I met Julie Czerneda at the convention formerly known as Toronto Trek three years ago, when I was working at a table in the dealer’s room (which as it happens, was the only part of the convention I actually saw). She was sitting at the table next to mine and I got to chat with her sporadically throughout the afternoon – not terribly long mind you, as she was signing autographspretty much nonstop for most of that time – during which I chatted some with her husband and son. I came away from the day with the impression that she was a nice lady.
Fast-forward to 2007, when a friend who knew I was curious to check out Czerneda’s books lent me a copy of her book ‘Beholder’s Eye’ – Webshifters Book 1. I started reading it one afternoon and 413 pages flew by in a blur. I literally could not put the book down. I thought ‘wow, she’s pretty good’.
At Ad-Astra 2007, I attended one of her panels and listened to her read from her latest book. When I correctly answered a trivia question based on the material she’d just read aloud, I won a copy of the first book from that series. Since then, I’ve picked up a few more here and there – all on the strength of ‘Beholder’s Eye’. Yes, it was something of a risk, but I’m happy to say that (thus far) it is a risk that seems to have paid off!
I just finished another one.
Title: A Thousand Words For Stranger
Author: Julie Czerneda
Date published: —
Origin: Rescued from a BMV
A Thousand Words for Stranger was Julie Czerneda’s first published book. As I understand it has quite the fan following and can occasionally be somewhat difficult to track down. I picked up a used copy at BMV, along with both its sequels (Ties of Power and To Trade the Stars).
The story centers around a young woman, who wakes up with no memory of who she is/how she got where she is. She’s led by compulsions she can’t understand, to find a ship on which she can flee – though of course she doesn’t know what (or who) she’s running from. She’s found by a captain named Jason Morgan, who grudgingly agrees to help her and gives her the name, Sira. Morgan, for all he seems to be a good guy, may of course actually know more than he’s letting on about his mysterious, amnesiac companion. Or, maybe he doesn’t. Half the fun is finding out.
Seeing as it’s a first novel, A Thousand Words for Stranger is not as finely polished as some of Czerneda’s more recent offerings. My complaints (if you’d call them that), are actually rather minor. Plot wise, the book does jump around a bit for a while, though that actually settles reasonably quickly. I found the constantly changing character POV a bit jarring and there’s at least one more twist at the end than I felt there needed to be – but overall, I still really enjoyed the book. I found the plot kept my interest well, fueling a desire to find out exactly what had happened to Sira.
I’m really looking forward to reading the next one.