Crystal Rain launches this week in a brand new trade paperback format.
If you’re interested in diverse SF, if you’re interested in seeing what a taste of the Caribbean is like when it’s married with adventure SF, if you’re interested in reading the book that launched the Xenowealth series, then here you go.
A lot of people have taken a closer look at the book with the new cover. A lot of people have told me ‘oh, I didn’t realize it was SF.’
But don’t take my word for it. Read the first entire third of the book and see for yourself.
That’s my advertisement right there. Please link the sampler. Please link the post. If you’re interested in a broader SF, if you’re interested in something outside the usual, then take a bite. A third of a whole book is enough for you to decide if it is your thing.
All without having to drop a single dime.
No, seriously, try it.
Legends say that the forefathers of Nanagada fled a far-off star to their new home. They say that the sky once hummed with metal flying machines and palatial floating cities. But then the Azteca came. Created and driven by cruel, inhuman gods they swarmed out of the sky in search of sacrificial blood, and worse. To defeat them and their gods the forefathers burned the sky. The cities and machines fell to the ground, useless.
In the centuries since, Azteca have kept to their side of the mountains in an uneasy truce. But now it has been broken. Driven forward by their gods once again, only one man can stop their bloodthirsty march: John deBrun. His family scattered, John holds the key to an ancient secret deep in memories lost just before he was dragged unconscious from the sea years ago…
…if he can stay alive long enough to uncover them, he might be able to stop the destruction of Nanagada.
And here a few reviews, if you’re still not convinced:
“Buckell’s promising debut. …a twist that adds a sci-fi edge to this tale’s mythological underpinnings.” Philadelphia Inquirer
“Buckell does a nice job of setting the stage and the pages turn quickly. I’m still on board for Volume Two. The possibilities for the series are tantalizing.” Contra Costa Times
“…[A] promising debut. It’s a twist that adds a sci-fi edge to this tale’s mythological underpinnings.” Kansas City Star
“Buckell does a fairly smooth job unwrapping the plot.” Tampa Bay Tribune
“Readers who like sieges, strategies and swashbuckling heroes will thoroughly enjoy this fast-moving tale.” Cleveland Plain Dealer
“A fast-moving and thoroughly enjoyable tale that kept me reading almost non-stop.” Midwest Book Review
“In this stellar debut, Buckell has created an amazing world. The plot is well-constructed and the writing is simply superb, particularly the dialogue, which is amazingly beautiful.” Romantic Times
“Enjoyable…for a first-timer Buckell handles his interlocking narratives well and his characters retain their humanity.” Publishers Weekly
“Buckell’s debut captures the flavor of Afro-Caribbean culture in the lilting dialog of his characters and in their customs. An original tale with distinctive characters and a fresh approach to worldbuilding, this sf quest belongs in most libraries.” Library Journal (Starred Review)
“Buckell’s first novel conjures a vividly imagined world, spiced with intrigue and adventure that unfolds at a breakneck pace.” Booklist
“An auspicious debut. Buckell’s done what a first novelist needs to do: to make us want to know about his world, and more about his imagination. His announced next novel, Ragamuffin, is certainly worth looking forward to.” Locus
“A good old SF adventure story. His Creole background lends a colorful touch to his characters and dialogue, and his clever reworking of familiar tropes makes this a standout first novel.” Locus (Short review)
“Crystal Rain is a totally engrossing, can’t-put-it-down reading experience. The setting is superb, the characters are fascinating and DeBrun, the enigmatic Pepper and the conflicted Oaxyctl are one of the great fictional triumvirates. This is lush SF adventure in the C.L. Moore vein. Hopefully more installments are on the way.” Starlog
“Even non-sci-fi readers will be bowled over by…Tobias Buckell’s Crystal Rain… Violent, poetic and compulsively readable.” Maclean’s (Canada)
“A pepperpot of a delectable, enjoyable story…Buckell is a deft, assured storyteller who will, hopefully, continue to publish novel-length fiction with the same eye for intricate setting and rounded characterization he’s exhibited here in his debut novel.” SFF World
“Infused with new life and excitement. Buckell’s plotting is sturdy and swift with nary a longuer. For a thrilling adventure set on a unique world, this book couldn’t be bettered.” SciFi.com (Paul Di Filippo)
“A fast-paced pulp-style adventure … a very satisfying first novel with a different and refreshing setting.” Emerald City
“There’s a great old-school pulp-adventure essence to Crystal Rain … what Buckell does right, I’m happy to say he does breathtakingly right. Most effective is the evocation of place. His setting feels alive. There is real texture to Nanagada, its people, villages, back alleys and crowded markets. You can almost feel the humidity. Buckell’s use of the sea as a critical setting is brilliantly handled, too…I can definitely say that there’s nothing else on the racks right at this moment quite like it, and that Tobias Buckell is a name to add to you ‘watch this writer’ list.” SFReviews.net
“[Buckell’s] first novel, CRYSTAL RAIN, is the sort of thing that will have readers watching for more. [He] has displayed a gift for imagination much greater than one book can hold. Sequels would surely please many readers, but if he imagines as thoroughly in new and unconnected novels, they too will please.” Analog
“The hard part [of writing a novel] is a combination of fast pace with some glossy writing and intriguing characters. And I’ve noticed that this is a skill that science fiction writers are picking up. Case in point: the debut novel from Tobias S. Buckell, Crystal Rain.”
“I was actually quite surprised at how fast-paced the book was. I was glad to see, however, that as I was burning through the story, Buckell got each moment and each twist and turn exactly right.”
“Buckell writes that stuff with panache, and there’s some remarkably strong science fiction in there too… [He] has way more atmosphere and colour in his story than an equivalent sf book… It takes a great deal of care to create something so balanced.”
“This gave me quite a joyful feeling as some new twist came into play and the world wrenched into a strange direction.” The Cultural Gutter
“Once the world sank in and permeated my mind, I couldn’t put the book down. Like all good books, it only got better as it progressed, all the way to the end.” GreenMan Review
“Buckell has done an excellent job with his first Sci-Fi novel. This story is complex, fresh, and interesting–and wide open to a sequel.” Children’s Literature
“An impressive debut…with unique creatures, characters, and advanced technology; Crystal Rain blends plenty of action, suspense, culture, and science fiction. Buckell has created an interesting world that I’m looking forward to reading more about in his sequel Ragamuffin.” SciFi Chick
“A galloping read that throws the reader into an alien world that they won’t want to leave. I may have just found my new favorite sci-fi author.” Graeme’s Fantasy Review
“This is an exciting and imaginative debut from author Tobias S. Buckell. The story features characters that are carefully nuanced and thus, wholly believable. The ending, though logical, is truly heartbreaking.” Bookstove
“What Tobias Buckell has done here is pretty impressive. He’s taken a culture that wouldn’t usually be put in the same sentence as science fiction and created something that is both unique and familiar.” – Walker of Worlds