Abraham, Daniel

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Abraham, Daniel

(M.L.N. Hanover)

PERSONAL:

Born in NM; married. Education: University of New Mexico, B.S.

ADDRESSES:

Home—NM. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Director of technical support for an Internet service provider.

AWARDS, HONORS:

International Horror Guild award, for short story, "Flat Diane."

WRITINGS:

(As M.L.N. Hanover) Unclean Spirits, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 2008.

Inside Straight, Tor (New York, NY), 2008.

(With George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois) Hunter's Run, Eos (New York, NY), 2008.

"THE LONG PRICE QUARTET"

A Shadow in Summer, Tor (New York, NY), 2006.

A Betrayal in Winter, Tor (New York, NY), 2007.

An Autumn War, Tor (New York, NY), 2008.

Contributor of stories to magazines, including Asimov's, Realms of Fantasy, and the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Contributor of short stories to anthologies Vanishing Acts, Bones of the World, The Dark, and Year's Best Science Fiction. Also author of short stories, novellas, comic-book scripts, and screenplays. Author of blog, A Simple Man in Complex Times.

SIDELIGHTS:

Daniel Abraham's first novel, A Shadow in Summer, is the first in his four-book series "The Long Price Quartet." The story is set in a fantasy world, specifically in the city of Saraykeht. Magic power is used to control the city's cotton harvests and, thus, its economic future. The power comes from the Andat, which are troublesome, shape-shifting spirits. When ruled over by the order of poets, however, their power can be turned to good uses. Two students from the poets' school are caught up in a complex plot that involves a dead child and a conspiracy. A Publishers Weekly reviewer called A Shadow in Summer an "impressive first novel." The author took a "fresh approach" to material that could have seemed shopworn, according to Jackie Cassada in Library Journal, creating a world that seems real, from its nobles to its "elegantly ritualized" traditions. Evaluating the book for Kirkus Reviews, a reviewer credited Abraham with doing an excellent job of evoking a "world and culture that seems very strange and alien, yet still somehow feels real."

In an interview for the blog Pat's Fantasy Hotlist, Abraham explained his intention with A Shadow in Summer: "It's intended as a stand-alone novel and also as part of a four-book sequence…. It was meant to be a little bit different than the usual fantasy. This one in particular sets up the world, and puts a handful of men and women in a position where they have to champion right, save their city, and prevent genocidal slaughter."

On the same blog, Abraham described his second book in "The Long Price Quartet," A Betrayal in Winter: "It's also intended to be a stand-alone novel. It's set 15 years after the first book … and not all of the folks from the first book are in this one. It's set in the far north of the world where A Shadow in Summer was in the far south, a lot has happened in between books, and people aren't quite who they were when you saw them last." Abraham also noted that whereas his first novel was "about being young and dramatic and over your head," the second novel in the series "is about deciding who you are." In A Betrayal in Winter, the laborer Itani from A Shadow in Summer takes center stage. Itani's real name is Otah Machi, and he is the sixth son of the leader, Khai Machi. Otah/Itani was exiled many years ago for refusing to become a poet with magic powers. Now, however, as his father's life is coming to an end, Otah finds himself once again sucked back into the power game wherein leadership is conferred to the son who gets rid of all other contenders to the throne. Following his father's death, Otah's older brother is killed, and Otah himself is accused of the killing by the Galts, an empire wanting to take over from the Machis. Thus, Otah finds himself in the unwholesome position of having to kill his brothers and thereby gain power simply in order to clear himself of the crime of murdering his older brother. "Love triangles and struggles with magical creatures … make for a slow-starting but well-rounded story," noted a reviewer for Publishers Weekly. Writing in Booklist, Frieda Murray found Abraham's invented world "fascinating" and went on to praise the "collection of characters who keep one turning pages." For Library Journal contributor Cassada, this second novel was a continuation of "a tale of family loves and hates" taking place in a truly exotic realm.

Another fifteen fictional years separate the third novel in the series, An Autumn War, from A Betrayal in Winter. Here the author sets the stage for the war that is the ultimate showdown between the two forces introduced in the first two books in the series. The Galtic empire, enemies to the Khaiem, are set to destroy the Andat, the spirits that have long protected the Khaeim. It is left to the old poet Maati to find a weapon that can destroy the Galtic invaders. A Kirkus Reviews critic felt that the author "ratchets up the stakes" in An Autumn War, and also called the author "a welcome addition to the fantasy writing school of which George R.R. Martin is principal." A Publishers Weekly reviewer also commended this third book in the series, terming it "sharp and powerful." The reviewer also lauded "Abraham's deft storytelling style."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, March 15, 2006, Roland Green, review of A Shadow in Summer, p. 35; August 1, 2007, Frieda Murray, review of A Betrayal in Winter, p. 53.

Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2006, review of A Shadow in Summer, p. 20; June 1, 2008, review of An Autumn War.

Library Journal, February 15, 2006, Jackie Cassada, review of A Shadow in Summer, p. 110; August 1, 2007, Jackie Cassada, review of A Betrayal in Winter, p. 76.

Publishers Weekly, January 2, 2006, review of A Shadow in Summer, p. 39; July 9, 2007, review of A Betrayal in Winter, p. 36; November 5, 2007, review of Hunter's Run, p. 48; May 19, 2008, review of An Autumn War, p. 40.

ONLINE

Agony,http://trashotron.com/ (August 15, 2008), Terry Weyna, review of A Shadow in Summer.

Clarkesworld,http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/ (August 15, 2008), Tobias Buckell, "An Interview with Daniel Abraham."

Daniel Abraham Home Page, http://www.danielabraham.com (August 15, 2008).

Dribble of Ink,http://aidanmoher.com/ (August 15, 2008), interview with Daniel Abraham.

Pat's Fantasy Hotlist,http://fantasyhotlist.blogspot.com/ (August 15, 2008), interview with Daniel Abraham.

SF Reviews,http://www.sfreviews.net/ (August 15, 2008), review of A Shadow in Summer.

SF Signal,http://www.sfsignal.com/ (August 15, 2008), review of A Betrayal in Winter and Hunter's Run.

Strange Horizons,http://www.strangehorizons.com/ (August 15, 2008), David Soyka, review of A Shadow in Summer.

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