Sofia Samatar’s debut novel arrives

Fri 12 Apr 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Posted by: Gavin

This week the hardcover and paperback editions of Sofia Samatar‘s debut novel A Stranger in Olondria started going out into the world. Thank you, everyone who pre-ordered, always appreciated! The hardcover is going to be out of stock pretty soon although we may have copies here when the distro runs out. The ebook is out, too. Publication date is Tuesday, April 30.

I’ve been looking forward to this day for a while. I can’t wait to hear from readers. You can get a taste of the book on or download the first 70 pages. It’s a huge, immersive, rich fantasy that circles around and away from and back to the transportation of reading.

People who’ve met Sofia or who have read advance copies of Olondria keep telling me that she’s a star in the making. I know! Since she sold this book, Sofia has had stories in Strange HorizonsApexand Clarkesworldas well as poetry and reviews in Strange Horizons and is now the nonfiction and poetry editor for the new online journal Interfictions: A Journal of Interstitial Arts. How does she do it? I don’t know, but I am very happy that she’s also working on another novel.

If you live in or near Madison, WI, hie ye to the launch party on April 26th at 6 PM at A Room Of One’s Own Bookstore (315 W. Gorham St. Madison WI 53703). In May Sofia will be at WisCon, too—we will have a table there courtesy of our good friend David Schwartz.

You can read more about the book here and here’s one reviewer who really got it:

“Samatar’s richly woven debut fantasy takes us far from home. Growing up in the primitive isolation of the Tea Islands, Jevick has longed to travel to the spice markets in Bain, where the family’s pepper harvest is sold. He impatiently devours descriptions and stories when his imperious father returns every season, and the arrival of an Olondrian tutor only adds to the allure of the unknown land. When Jevick finally begins his own voyage, he discovers he is traveling down a perilous path of mystery, passion, and danger that no counsel could have foreseen. A chance meeting of a young woman traveling on a pilgrimage will change the course of Jevick’s life forever. VERDICT Jevick’s journey is an enchanting tale of wonder and superstition, revealing the power of books and the secret traditions of ancient voices. Samatar’s sensual descriptions create a rich, strange landscape, allowing a lavish adventure to unfold that is haunting and unforgettable.”
Library Journal (*starred review*)