Welcome to a new drop in feature on Liz Loves Books, briefly introducing you to various authors and their books so you can hopefully find your next favourite read. Many thanks to Lorraine Wilson for being my first victim.
Lorraine lives by the sea in Scotland, writing speculative fiction set in the wilderness and heavily influenced by folklore. She is fascinated by the way both mythology and our relationship with the natural world act as mirrors of ourselves and lenses for how we view others, and with a heritage best described as a product of the British Empire, she is drawn to themes of family, trauma, and belonging. After gaining a PhD in behavioural ecology from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland she spent several years as a conservation researcher in odd corners of the world before turning to writing. She has been stalked by wolves, caught the bubonic plague, and once had a tree frog called ‘Algernon’ who lived in her sink.
She has published short fiction and non-fiction in anthologies by Boudicca Press, Ellipsis Zine, The Mechanics’ Institute Review and Retreat West, amongst others; and magazines including Anti-Heroin Chic, Cabinet of Heed, The Forge, Geometry Terse Journal, and Strange Horizons. This Is Our Undoing is her debut novel.
One book Lorraine recommends to everyone.
I guess to anyone who isn’t a regular SFF reader I’d recommend N. K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season (and rest of the trilogy) as I think it’s an absolute masterclass in storytelling with immense power and gentleness. But for a read that perhaps isn’t quite so well known, I’d recommend either Nghi Vo’s The Empress of Salt and Fortune or M. L. Rio’s If We Were Villains, both of which blew me away with their subtlety and grace.
What is Lorraine reading now.
I’ve just finished This One Sky Day by Leone Ross, which was lush and delicious, so I’m now drifting between A.G. Slatter’s All The Murmuring Bones and Awais Khan’s No Honour.
About This Is Our Undoing.
Could you condemn one child to save another?
In a near-future Europe fracturing under climate change and far-right politics, biologist Lina Stephenson works in the remote Rila Mountains, safely away from London State. When an old enemy dies, Lina’s dangerous past resurfaces, putting her family’s lives at risk.
Trapped with her vulnerable sister alongside the dead man’s family, Lina is facing pressure from all sides: her enemy’s eldest son is determined to destroy her in his search for vengeance, whilst his youngest carries a sinister secret…
…But the forest is hiding its own threats and as a catastrophic storm closes in, Lina realises that if she is to save her family, she must become a monster.