The Four Profound Weaves is going to be an audiobook!

I am very pleased to announce that my new agent, Mary C. Moore of Kimberley Cameron, has sold audio rights to my Birdverse debut, the Four Profound Weaves, to Tantor Media. I’m so happy there’s going to be an audiobook!

TWO starred reviews for the Four Profound Weaves

My upcoming Birdverse debut The Four Profound Weaves has received not one, but two starred reviews from trade journals: The Publishers Weekly, and the Library Journal. I couldn’t be happier.

Publishers Weekly (for full review, please click the link):

Lemberg’s outstanding debut novel expands on the short stories of the Birdverse that they have been publishing for about a decade […] Uiziya and nen-sasaïr’s journey is enthralling and frequently moving, as along the way they are repeatedly faced with the choice “to care or not, as all people do.” Lemberg writes deeply considered, evocative portraits of their characters, handling sexuality and gender especially well. This diverse, folkloric fantasy world is a delight to visit.

The Library Journal review (for full review please click the link):

Nebula-nominated Lemberg’s first novella, set in their deeply queer “Birdverse” universe, presents a beautiful, heartfelt story of change, family, identity, and courage. Centering two older transgender protagonists in the midst of emotional and physical journeys highlights the deep, meaningful prose that Lemberg always brings to their stories.

The book will be published on September 4th; meanwhile, you can preorder it from Tachyon or from a variety of other book retailers, and/or put it on your Goodreads list.

Reddit AMA at r/Fantasy Today!

Some fine folks invited me to do a Reddit AMA on r/fantasy – I have been answering questions about Birdverse, my upcoming novella The Four Profound Weaves, worldbuilding, linguistics, recipes, and critters! I hope you will swing by and ask me more questions throughout the day of May 11, 2020.

The AMA link:  https://www.reddit.com/r/Fantasy/comments/ghqa6s/im_rb_lemberg_author_of_birdverse_stories_and/

Hope to see you there!

“To Balance the Weight of Khalem” in Beneath Ceaseless Skies

I have a new story for you – it is a fantasy novelette unconnected to Birdverse (for a change), titled “To Balance the Weight of Khalem“. You can read it for free online, and if you are so inclined, you can support BCS Magazine on Patreon. I love this magazine so much.

The new story is about a magical onion, migrations, hunger and food insecurity, and found families, and long travel. The main character is trans (they are still figuring out their identity), and there’s a queer romance with a were-ray love interest. This story is ownvoices on multiple aspects – the onion in particular comes from my life.

The story already received some wonderful reviews. Charles Payseur at Quick Sip Reviews writes:

It’s a complex story of balance and of connection, people reaching people through food and fragrance, through moments of shared grief, through the ways their hurts contradict and the ways their hurts bind together, links in a chain crossing borders. […]It’s a beautiful story, stunningly built and intimately rendered. 

Maria Haskins highlights it at Curious Fictions:

A novelette about a magical onion, about war and immigration and loved, about the memories we carry with us, and the memories we’ve lost along the way. Reading Lemberg’s prose is like opening a treasure chest — it’s gorgeously rich and gleaming and there is a spellbinding, quiet power in the words. This is also very much, a story about food– about the scent and taste and nourishment and comfort food can bring us.

I hope you give this story a read, and, if you are so inclined, let me know what you think.

My ConFusion schedule

As you might have seen, Bogi is the Fan GoH at ConFusion this year (hurray!), so all three of us are going to ConFusion as a family. Mati is also coming.

If you are at ConFusion, please come say hi!! 🙂

Some details about that: I am often disoriented at cons (they are noisy/full of people/stress) even if I do not appear disoriented. I also have issues with face recognition and can really struggle with recognizing people I have not seen for a while (I am fine recognizing people whom I have seen recently). So please, please do not take it personally if I seem confused – please just remind me. I would love to talk to you!

Without further ado, the schedule:

Reading: Bogi Takács and R.B. Lemberg

Friday 2:00PM Saugatuck

Join Bogi Takács and R.B. Lemberg for a reading session

Bogi Takács, R.B. Lemberg

Avoiding Muddled Messes in World-Building
Friday 6:00PM Isle Royale
World-building is one of the most important, and also most daunting, aspects of sff writing. Here we’ll examine some of the pitfalls of world-building, from cardboard cultures to “planet of hats” races and beyond. In an effort to get beyond fantasy couched in vague European-ness, and science fiction built entirely of jumpsuits and holodecks, we ask: “What can we do to create better, richer, more interesting, and more thoughtful worlds?”
Sarah E Gibbons (m), Tracy Townsend, J. Zachary Pike, R.B. Lemberg

Emotional Non-Violence In Fiction
Saturday 11:00AM Petoskey

A discussion on what it looks like and what it means to integrate themes of emotional non-violence in fiction – also is emotionally non-violent fiction important? Going beyond higher level issues of emotional abuse to more subtle topics such as consent, misidentification, and personal questions.

E.D.E. Bell (m), Jason Sanford, R.B. Lemberg, Brandon O’Brien

Masculinity and Trauma Recovery in Genre Fiction

Saturday 2:00PM Isle Royale

Science Fiction and Fantasy are full of tough manly heroes (and anti-heroes) with trauma in their backgrounds, from murdered families to witnessed war crimes. More often than not, these traumatic backstories serve as a justification for sarcasm, alcohol, and violence. In a world where men are significantly less likely to get professional help to heal from their trauma, how can science fiction and fantasy help to create positive examples of heroes who face their demons constructively?

Brandon O’Brien (m), dave ring, John Wiswell, R.B. Lemberg

Inventing Mythos

Saturday 6:00PM Charlevoix

Okay, so your secondary-world fantasy has totally awesome gravity-defying dragons, but how do people think they got there? What stories do they tell about the Space Emperor Undying? What do the fables of our speculative universes say about the morals taught to children, and how did The Boy Who Lived become anything more than an urban legend to the wizarding world?

K.A. Doore (m), Stacey Filak, Izzy Wasserstein, R.B. Lemberg

Announcing: The Four Profound Weaves

The Four Profound Weaves by R.B. Lemberg

My novella The Four Profound Weaves is forthcoming from Tachyon Press in September 1, 2020. It is a story of two trans elders who must learn to weave from death to defeat a sinister ruler who murders rebellious women and hoards their bones and souls. It is set in Birdverse, my award-winning LGBTQIA+ focused secondary world.

Ann Leckie says: “This is one of R’s Birdverse stories, which I’ve recommended before. Their writing is lovely, their worldbuilding wonderful, their characters real and resonant.” Thank you, Ann!!

Tachyon designer Elizabeth Story did a wonderful job with the cover. Thank you, Elizabeth!! There are also gorgeous internal illustrations in this book, also by Elizabeth. And many thanks to my editor Jaymee Goh, and the managing editor Jill Roberts, who were terrific to work with. And of course, it was a pleasure to work with Jacob Weisman at Tachyon.

You can already preorder the book from Amazon, or directly from my publisher, Tachyon Press. The first 50 people to preorder directly from Tachyon will also get a small linocut of the cover, printed on the letterpress, all done by me. It’s going to be gorgeous!

The book also has a Goodreads page 🙂

Some early praise for The Four Profound Weaves:

“THE FOUR PROFOUND WEAVES is a balm and a call to arms. R.B. Lemberg reassures us that there’s still time to find yourself, no matter how old you are; and they stir our a revolutionary urges to defeat murderous dictators. But this novella is also a finely-drawn, realistic character study of people who love their communities but never quite feel at home in them. And the magical system is a sheer delight. Thoughtful and deeply moving, THE FOUR PROFOUND WEAVES is the anti-authoritarian, queer-mystical fairy tale we need right now.”– Annalee Newitz

“R. B. Lemberg’s The Four Profound Weaves tells the journey of a pair of aged and appealing wanderers searching for magic, art, identity, and peace. Thought-challenging points-of-view weave together stark violence, intricate powers, and the musings of long and complicated lives. The Four Profound Weaves contains imagery that glows on the page.” –Patricia McKillip

“I am staggered by the richness and intricacy of R B Lemberg’s imagination. The Four Profound Weaves is an intense and emotional story of a journey of change, growth, and courage.” –Kate Elliott

“R.B. Lemberg writes with a luminous pen, spraying light all around their words and ideas.  They create a universe where carpets and cloaks bear history and the future. A perilous chase, with assassins and gods in pursuit, reveals the fluidity of life by following the threads—both bright and dark—that weave together to create a complex and mystical journey toward friendship, family, and love.” –Jewelle Gomez

 Reading the first pages of The Four Profound Weaves feels like being invited into the home of a beautiful stranger. As you sit with these characters and come to know them, you too will feel know. In reading this story about recognition and transformation, I felt recognized and transformed. It’s a fantastic alchemy on Lemberg’s part, and their love and labor shines off the page. I don’t know any writer that could so skillfully take me apart with a story, or put me back together with such care. This was a story I didn’t know I desperately needed.”  –Nino Cipri

“Over the years, R.B. Lemberg, in their prose and poetry alike, has built a world of serpents, deserts, stars, and bones, where transformation is omnipresent and restlessness rewarded. The Four Profound Weaves is a jewel-bright tile in their ongoing mosaic. To read it is to experience apotheosis: but instead of toward heaven, we ascend toward a more total humanity. Weaves is a patient work, at times compellingly kind, at other times merciless. Always, subtly woven. Like the Nameless One in its pages, this book does not—perhaps cannot—pretend to be anything other than what it proclaims for itself: the four profound weaves—change, wanderlust, hope, death. But these aren’t chronological; they’re a pattern, a randomized one—and death is only the middle.” –C. S. E. Cooney

“Lemberg weaves a gripping tale of community, identity, betrayal, and hope. From the sweeping expanse of the desert to the confined splendor of a sinister palace, every page contains wonder. I flew through the story, breathless, needing to see what would come next, and I was rewarded with every twist in the narrative. The Birdverse is lush and gorgeous, even when painful, and The Four Profound Weaves takes the reader on a wild ride through some of the deepest and richest pockets of it.” –Julia Rios

“Nobody in fantasy is doing what R.B. Lemberg is doing. Their work is generous, insightful, and focused on people — older, damaged, queer — whose stories most writers would keep in the background. This is a book about people walking into traps to find themselves, about fumbling out of stagnation and into adventure. Let this be your introduction to R.B.’s world of song carpets, deepnames, and deserts full of roving lovers.”–Isaac Fellman

“Hope is the song, and it’s woven of R.B. Lemberg’s words.” –Scott H. Andrews

D Franklin Defying Doomsday Award

I received good news recently that I am one of the two winners of the D Franklin Defying Doomsday award for my Strange Horizons essay “Sergeant Bothari and Disability Representation in Early Vorkosiverse.” The other winner is Ace Ratcliff.

Here is the writeup in Locus:

Twelfth Planet Press announced two winners of the 2018 D Franklin Defying Doomsday Award, given in recognition of “work in disability advocacy in SFF literature”: R.B. Lemberg for blog post “Sergeant Bothari and Disability Representation in the Early Vorkosiverse” (Strange Horizons 7/16/18) and Ace Ratcliff for blog post “Staircases In Space: Why Are Places In Science Fiction Not Wheelchair-Accessible?” (io9 7/31/18).

The prize is judged by Tsana Dolichva, Holly Kench, and Alisa Krasnostein, and sponsored by D Franklin.

I am really proud and thrilled to have won with this particular essay, which was painful and difficult to write.

New poem in Uncanny Magazine

I have neglected updating this website, but I’m trying to get back to it!

Today I have a new poem to share: “‘Eating Disorder’ does not begin to describe it” in Uncanny Magazine’s special issue Disabled People Destroy Fantasy. This poem is about an eating disorder – but also about Jewishness, the war, immigration, family history, and a bit about turnips. This work is a part of a larger, unpublished poetry manuscript titled Everything Thaws. I have no idea where to send it.

Thank you for reading.

FORESTS update!

I am writing with a happy update – Lisa M. Bradley and I have finished responding to all submissions, and we are now working on contracts. We are very excited — this anthology is going to be wonderful. Thank you to everybody who submitted work – there was so much wonderful poetry to consider, a testament to Le Guin’s enduring importance to so many of us.

We will announce the ToC once the contracts are finalized!

If you submitted work and have not heard back from us, please query ASAP at lembergsubmissions @ gmail

Heads up: New byline

After many years of agonizing and hesitation, I am changing my byline from Rose Lemberg to R.B. Lemberg. This change reflects how my thoughts about my gender and gender presentation have evolved over the years, what I thought was possible, and what I thought wasn’t possible (more things are possible now! That’s good!)

What to call me – I now prefer R.B.

It’s a big change for me at this stage of my career, but a good one to commit to before my first Birdverse book (!!!!) is published in print (it’s a novella forthcoming from Tachyon Press – more detail soon!)

Please adjust your links:

My twitter is now: @rb_lemberg

My personal website: rblemberg.net

Patreon: http://patreon.com/rblemberg

Instagram: @rblemberg

I am likely to update this website more thoroughly this summer as schedule permits.

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About

R.B. Lemberg is a queer, bigender immigrant from Eastern Europe and Israel. Their work has appeared in Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Unlikely Story, Uncanny, and other venues, and has been a finalist for the Nebula, Crawford, and other awards.

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