Author Patrice Sarath

Welcome! I am the author of The Crow God’s Girl, the third book in the Books of the Gordath cycle published by Ace Fantasy. My novel The Unexpected Miss Bennet is published by Robert Hale Ltd and Penguin Berkley. You can find excerpts of my novels and a few of my short stories via the Tales link above, and learn more about me in my blog. Thanks for stopping by.

26 January 2015 ~ 2 Comments

Best short stories of 2015

This time, folks, I’m doing it right. I’m going to  keep a running tally of stories that I really liked so that when review season comes around, I won’t be scratching my head going, what did I read again? Feel free to ping me with the stories that you have read so I can read them!

Beautiful Boys, by Theodora Goss. First published in Lightspeed in January 2015.

Chocolate Chip Cookies for the Apocalypse, by Claire Spaulding. First published in Daily Science Fiction in February 2015.

Labyrinth, by Amelia Grey. First published in The New Yorker, February 16, 2015.

The Other Side of Pain, by Haley Isleib, First published in Daily Science Fiction in March 2015.

This is the Story that Devours Itself, by Michelle Muenzler, Daily Science Fiction in March 2015.

“The Prospectors” by Karen Russell, The New Yorker June 8, 2015.

The One Mission, by Patricia Russo, Daily Science Fiction, June 26, 2015.

“The Seeker: A Poison in the Blood,” Victor Milán, The Change: Tales of Downfall and Rebirth, June 2015

“The Soul Remembers Uncouth Noises,” John Barnes, The Change: Tales of Downfall and Rebirth, June 2015

“The Hermit and the Jackalopes,” Jane Lindskold, The Change: Tales of Downfall and Rebirth, June 2015

“The Quest You Have Chosen Defies Your Fate,” Beth Cato, Daily Science Fiction, August 2015

“Little Man,” Michael Cunningham, The New Yorker, August 10, 2015.

The Demon of Russet Street, by Jessica Reisman, Three-lobed Burning Eye #27, September 2015.

Black Friday, by Rebecca Schwarz, Devilfish Review.

Who Will Greet You At Home, by Lesley Nneka Arimah, The New Yorker, October 26, 2015.

Novella Category:

Waters of Versailles, by Kelly Robson,, June 2015.

In the novel category:

Medicine for the Dead, by Arianne “Tex” Thompson. Solaris


18 July 2013 ~ 1 Comment

What readers want

A book is like a faerie door -- enter at your own peril.

A book is like a faerie door — enter at your own peril.

Announcing a new blog series, and I’m looking for your input. What Readers Want asks readers of all genres what they are looking for in a good book (or not so good book, we don’t judge). This isn’t market research per se; no one is going to run out and write a book based on elements people post here. But it’s a fair way to get at the mystery of what makes a good book.

So readers: Are there things you miss in books? Things you love? Things you are so over, you wish the genre would move on already?

Tell us all about the characters, plots, and settings that make your heart sing or the opposite — the ones that disappointed. I want to hear from you!

What Readers Want:

What do you like in a good book?
What ruins a book for you?
I want a protagonist who…
I want an antagonist who…
I long for settings and plot that…
I like series that…
I will read anything that has…

Answer in the comments or ping me with an e-mail on the contact form.


03 July 2013 ~ 4 Comments

YA vs NA

What’s the difference between YA and NA (New Adult)?

Depends on who you talk to. For some agents and editors, NA specifically means sexytimes, and NA is therefore shelved with women’s fiction. For other agents and editors, NA may have adult themes and older protagonists, but it doesn’t have to have adult sexual content.

With so many adult readers reading YA, it was inevitable that novels aimed at the 18-25 year old bracket would make it onto the shelves. I myself believe that it directly comes out of the fanfic and slash fandom communities. I think NA can be a fantastic addition to books for adult readers. Some YA is middle grade and younger, and while it’s great stuff, it doesn’t have the sophistication (perhaps) that can be enjoyed by older readers. Also, many 16 year olds may not want to be seen reading stuff for younger kids.

Ace fantasy book Red Gold BridgeBut does that mean that YA for older (say 16-18 year olds) is going to give way? Will there be a market for books for older teens that explores adult themes but doesn’t necessarily include adult content? Are we narrowbanding the genre and constricting it so much that we lose some of the upper-age group for this genre?

In my own books, the Gordath Wood series, they are definitely not YA, though the character of Kate Mossland is just barely 16 in the first book, and is only 17 by the third — and by then she has not only grown up, she has changed the very course of the history of her adopted country, and is embarking on a relationship with an older man. Although there is frank talk of sexuality, especially birth control, there is very little sexual content.

crow-gods-girl-front-smcrowYA or NA? I’m not sure.

What do you think of the new NA genre?

06 November 2015 ~ 2 Comments

October roundup

I tend not to post when my life is fraught. This is against the general tendency of the confessional blogger, so yeah, I can understand why I really don’t have a huge readership, but I’d rather not exploit my own nature, you know?

But radio silence can become so overwhelming that it’s hard to break through, and that’s not healthy either. So here’s what happened in October.

I stopped riding. I stopped rather abruptly, actually, first being lofted violently into the air and then slamming into the dirt of the ring so hard it was like a Wile E. Coyote cartoon. I thought I left a Patrice-shaped impact crater.

Yes, I got bucked off by Grey Gus on October 3, and I haven’t been back in the saddle since. A trip to the ER determined no concussion and no breaks, but it was three weeks before I was back to normal.

I know. I’m the first one to say, “back into the saddle!” But I can truthfully say that it’s not fear that’s keeping my butt out of the saddle, but pragmatism.

I got lucky. Very lucky. I’m in my 50s. Bone loss is already going on, because that’s the nature of being a human female. I walked (hobbled) away from a wreck that the next time could break my back, my ribs, or my neck. So while I’m mourning this accident that has grounded me, I also know that I was extraordinarily fortunate, and the right move is to walk away from a sport I love.

I also had to take a hard look at what has been going on with me and Gus. Over the past months, he’s become less stable and more unpredictable. I’d already stopped riding him on the trails as he had become nervous and anxious, leading to attempts to bolt and buck me off. This made me more anxious with him, creating a feedback loop that riders are very familiar with.

So another truth I came face to face with — whatever I am doing has caused a change in Gus, making him too dangerous for me to ride. He had become disrespectful of my space as well, so for instance, it has become unsafe for me to lunge him in the round pen.

I happen to be a competent rider, but I am not a well-rounded trainer, and if I am causing Gus’s behavior issues, I need to stop at once. Gus bucking me off was not, as characterized by someone, a “murder move” but a very loud communication from a horse who was not being listened to.

I got lucky. This could have happened out on the trails.

So what now? Well, I will eventually get back on a horse, but I will make sure that is a quiet, very calm horse. I will go back to a beginner phase, which is fine. I don’t need to go cantering out on the trails, or jumping fences anymore. I will still go out and visit with Gus and make sure he’s loved and brushed and tended to. Horses will still be in my life.

So that was my October. I’ve also been writing, and I will have some updates on story sales for next time (I hope sooner than six weeks!). If you want to keep up with the stories that I’ve been reading and been talking up, visit my pinned page with the 2015 stories that have blown me away this year.

What’s been happening with you?

27 September 2015 ~ 0 Comments

FenCon day two

I was pretty busy Saturday. Three panels: on fantasy trends, in which we discussed the pros and the pitfalls of the increasing subgenre-ization of fantasy. On cross genre fiction, ably moderated by Kimm Antell. And post-apocalyptic fiction and dystopia with S.M. Stirling. The latter devolved into a how to survive any apocalypse and prepped culture but eventually we got it back on the topic of literature.

In between my panels I went to a presentation on Pluto, the future of NASA, and near earth astronauts, a reading by Bill Ledbetter, a reading by Michelle Muenzler and maybe more. Con brain I haz it.

Jenny Hanniver organized a pizza and beer party and clown candy (I can’t even explain) and we talked movies and genre into the evening, carried the conversation up to the party hall, and finished out the evening downstairs talking of much the same, as well as community news and politicking. And Lovecraft because if you aren’t talking about Cthluhu at midnight at a con, he rises from the deeps.

That last sentence is a bit metast night I admitted that I don’t get the Lovecraft love, and A. Lee Martinez said that a lot of people don’t really get it but just like all the trappings, like the little plush Cthulu toys, and saying shoggoths, which is exactly what I just did in the previous paragraph.

I do remember the evening ending in tears of laughter on my part, so if that’s what Lovecraft meant by eldritch horror, I’ll take it.

See? I can’t stop.

26 September 2015 ~ 0 Comments

FenCon Day One

By the time I got to the con on Friday, things were already in full swing. I got through registration and scanned around for next steps. Bill Ledbetter was on a robotics panel so I went to that briefly, got bored (sorry panel!) and then ducked in to Steve Stirling’s meet and greet, and that was fun, but had to leave for Adrian Simmons’ reading, from his novel about a Stone Age era twelve-year-old going through his manhood rites – and things going very bad. He put that poor kid through hell, let me tell you, but the sensory detail was amazing.

Sean Scarber ran a fantastic discussion on the surveillance society in which we live, and the panel was pretty lively and thoughtful. Room was freezing, until one brave soul got up from the audience and turned off the air conditioning. Bravo, sir! We spend a lot of our time in office buildings where thermostats are just for show, so I am aware of the lack of initiative while also very impressed by someone who tried the obvious.

Let me diverge here and say that so far the programming has been stellar. I foresee a lot more panel hopping because the options are so good.

Dinner. Dinner was uh-maze-ing. We settled on the hotel restaurant, which was pretty meh and also confusing (they brought out strips of bacon on the veggie burger) but the company was phenomenal. Astronaut Stan Love was seated to eat alone before his presentation, and we (okay, listen, it was me, I did it, I said it, and I’m proud of that fact!) asked him to eat with us, and he did and it was great. He’s also a writer and he had sent his story to the Baen Science Fiction contest which Bill Ledbetter and Michelle Muenzler read for, and so that was great. Love is also an interesting guy and did I mention he was an astronaut? Best dinner conversation in a while.

And then after all that, Dr. Love went to his presentation on Mars, and we stayed at the table and totally missed it.

My reading went well! People were there! And liked it. I read from Fog Season and it was fun.

BarCon was also successful, although again, the bar and restaurant were a bit confused. Regardless, it meant I missed opening ceremonies and the reception and although I did get to see the liar’s panel, which was pretty funny (any panel with Mark Finn and Selina Rosen is bound to be) I did miss the traditional opening of the convention.

A few of us made the rounds on the party floor, even though the official parties are not til tonight, and we barged into one suite that held a pretty rocking pre-party and stayed for a while. Thank you for the lovely scotch, Paul Abell!

That was kind of the last thing that happened, unless you count going to bed knowing I was going to be a tad hungover. And I was. But if age has taught me anything, it’s how to nip that in the bud right there. I’m ready for the day, and lots more panels.