The Dream Café

Steven Brust: “A masterful storyteller of contagious glee and self-deprecating badassery” —Skyler White

The Skill of Our Hands: Discussion With Spoilers

| 22 Comments

The new book by Skyler White and me, The Skill of Our Hands, is now out.  Here you can discuss it.  Assume spoilers.

And, as long as I have this space, here are some links to some reviews that make me happy.

RT Book Reviews

Publisher’s Weekly

Kirkus

The Geekiary

Barnes & Noble

Green Man Review

Marissa Lingen’s blog

Book Reviews and More

Little Red Reviewer

Point Mystic Podcast Interview

 

skzb

Author: skzb

I play the drum.

22 Comments

  1. Poor Matsu. He was one of the ones I liked. You also made Oskar and Irene a lot more relatable this time.

  2. skzb

    Cool. Yeah, I was sorry to lose Matsu.

  3. I enjoyed Phil and Ren being more in the background in this one; it felt like an ensemble piece where multiple characters had a chance to shine: Oskar, Irina, Kate and Daniel, Frio, Sam and Jane. Lots of lives to dig into!

  4. I really didn’t want to like Irina, and then you showed us her heart. That was a turning point in the book for me. Life is messy, and people don’t always make the best choices, and my enjoyment is spoiled when characters make stupid choices for reasons that only serve the advancement of the plot. One of my favorite thing about your writing is the way characters actions are clearly motivated – even if the reader doesn’t understand their motivations at the time.

    And, let me mention here in case folks don’t know about it – google for the incrementalists forum. That must have been a book-length project in and of itself! What a treat to find that. I’d love to know more about the process of creating that if you’d care to share.

  5. skzb

    That is really nice to hear; thank you.

    There are some people who read this blog who could probably talk about the forum. It never quite took off the way I was hoping it would, and has almost completely petered out now; but it was a lot of fun.

  6. I still feel like, with some new blood, the forum could take off again – one conversation there feeds off another, and it always seems like just a liiiiiittle more and we could reach critical mass.

    Hi, I’m Matt – on the forums, I’m Ethan and Amrita. Seeing Ethan thanked in the acknowledgments for Skill Of Our Hands is one of those cackle madly and bellow at the heavens moments of triumph, still.

  7. skzb

    I’m not adverse to trying it, with, as you say, some new blood. But it’s been pretty much just the four of us, and we kinda wore down. And I’m glad you liked it. And thanks to Ethan for the help. 🙂

  8. I’ve had a lot of fun with the thought exercise of why other Incrementalists don’t use the board more. Obviously those working in China couldn’t access it; those trying to undermine totalitarian regimes in repressive surveillance states – abroad, I mean, not here in the US, 😛 – couldn’t risk having their communications monitored – many others won’t speak English or have good internet access in their current Second and situation.

  9. skzb

    That all makes sense.

  10. Nice to see it out. Congratulations, Steve (and Skyler of course!).

    I enjoyed the forum a lot, but we never did reach the mass of people we needed for a self-sustaining community. I still do check in every few months to poke around–maybe there will be an uptick in interest with the book coming out.

  11. The Salt forum is no longer functional, by the way–is there anything that can be done about that?

  12. skzb

    Yeah, I’ve sent Corwin an email about the SALT forum. It would be cool if we got an uptick, but early signs indicate the book is tanking badly (after 5 days, only 2 Amazon reviews), so this seems unlikely.

  13. I have not read it as yet, so I’m carefully avoiding reading the rest of the comments here as much as possible.

    Is there an audio edition planned, and if so, when do you expect it to release? I see it isn’t available yet, if there is. That is the format I got the first book in, and it’s how I do the bulk of my novel “reading” these days, so it’s how I’d like to get this one as well.

  14. skzb

    There is audio edition planned, but I don’t know when. I would expect pretty soon.

  15. Yay! It’s not Vlad, but I loved the first book!

  16. After Port Neches this weekend, are you guys heading straight back to Austin (or wherever) or will you be swinging through Houston?

  17. skzb

    Unfortunately, it’s a straight flight for me from Minneapolis to Port Neches (via DFW) and then back.

  18. For a second I thought you meant fly to DFW & drive the rest of the way, but I finally remembered there’s a bitty little airport in Beaumont. As an aside: for a while anyone taking a Continental flight to Beaumont landed in Houston and was packed on a bus for the rest of the trip. A lot of irritated people were being bussed to Beaumont that summer.

    Anyway, I hope the weather cooperates and you guys have a great time.

  19. I just finished reading “The Skill of our Hands.” Thanks for the good read. I especially enjoyed the Kansas Free State stuff. Showing critical snippets, the novel lets the reader fill in the rest. And Matsu’s three reasons why the arm stays straight. I thought taking Phil largely out of the mix was a bold choice. Oskar’s asides worked well as a literary device.

    When’s the next one?

  20. skzb

    Thanks kindly! I’m delighted to hear it worked for you. Skye and I are working on another project now, but it should be out the door pretty soon, and I’d very much like to do another Incrementalist novel after that.

  21. Hooray for more Incrementalist novels! I was really worried that there wouldn’t be any more since the sales of the Skill of Our Hands have not been great. My whole family loves them.

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