My novella "The Emotionless, in Love" is out in the special science-fantasy issue of Beneath Ceaseless Skies. The novella is a stand-alone sequel to my "Blood Grains Speak Through Memories," which was a finalist for the Nebula Award. But readers don't have to read "Blood Grains" first to enjoy this novella.
Many thanks to Scott H. Andrews for both accepting the novella and for his excellent edits. Also many thanks to everyone who read and loved "Blood Grains" and asked me to return to that world with a new story.
So far the novella is receiving great reviews.
"Wow. WOW. This novella by Jason Sanford is part of Beneath Ceaseless Skies’ science fantasy month, and it is an absolute stunner of a tale: dramatic, even brutal at times, but also an unlikely and unusual love story that showcases Sanford’s talent for world-building. It is set in the same world as Sanford’s 2016 story “Blood Grains Speak Through Memories” (a finalist for the 2016 Nebula Awards in the novelette category), but you can read the new story as a stand-alone (then go back and read the first story, just because it’s so darn excellent). Sanford weaves an epic tale with fierce and memorable characters fighting to stay alive in a hostile world."
"In the end, the story for me thrives on the power of its characters and the strange and haunting beauty of its world. Colton is compelling but comes so much more alive with Ae and Mita and Sri Sa around him, teaching him in ways that he needs to be taught. It’s not always a happy story, or a traditionally pretty one. There are monsters and there is blood and there are wrongs done. For me, the story reveals a setting messy and real, full of agendas and the people caught between them. But it brings the characters to a place where they can move forward, where they can work at honoring the past and moving into a future where they don’t have to remake the same old mistakes. It’s a wonderful and complex novella that you should definitely check out!"
Being able to sink my teeth into a truly substantive fantasy offering at an online venue is fairly rare, and this story is a treat in terms of scale, scope, and setting. ... It’s a relentless read, tinged with darkness and blood, but also glowing with a hope that people can overcome their mistakes, and that the family you find for yourself can often end up meaning more than the one you were born into.
RocketStackRank called the novella "Hugo worthy and gave it 5 stars.
SF Magazines gave the novella 4 stars and added:
It is a gripping story. One for the ‘Best of the Year’ anthologies, and I will be interested to see how it does in the Nebula Awards.
And the novella is also receiving praise on Goodreads:
This story is one of the most original I have read in some time. The world-building is spectacular, the character development excellent and the story line itself is fascinating. A totally worthwhile read!