cover image Geometries of Belonging

Geometries of Belonging

R.B. Lemberg. Fairwood, $18.99 trade paper (268p) ISBN 978-1-958880-01-2

This engrossing, thoughtfully constructed volume collects 11 beautiful pieces of poetry and prose set in Lemberg’s fantastic Birdverse (last visited in The Four Profound Weaves). The poems and shorter stories, which vary in tone from angry to scholarly to lighthearted, masterfully contextualize and deepen other Birdverse tales. The stars of the collection, though, are its three novelettes: “Grandmother-nai-Leylit’s Cloth of Winds,” “The Book of How to Live,” and “Geometries of Belonging.” All three delve into Lemberg’s innovative “deepname”-based magic system, feature queer and neurodiverse characters, and probe the limitations of traditional social boundaries. Despite these commonalities, the facet of the expansive Birdverse that each novelette presents is strikingly original, and each has issues of crucial importance on its mind, including consent, class struggle, and gender identity. Original to this collection is “Where Your Quince Trees Grow,” which follows the descendants of the protagonists of Lemberg’s forthcoming novel, The Unbalancing. It’s easy to get sucked into this intricate, lyrically described world and this collection proves both an easy starting place for newcomers and a treat for longtime fans. Agent: Mary C. Moore, Kimberley Cameron & Assoc. (Nov.)