Next week — April 2nd, to be exact — Aliette de Bodard‘s critically-acclaimed new Xuya novella, THE TEA MASTER AND THE DETECTIVE will be available as an eBook outside of the US! The new edition also has a new cover, as can be seen above, by Dirk Berger.
Once, the mindship known as The Shadow’s Child was a military transport. Once, she leapt effortlessly between stars and planets, carrying troops and crew for a war that tore the Empire apart. Until an ambush killed her crew and left her wounded and broken.
Now the war is over, and The Shadow’s Child, surviving against all odds, has run away. Discharged and struggling to make a living, she has no plans to go back into space. Until the abrasive and arrogant scholar Long Chau comes to see her. Long Chau wants to retrieve a corpse for her scientific studies: a simple enough, well-paid assignment.
But when the corpse they find turns out to have been murdered, the simple assignment becomes a vast and tangled investigation, inexorably leading back to the past — and, once again, to that unbearable void where The Shadow’s Child almost lost both sanity and life…
Here, too, is some of that aforementioned critical acclaim…
‘This slim volume packs a visceral punch. Absorbing prose pulls readers into the dark, frigid space between stars, where ships can fail, physically and emotionally, as easily as people… this novella offers sf fans an imaginative read.’ — Library Journal (Starred Review)
‘A science-fictional ode to Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, where the Holmes figure is a sharp and biting disgraced aristocratic scholar with a solid core of empathy, and the Watson-figure is a mindship with post-traumatic stress disorder from her war experiences… This is a measured, almost stately story, right up until a conclusion that explodes in fast-paced tension. It preserves the empathy and the intensity of the original Sherlockian stories, while being told in de Bodard’s sharp prose and modern style. The worldbuilding… sparkles. The characters have presence: they’re individual and compelling. And it ends it a way that recalls the original Holmes and Watson, while being perfectly appropriate to itself.’ — Tor.com
‘De Bodard revisits her far-future Xuya universe setting with this gripping novella about damaged characters driven to search for the truth… De Bodard constructs a convincingly gritty setting and a pair of unique characters with provocative histories and compelling motivations. The story works as well as both science fiction and murder mystery, exploring a future where pride, guilt, and mercy are not solely the province of humans.’ — Publishers Weekly
‘De Bodard’s world building glitters, and her characters are deeply compelling… This is a really satisfying story, deeply invested in choosing to do the right thing – and in the importance of kindness. I strongly recommend it.’ — Locus
‘The Tea Master and the Detective is the Sherlock Holmes retelling I always wanted and now I have it. And I want so much more of it.’ — Kirkus
JABberwocky have also released the eBook editions of Aliette’s debut trilogy, Obsidian & Blood: SERVANT OF THE UNDERWORLD, HARBINGER OF THE STORM and MASTER OF THE HOUSE OF DARTS.