In celebration of the books release, R. B. Lemberg and their astounding THE FOUR PROFOUND WEAVES participated in a blog tour that featured interviews, excerpts, book reviews, giveaways, and more.
August 28th – Black Forest Basilisks celebrated the book’s release with the insightful essay “The Impact of R.B. Lemberg’s Birdverse: A Second Look at ‘The Four Profound Weaves’”.
While I’ve already waxed poetic previously on this novella’s merits in a full review back in March, a small reprise is called for as we near its release date. The prediction I made back then still holds true; I don’t think I’ve stopped recommending this book any time it’s even slightly relevant to someone’s interests.— Black Forest Basilisk
August 29th – Way Too Fantasy shared an interview with Lemberg.
It’s rare to see elderly protagonists in high fantasy– they’re usually side characters. nen-sasaïr was a side character in the preceding story “Grandmother-nai-Leylit’s Cloth of Winds.” What made you decide to feature 60-year-old Uiziya and nen-sasaïr?— Way Too Fantasy
I think this was always their story, I just could not approach them directly before I told the first two parts of the story. It gave me the scaffolding I needed to approach what I see the heart of the story, which is about how our beloved cultures and loved ones may constrict us, may keep us prisoner even as they love us, or at least say they love us. The perspective of older people is very important to me. We have so many stories about younger people, that it almost feels like the process of self-discovery and embracing one’s identity is exclusively the business of youth. Don’t get me wrong, one’s teens and twenties are a prime time for self-discovery, and there is a very good reason why so many stories focus on this age group. YA is very important, and especially wonderful right now. Still, though, I feel that for people who have been oppressed, closeted, abused, denied their identity for any reason, it is important to know that it is never too late to move into your full triumphant self. But it is not the same process later in life. We need these stories. I need these stories, as a person coming from a deeply anti-LGBTQIA+ cultural context. Fiction should reflect our stories, and I feel passionately about both trans and queer rep, neuratypical rep, and rep of people of all ages. My characters run the gamut of ages. I hope to write more about protagonists who are older, as well as about middle-aged trans protagonists (and younger ones, of course!)
August 31st – The Clipped Nightingale shared an excerpt.
Everybody seemed to have gone to the trading tents, and so I made my way there as well. I was hoping to see my grandchildren, always too busy those days to spend time with me. It was true that I did not want to be trading, but if someone was trading, Aviya for sure would be there.
The trading tents were open to the air, supported with carved poles to which the lightweight cloths of the roof attached festive woven ribbons. People milled under these awnings, mostly women—Surun’ weavers of all ages, each with a carpet or carpets for sale; and a few of their beloved snakes. The crowd parted as I entered, and in that moment my fears came true.
Three men stood in the middle of the trading tent. They had the gold rods of trade, and gold coins sewn onto the trim of their red felt hats. The men’s eyes shone; their dark beards were groomed and oiled, and adorned with the tiniest bells that shook and jingled as they bent over the wares. I sensed powerful magic from all three of them. Their magic – multiple short deepnames – shone in their minds, each deepname like a flaring, spiky star. I was powerful myself, but the strangers’ power was that of capturing, of imprisonment, of destruction, held tightly at bay. The vision made me recoil. These men—and it was always men—belonged to the Ruler of Iyar. The Collector.
I had been living here for three months with my grandchildren, among our friends the snake-Surun’. Almost three months after my transformation, my ceremony of change. I thought I had finally broken free from Iyar. But now Iyar came here.
September 1st – Phoebe’s Randoms
In this breathtaking debut set in R. B. Lemberg‘s beloved Birdverse, THE FOUR PROFOUND WEAVES hearkens to Ursula Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness, and offers a timeless chronicle of claiming one’s identity ina hostile world.— Phoebe’s Rainbow
September 2nd – Queer Sci Fi celebrated with an excerpt.
I sat alone in my old goatskin tent. Waiting, like I had for the last forty years, for Aunt Benesret to come back. Waiting to inherit her loom and her craft, the mastery of the Four Profound Weaves. I wasn’t sure how long I’d been sitting like this, and it was dark in the tent; I no longer knew day from night.
When the faded red woven tapestry at the entrance shifted aside, I drew my breath sharply, waiting for my aunt’s thin, almost skeletal hand—but it was not Benesret. Of course not. Instead, one of my grand-nieces stepped in, plump and full of life, bedecked in embroideries and circlets hammered with snakes. Her eyes shone like stars in the gloom.
“Aunt Uiziya, don’t sit here alone. Aunt Uiziya, you should come to the trading tent. Aunt Uiziya, bring some of these weaves—” The girl’s bejeweled hand motioned at the weavings that hung, heavy and lifeless, around my tent. “You might sell something, and if not, just show your craft, yes?” And just like a flutter of wind, she was gone.
September 2nd – Utopia State of Mind
I adored THE FOUR PROFOUND WEAVES so much that I read the novella in one sitting! That’s right! If you’re a fan of queer fantasy, inventive magic, and novellas, then definitely check this out!— Utopia State of Mind
September 3rd – Beauty in Ruins shared an interview with Lemberg by Tachyon’s Rick Klaw.
You’ve lived in a wide variety of fascinating locales. How did those locales color the Birdverse?— Beauty in Ruins
I am tempted to say that all of them affect Birdverse in some way, but that’s not quite true. I have not written anything resembling Vorkuta (in circumpolar Russia) in Birdverse, although it is influencing my space opera WIP now. Birdverse comes from my imagination, but some of it is definitely colored by how it feels to exist in some of these places – the feel of the desert at dawn, the smell of a quince, the feel of carved bone and cast brass, and very old music that can be heard when everything else is quiet.
September 4th – MI Book Reviews
The ending and the themes throughout the book are pretty perfect….5 out of 5 stars. I would recommend this book.— MI Book Review
September 5th – The Book Deviant
Everything about the story was as magical as I was expecting, and it had me turning the pages to find where they went or what they did next.”— Book Deviant
September 6th – The Artsy Reader
I highly recommend this inventive, queer Middle-Eastern fairytale that offers a unique take on magic and has an excellent world-building.— Artsy Reader
September 7th – Books & Tea
The prose is striking: delicate and measured, yet somehow pulsing with pain underneath, as we learn more about the main character’s past and how they try to heal both themselves and others from trauma.— Books & Tea
September 8th – Pei Reads
The story is much more slow-paced than I’m used to, but it works so well with this story and allows the lyrical writing style to truly shine. The finale is grand and splendid and absolutely breathtakingly. beautiful.— Pei Reads
September 10 – Dianthaa Dabbles celebrated with an excerpt.
Everybody seemed to be in the trading tents, but I dragged my feet—and not just because of the pain from sitting still for so long. The encampment felt empty. The carpet of sand on my shoulder whispered into my ear of the wide-open spaces where I wanted and dreaded to go. It was thin, almost weightless, as if it wanted to fly away from my shoulder. I tried to imagine what I would do next, after I traded the carpet away. Sell my tent and my weavings and move to some other encampment, where nobody knew me and nobody gossiped? Walk out into the desert without any water, and wait for the goddess Bird to come for my soul? Go look for that thing that I dreaded? Go back to my tent and sit once again?
I stepped closer and closer, my resolve liquefying like sweat, when I saw my old acquaintance, the nameless man. He was all but running away from the tents, his lighter brown face a grimace of anger-pain-anger I’d come to recognize in him.
Seeing me, he stopped, and averted his gaze.
“What’s going on?” I asked.
A thin green snake slithered in the dusk between us, as if drawing a boundary I should not cross. I stepped right over it.