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We're super excited that friends of the blog, Book Smugglers Publishing, is diving into a brand new publishing venture and bringing us novels! Their first acquisition is the Extrahuman Union series. Today we're pleased to share a guest post from the author, Susan Jane Bigelow, about characters from the first book, Broken.

cover of Broken by Susan Jane Bigelow

Broken/Silverwyng: An Introduction

Broken opens with a scene of a homeless woman in an alleyway, staring hopelessly up at the sky, dreaming of a time when she could fly.

She is our hero for this book, and it’s her story that drives the rest of the Extrahuman Union series. There are a lot of secrets about her that I definitely don’t want to give away, but I’d love to give you a quick introduction to who she is and why she does what she does.

Broken was once a member of the Extrahuman Union, which was founded to be a team of superheroes that helped keep order and fight crime in the wake of the disastrous Last War. Over time, though, the Union morphed into a government-backed organization that all people with extrahuman powers were required to join. The Union and all its members occupy a skyscraper in Queens—which in early 22nd century New York is essentially the city’s downtown—that doubles as a very nice prison. No one is allowed to leave. All extrahumans have tracking devices implanted in them so that they can’t go anywhere without being tracked down by the Union’s Law Enforcement Division, which also tracks down renegade extrahumans.

Broken was brought to the Union at a very early age, so young that she doesn’t remember her parents, her original name, or any life before that skyscraper full of strangers. She is given the extrahuman name Silverwing because she has unusual long silver hair, and she can fly faster and farther than just about anyone.

The teenage Silverwing eventually decides to shift her name slightly to Silverwyng, just because she thinks it looks cooler, and joins the Law Enforcement Division to be closer with the Union’s new Sky Ranger, a young, hotheaded, attractive man. They start dating, and for a while, everything seems fine. Then Silverwyng starts to lose her power of flight, her friend Crimson Cadet dies, Sky Ranger turns his back on her, and her whole world shatters.

This sets her up to leave the Union, get rid of her tracking device, and take the name Broken. We meet her ten years after she leaves the Union, when she’s in her early thirties.

Her one remaining superpower is her ability to heal herself. She can lose an arm and it’ll grow back. She can even die and heal herself quickly enough to wake up hungry and cranky not long after.

But what she really wants is to be able to fly. This is where we meet her.

Broken is a complex character with many layers. To most people, she is incredibly standoffish, grumpy, and infuriating. She doesn’t trust easily, she seems to care little about the world, and she can carry a grudge forever. She’s often lost in her own memories and her own tangled thoughts.

That said, her greatest strength is her strong and certain moral center, which when she remembers it’s there can drive her to be the hero Silverwyng and Sky Ranger never were. That’s how a teenage boy named Michael Forward, who comes to her with a story about saving the future, can have such a powerful effect on her.

Broken knows her greatest weakness is her heart. She’s kept it hidden for a long time. Broken is the story of her rediscovering it—and herself.

Susan Jane Bigelow is a fiction writer, political columnist, and librarian. She mainly writes science fiction and fantasy novels. Her short fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons, Apex Magazine, Lightspeed Magazine’s "Queers Destroy Science Fiction" issue, and the Lamba Award-winning "The Collection: Short Fiction from the Transgender Vanguard," among others. She lives with her wife in northern Connecticut, and is probably currently at the bottom of a pile of cats.


To celebrate the release of Broken, we're giving away two print copies of the novel. The giveaway is open internationally. :)

cover of Broken by Susan Jane Bigelow

To enter, visit http://lady-business.org/#giveaway to fill out the form, or click on the image above. The giveaway will run through March 31, 2016, 12:00AM CDT! There's an option to get extra entries by sharing your most recent book, too, so even if you don't take part in the giveaway, be sure to check out the comments for book recs in a few days! :D

Date: 2016-03-23 10:58 pm (UTC)
dhampyresa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] dhampyresa
Wow, this sounds great!

Date: 2016-03-25 04:53 am (UTC)
redheadedfemme: (Default)
From: [personal profile] redheadedfemme
Is this the post I'm supposed to share my book rec in? If so, I just finished Letters to Tiptree, edited by Alexandra Pierce/Alisa Krasnostein. This is a fascinating collection of letters--the first section consisting of letters written by contemporary authors to James Tiptree/Alice Sheldon, explaining what his/her work meant to them. The second section, my favorite, is letters from Alice Sheldon to her friends Ursula LeGuin and Joanna Russ, revealing who "Uncle Tip" really is and hoping their friendships will not be ruined because of it. (The letters between LeGuin and Sheldon, especially, are lovely to read.) One of the final sections is an essay from Sheldon herself, "Everything But the Signature is Me," about her life and the origin of Tip. What a fascinating woman! I wish I could have known her.

Book rec from giveaway

Date: 2016-03-25 05:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ms-geekette.livejournal.com
I just finished The Watchmaker of Filigree Street (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22929563-the-watchmaker-of-filigree-street). I guess I would characterize it as steampunk-ish even though I was wondering why it was characterized as a sf/f book at first. It's not a typical steampunk book, imo. It doesn't fit in a nice neat box categorically, so that's a bonus.

I'm also reading Battle Royale (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57891.Battle_Royale) by Koushun Takami for the BookClubFiction (https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/88207-bookclubfiction) reading group if y'all are looking for more potential recs. They have fantasy, science fiction, and speculative/dystopia categories (among others) if you want to see what they've read in the past. Horror usually ends up sf/f-tinged, as well.


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