LA MESTRA DEL TE I LA INVESTIGADORA, a new Catalan edition of Aliette de Bodard‘s critically-acclaimed and award-winning THE TEA MASTER AND THE DETECTIVE is due to be published by Mai Més in Spain very soon!
The exact publication date is still being firmed up, but we expect the book to be published in the very near future. We’ll share more details as soon as we have them.
The novella, set in de Bodard’s award-nominated Xuya sci-fi universe, is published in North America by Subterranean Press, and in the UK and elsewhere by JABberwocky. Here’s the synopsis…
Welcome to the Scattered Pearls Belt, a collection of ring habitats and orbitals ruled by exiled human scholars and powerful families, and held together by living mindships who carry people and freight between the stars. In this fluid society, human and mindship avatars mingle in corridors and in function rooms, and physical and virtual realities overlap, the appearance of environments easily modified and adapted to interlocutors or current mood.
A transport ship discharged from military service after a traumatic injury, The Shadow’s Child now ekes out a precarious living as a brewer of mind-altering drugs for the comfort of space-travellers. Meanwhile, abrasive and eccentric scholar Long Chau wants to find a corpse for a scientific study. When Long Chau walks into her office, The Shadow’s Child expects an unpleasant but easy assignment. When the corpse turns out to have been murdered, Long Chau feels compelled to investigate, dragging The Shadow’s Child with her.
As they dig deep into the victim’s past, The Shadow’s Child realises that the investigation points to Long Chau’s own murky past — and, ultimately, to the dark and unbearable void that lies between the stars…
Here are just a few of the great reviews the book has received so far…
‘This isn’t a tidy transposition of Holmes and Watson into far-future space, for all that the elements of homage (Long Chau is an abrasive self-medicating ‘consulting detective’) shine through. The Shadow’s Child is a fully realized character in her own right, and the dislike she feels for Long Chau is sustained and justified. Instead it’s a window onto a beautifully developed world that widens the meaning of space opera, one that centers on Chinese and Vietnamese cultures and customs instead of Western military conventions, and is all the more welcome for it.‘ — New York Times
‘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… Set in de Bodard’s ‘Xuya’ universe (The Waiting Stars), this novella offers sf fans an imaginative read.’ — Library Journal (Starred Review)
‘…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
‘This futuristic Holmes and Watson story is as compelling as the finely detailed universe in which it unfolds, but the novella’s real triumph is that it makes the reader crave more even before setting the stage for further mysteries.’ — Kirkus
‘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