Gideon the Ninth by New Zealand author Tamsyn Muir is the 1st novel in the Locked Tomb series of hybrid science fiction/fantasy/horror space adventures, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Macmillan’s Tor Books imprint.
This is their featured Free eBook of the Month offer for October, won the 2020 Locus for Best First Novel and the Crawford Award, as well as being a Hugo and World Fantasy Award finalist, and is being offered to help promote the 2nd novel, Harrow the Ninth, now available in paperback and the upcoming 3rd novel, Nona the Ninth, due next year.
The series is inspired by gothic horror as well as mixing high-tech science fiction with magical fantasy, and set in a galactic space empire with nine planets which are host to great Houses which each specialize in a particular form of necromancy, ruled over by an immortal Emperor worshipped as a god. This story stars a young woman raised in indentured servitude by one of the Houses, who plans to escape, but is pressed back into one last service as the Emperor sets a competition between the heirs of the Houses with immortality as the stakes and a mandate to explore a decaying planetary mansion to uncover its secrets.
Offered DRM-free through Friday, September 8th (until just before midnight Eastern Time) in Canada & the US only due to rights geo-restrictions, available directly from the publisher.
Currently available @ the publisher’s dedicated promo page (DRM-free ePub & Mobi officially available to Canada & US only, requires newsletter signup with valid email) and you can read more about the offer at the official blogpost announcement.
Description (from the bookclub page)
This part is usually where we sing the accolades of the current book selection but really author Charles Stross summed it up best:
“Lesbian necromancers explore a haunted gothic palace in space!”
It is time.
Description (from the regular blurb)
The Emperor needs necromancers.
The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman.
Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead nonsense.
Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth unveils a solar system of swordplay, cut-throat politics, and lesbian necromancers. Her characters leap off the page, as skillfully animated as arcane revenants. The result is a heart-pounding epic science fantasy.
Brought up by unfriendly, ossifying nuns, ancient retainers, and countless skeletons, Gideon is ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a reanimated corpse. She packs up her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and prepares to launch her daring escape. But her childhood nemesis won’t set her free without a service.
Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House and bone witch extraordinaire, has been summoned into action. The Emperor has invited the heirs to each of his loyal Houses to a deadly trial of wits and skill. If Harrowhark succeeds she will be become an immortal, all-powerful servant of the Resurrection, but no necromancer can ascend without their cavalier. Without Gideon’s sword, Harrow will fail, and the Ninth House will die.
Of course, some things are better left dead.