Above you can see the gorgeous cover artwork that graces a new Japanese anthology of Aliette de Bodard‘s acclaimed, award-winning Xuya fiction. The cover’s artwork is by Kou Takano, and the design is by Koichi Sakano.
茶匠と探偵 is due to be published tomorrow by 竹書房 (Takeshobo), here’s the synopsis…
「蝶々、黎明に墜ちて」（“Butterfly, Falling at Dawn”）
「星々は待っている」（“The Waiting Stars”）
「哀しみの杯三つ、星明かりのもとで」（“Three Cups of Grief, by Starlight”）
「魂魄回収」（“A Salvaging of Ghosts”）
「竜の太陽から飛びだす時」（“The Dragon That Flew Out of the Sun”）
「茶匠と探偵」（“The Tea Master and the Detective”）
As you can see, the synopsis includes a contents list. The book’s translator is Yutaka Ohshima.
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…
Subterranean Press has also recently published a collection of Aliette’s short fiction — OF WARS, AND MEMORIES, AND STARLIGHT — which includes six of the stories included in 茶匠と探偵. Here’s the synopsis for the anthology…
A major first collection from a writer fast becoming one of the stars of the genre… Aliette de Bodard, multiple award winner and author of The Tea Master and the Detective, now brings readers fourteen dazzling tales that showcase the richly textured worldbuilding and beloved characters that have brought her so much acclaim.
Come discover the breadth and endless invention of her universes, ranging from a dark Gothic Paris devastated by a magical war; to the multiple award-winning Xuya, a far-future space opera inspired by Vietnamese culture where scholars administrate planets and sentient spaceships are part of families.
In the Nebula award and Locus award winning “Immersion”, a young girl working in a restaurant on a colonized space station crosses paths with an older woman who has cast off her own identity. In the novelette “Children of Thorns, Children of Water”, a shapeshifting dragon infiltrating a ruined mansion finds more than he’s bargained for when his partner is snatched by eerie, child-like creatures. And in the award-winning “Three Cups of Grief, by Starlight”, three very different people — a scholar, an engineer, and a spaceship — all must deal with the loss of a woman who was the cornerstone of their world.