R. B. Lemberg’s magical THE FOUR PROFOUND WEAVES is a Subjective Chaos Kind of Awards Nominee

Cover by Elizabeth Story based on initial concepts by Francesca Myman

THERE’S ALWAYS ROOM FOR ONE MORE announces the 2021 Subjective Chaos Kind of Awards (SCKA) Nominees, which includes R. B. Lemberg’s THE FOUR PROFOUND WEAVES. Congrats to R. B. and all the other nominees.

The Subjective Chaos Kind of Awards were the brainchild of C of The Middle Shelf: a celebration of the best works in genre during the previous calendar year – selected, debated and voted on by a panel of book lovers. Panellists may rotate each year and rules may be revised on a regular basis (they’re more like guidelines anyway), but our commitment to chaos and to finding our consensual favourites through good-natured discussion and animated gifs never wavers.

FILE 770’s survey 2020 Novellapalooza includes Lemberg’s acclaimed work.

The narration alternates between the present and the past so skilfully that I never got confused about the timeframes, as the connections between the two are gradually revealed. Refreshingly, the story features older protagonists who are feeling the effects of their age on their physical and mental resources, and it explores the pain of not being able to really be ourselves because the person we love cannot accept and love us as who we truly are.

FOREST OF GLORY feels much the same.

I really love Lemberg’s Birdverse stories so I was very excited to read this novella, which is set in that world. It was really good, featuring trans elders and magical weaving!

Photo by Bogi Takács

Dominic Walsh for SCIFI PULSE interviews R. B. Lemberg.

SFP: Where did the idea for the Birdverse come from?

R. B. Lemberg: I’m often asked this question, but there is no clear answer. I’ve had this world for a long time. It evolved around a character, the linguist Ulín, who is not in any published work but who is in both of my older completed but not published novels. Ulín travels all around Birdverse to study languages that are of little interest to her university superiors. She lost her deepnames (magic) in a tragic semi-accident, and magic is not something she cares about, at least not in the beginning of her arc. When I finally started writing, the world emerged, and I ended publishing stories about other people.

SFP: You mention on your website that you view governments as necessary but problematic. With that in mind, what would an ideal system of government look like to you?

R. B. Lemberg: There is no ideal system of government. All systems of government are problematic and/or become more problematic over time. Self-government in small communities with low scarcity, a strong mutual help ethic, and a strong anti-greed ethic is the closest I can come to imagining a perfect government. But all this comes apart when you have conflict with larger entities, or your community expands, or even within your semi-perfect society for people who do not fit for one reason or