I am delighted again to announce another of our guests, Gaie Sebold.
Gaie Sebold was born in the US but has spent most of her life in the UK. She lives in leafy suburbia with her partner, writer David Gullen, a lot of plants and books and a daft cat.
Since the age of 5 she has written a large number of words, many of them different. Her debut novel introduced brothel-owning ex-avatar of sex and war, Babylon Steel (Solaris, 2012); the sequel, Dangerous Gifts, came out in February 2013. She is now working on a steampunk fantasy: Shanghai Sparrow, due in 2014.
She has published a number of short stories, three of which have received honourable mentions in Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror. She has also won awards for poetry (her first collection, Urban Fox, is published by Tall Lighthouse).
She has worked as a cleaner, secretary, till-monkey, stage-tour-manager, editor, and charity administrator; she now writes and runs writing workshops. She reads obsessively, gardens amateurishly, and sometimes hits people with latex weapons.
Snippets from Babylon’s world can be found here, (including Babylon’s problem page, notes from Chief Bitternut’s casebook and extracts from the local newspaper): http://scalentine.gaiesebold.com/.
Gaie also blogs with David Gullen (in the guise of Lord and Lady Plott) on writing and gardening at http://weedingandwriting.com
And her own website is at http://gaiesebold.com
Author: Gaie Sebold
Publisher: Solaris Books
Page count: 431pp
Release date: 5th Jan 2012
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin
Babylon Steel has a secret past; one which she hides from her crew at the Red Lantern brothel in Scalentine. Her crew includes twins Cruel and Unusual, who enjoy giving and receiving pain to/from their clients and Flower, a giant ogre-like creature who works in the kitchens and is the best cook in Scalentine.
Whilst the local religious contingent ‘The Vessels’ are hanging around the Red Lantern chasing Babylon’s clients away, Babylon is called to a meeting by the devastatingly handsome Darask Fain. Fain is willing to pay Babylon a rather nice sum of money to find a missing girl. Unfortunately, Babylon has a soft spot for girls in danger, probably because of her hidden past that is slowly revealed throughout the novel.
Scalentine and the world Sebold creates is what make this novel so entertaining. A myriad of creatures and races populate Scalentine; furred creatures, scaled creatures, blue creatures and fey. Sebold has created a believable local dialect for her inhabitants, which adds a sense of realism to an otherwise fantastical novel. The characters are vibrant and realistic, the streets of Scalentine likewise and the overall atmosphere of this novel is one of adventure and fun. The novel ended far too soon and I definitely want to spend more time in the company of Babylon and her ‘crew’. Great stuff!