stone into the larger and longer world of the God’s War trilogy. Coming out in the middle of the summer, it’ll be a great vacation read. Just be aware that if you read it outside, you’ll probably want to head indoors thanks to the constant references to cancerous suns.
BOOK REVIEWS FOREVERMORE lauds the volume.
Recommended for fans of Bel Dame, unusual fantasy
★ ★ ★ ★
Nyx is hard to like, but a interesting character in a complex world. Those looking for sympathetic mains would be better off looking elsewhere. These are definitely of the dark fantasy variety. I suspect these stories would work best for those who are already familiar with the Bel Dame universe and the complexities of the team’s relationships.
At LOCUS, Hurley declares “Writing is Hard, and That’s OK.”
I have never wanted to quit writing more than I have in the last two years. The process feels as if it’s gotten harder. In truth, it feels harder because I’m working on more technically difficult pieces. The knowledge doesn’t make me feel any better when I’m banging my head against the wall on a project.
I’m currently working on a time-traveling military science fiction novel called The Light Brigade, and it’s been… a struggle. I kept getting to the point at which the events in the novel need to start happening out of order, and then… getting stuck. I’d write some stuff, throw it away, endlessly revise what I had, write up a lot of circle diagrams, plug stuff into Scrivener, bang my head against the desk, rewrite stuff again… and finally I just sent what I had, with a rough outline for the rest, to my editor and agent.
I felt like a totally failure.
My agent, Hannah Bowman, got on the phone with me and said, “Listen, this first part you’ve got is damn good.” (I sighed with relief, I admit.) The rest, she said, is confusing. Sure. But we’re going to map it out. Explain it to me.
So I did.
And she was like, “Oh, wow, yeah. This is a beast. This is tough.”
Cue my second sigh of relief.
I wasn’t crazy. I wasn’t a failure. I have just been working on something hard.
For more info on APOCALYPSE NYX, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover by Wadim Kashin
Design by Elizabeth Story