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Welcome!

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My name is Marta Randall. I am a writer, editor, and teacher, working mostly in the field of science fiction and fantasy.

Like most writers, I have always been a storyteller and can’t remember a time when stories didn’t bubble around in my head, stories about everything from what was going on around me to daring exploits in exciting surroundings, fraught with danger and adventure — I wasn’t going to be the one stuck at home baking cookies, I was going to be the one balancing on the raft in the lashing seas, gripping the mast with one hand while the other held on to the cookies somebody else had baked.

I hope you like the stories that, over the years, have bubbled out of my head and onto the page.

MAPPING WINTER

 

I am delighted to announce the digital publication of MAPPING WINTER, book  1 of the Riders Guild.

Cadoc Marubin, the tyrant lord of Dalmorat Province, lies alert, malicious, and dying in his castle at Sterk, and Kieve, his oathed Rider, waits eagerly for the freedom his death will bring her. But Cadoc’s dying affects more than his Rider, it affects a country poised on the brink of change. What happens in Dalmorat Province could chart a direction, for good or ill, for all of the country of Cherek.

Cherek is evolving from mounted messengers to semaphore telegraphs to “talking wires,” from carts to steam engines, from its own isolation to a world opening southward toward new-found lands. Dalmorat Province, northern, reclusive, and impoverished, is also in flux; the neighboring provinces wait to see whether Cadoc’s repressive regime will dissolve or pass intact to his heir. Cadoc has created a web of secret informers which reaches throughout the province and is made visible in one thing only: Kieve, the Lord’s Herald Rider, whose guild has taught her to carry messages and the news, to survey and map, and to obey her master. Cadoc requires that Kieve serve the warrants and escort the ferret’s victims to Sterk, where they disappear. Cadoc understands her value as the only public face of the web, and intends to use her to bend the succession to his will.

Fighting both Cadoc and her own barely contained anger, Kieve too balances on a cusp between trust and  unbelief, between a future shaped by harmony or by bitterness. To truly escape from Dalmorat, she must explore and map the winter not only of her country, but of her own soul.

First published as The Sword of Winter in 1983, Mapping Winter has been extensively revised to fit the author’s originally intended vision. The sequel, The River South, will be available in 2020.

Click here for more about the history of this book.

Buy me, please.

I dislike being out of print and have grown tired of hearing myself whine about it, so I took the backlist into my own hands and have republished  most of my novels myself, covers and all. So, I am for sale and can be purchased, and am trying my hand at a modest effort at self-promotion. I’m not very good at it, but am confident that with some practice I will become quite annoying.

“Marta Randall is a sensational, subtle, precise, and gorgeous writer.” Karen Joy Fowler, author of The Jane Austen Book Club, Sarah Canary, and Artificial Things.

ISLANDS  A Nebula Award nominee.

Science has conquered death, except for Tia Hamley. The Immortals, forever young and beautiful, turn life into games and baubles; fated to age and die, Tia demands that her life have meaning and searches for it from the amusement park of ice-free Antarctica to the land of damaged outcasts in Australia to an underwater expedition to the sunken Hawaiian islands. Her Immortal companions pillage the ruins for knick-knacks while she seeks mysteries. And finds them.

“It is, unapologetically, science fiction, doing the work that literature does. Randall creates a world that is vivid and consistent, just strange enough to remind you, on every page, that we are in a future world, but always human.” Joseph Minion, Amazon.com

A City in the North: Reconsidered

Why “reconsidered?” For one thing, I was very youngwhen I wrote A City in the North, and thought I knew a lot about a lot. As I grew older I realized that I knew increasingly little about little.  The book still concerns itself with things I continue to find compelling: “civilized” society and cultural disconnects; relationships between sapient beings; the intersection of explorers, colonizers, and the colonized;  adventure. And I admit that I am compelled to mess with things. Despite that last, I think this is now a stronger book, and a better one. I hope you agree.

“Marta Randall’s A City in the North (1976), is a work of anthropological SF that focuses on “authentic” relationships between its human and alien characters. A commentary on the societal effects and cultural disconnects between natives, explorers, and colonizers, A City in the North refuses to provide easy answers. Although retreating into an occasional stock evil character to jolt the plot forward, on the whole Randall’s novel intrigues and provokes due to the underlying mysteries of native culture and ritual.”  Joachim Boaz

Journey

The first book in the Kennerin Saga.

Fleeing the disapproval of Earth’s patrician families, Jason and Mish Kennerin have come to Aerie; distant, insular, inhabited by the enigmatic kasirene. Here they carve out a new life for themselves and their growing family, until the death of a nearby planetary system forces them to open their world, and their lives, to the chaos of change and the genesis of an empire they both crave and resist.

“Marta Randall has taken the popular, family saga-type novel and turned it into a major  piece of science fiction. … … This is the best original novel I’ve read so far this year. Highly recommended.”
Charles N. Brown, writing in Isaac Asimov’s

Dangerous Games

The sequel to Journey. The eponymous novella  was a Nebula award finalist.

Sometimes, to preserve a world, you must be ready to destroy it. The complicated and vibrant world of Haven is too rich a plum to be left in peace. This is the story of the people who cherish it, the people who want to conquer it, and the people who drive it to the edge of ruin. Forced by destiny and circumstance, the Kennerins, and those who love and hate them, pursue their separate fates from the reaches of deep space to Haven’s smallest islands, in a series of Dangerous Games where the stakes include the world and timeless, enigmatic tauspace.

“Marta Randall … just goes right along getting better… one of the finer novels to appear in years.” Science Fiction Chronicle

Collected Stories 

13 previously uncollected stories by writer and teacher Marta Randall, now including The View from Endless Scarp in addition to Lapidary Nights, The Dark Boy, Lázaro y Antonio, Big Dome, Sea Changes, On Cannon Beach, and Nebula Award finalist novella Dangerous Games.