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A Season of Monstrous Conceptions (Hardcover)

A Season of Monstrous Conceptions By Lina Rather Cover Image
On Our Shelves Now
3 on hand, as of Jul 20 6:55am
(Science Fiction Fantasy)


Lina Rather's A Season of Monstrous Conceptions is an eldritch historical fantasy of midwifery, monstrosity, and the rending of the world, for fans of The Essex Serpent and The Death of Jane Lawrence.

"An entrancing and transformative queer tale of cosmic horror."—Caitlin Starling

"A blood sacrifice of a novel."Meg Elison

In 17th-century London, unnatural babies are being born, with eyes made for the dark and webbed digits suited to the sea.

Sarah Davis is intimately familiar with such strangeness—having hidden her uncanny nature all her life and fled to London under suspicious circumstances, Sarah starts over as a midwife’s apprentice to a member of the illegal Worshipful Company of Midwives, hoping to carve out for herself an independent life. But with each new unnatural birth, the fear in London grows of the Devil's work.

When the wealthy Lady Wren hires her to see her through her pregnancy, Sarah quickly becomes a favorite of her husband, the famous architect Lord Christopher Wren, whose interest in the uncanny borders on obsession. Sarah soon finds herself caught in a web of magic and intrigue created by those who want to use her power for themselves, and whose pursuits threaten to unmake the earth itself.

About the Author

Lina Rather is a speculative fiction author and graduate student living in Central New York. Her short fiction has appeared in venues including Lightspeed, Podcastle, and Shimmer. Her Tordotcom Publishing novella series, Our Lady of Endless Worlds, is about devotion, empire, and nuns living in a giant slug in outer space. When Lina isn’t writing, she likes to cook overly elaborate recipes, read history, and collect cool rocks.

Praise For…

Praise for A Season of Monstrous Conceptions

"An entrancing and transformative queer tale of cosmic horror, unbelonging, and self-definition. I adored every page!"—Caitlin Starling, bestselling author of The Death of Jane Lawrence

"A tense, clench-jawed snarl of a book, profoundly layered and beautifully written."—Cassandra Khaw

"A dark, heady blend of immersive (and subversive) history, queer love story, and world-twisting magic. Fierce, strange, compassionate, and beautifully written."—H.G. Parry, author of A Declaration of the Rights of Magicians

"A blood sacrifice of a novel, guaranteed to open the doors and whet the blades of your mind."Meg Elison, author of Big Girl

“Gripping, horrifying, and unexpectedly touching. The historical detail is vivid and gritty, with a fascinating focus on women's worlds of witchcraft and midwifery—I loved it!”—Veronica Schanoes

"A fast-paced, queer, sometimes dark, ultimately hopeful novel that gives early modern England a wonderful fantastic twist. More please."—Locus

Praise for Sisters of the Vast Black and Sisters of the Forsaken Stars

"Lina Rather embraces the complex relationships between faith, imperialism, love, and humanity while somehow managing to make the pitiless void of space feel intimate."—Sarah Gailey

"Lina Rather cements her reputation as one of our boldest and most thoughtful new voices with a tale of faith and doubt, sisterhood and politics…and some of the coolest living spaceships you'll ever meet."—Tim Pratt

"Deeply felt and utterly genuine [...] a story about love for humanity tangled up in the trauma of what it means to be human."—Karen Osborne

"A richly imaginative and thoughtful adventure, Sisters of the Forsaken Stars is a delight!"—Megan O'Keefe

"[A] deeply honest and empathic parable for our times."—Booklist on Sisters of the Forsaken Stars

"Rather tenderly explores the nuances of moral obligation and faith against a backdrop of government conspiracy. [...] This is a worthy sequel."—Publishers Weekly on Sisters of the Forsaken Stars

"Both the combined and individual storylines weave a solid braid of strength and vulnerability as Rather’s follow-up to Sisters of the Vast Black continues the path to a galaxy-wide revolution."—Library Journal on Sisters of the Forsaken Stars

"Sisters of the Vast Black is an accomplished, thoughtful debut that evokes comparison to the novellas of Lois McMaster Bujold and Martha Wells."—Strange Horizons

"Rather unflinchingly tackles questions of faith, war, and penance in this far-future novella debut. [...] .Readers will hope to see more of Sister Faustina, the Reverend Mother, and their unlikely crew."—Publishers Weekly on Sisters of the Vast Black

Product Details
ISBN: 9781250884015
ISBN-10: 1250884012
Publisher: Tordotcom
Publication Date: October 31st, 2023
Pages: 160
Language: English