"A book whose hold on your mind, on your memory, is assured. It is a story about story, and stories are what we are all made of. Abandon hope all ye who enter here."—Paul Kincaid, SF Site"A work that reads like language stripped bare, myth tracked to its origin."—Locus"Sublimely lyrical... show more
"A book whose hold on your mind, on your memory, is assured. It is a story about story, and stories are what we are all made of. Abandon hope all ye who enter here."—Paul Kincaid, SF Site"A work that reads like language stripped bare, myth tracked to its origin."—Locus"Sublimely lyrical Jacobeanesque dialect . . . readers who enjoy symbolism and allusion will cherish Gilman’s use of diverse folkloric elements to create an unforgettable realm and ideology."—Publishers Weekly"'Green quince and bletted medlar, quiddany and musk': Greer Gilman fills your mouth with wincing tastes, your ears with crowcalls, knockings and old, old rhythms, your eyes with beautiful and battered creatures, sly-eyed, luminous or cackling as they twine and involute their stories. Gilman writes like no one else. To read her is to travel back, well back, in time; to wander in thrall through mist on moor and fell; to sink up to the nostrils in a glorious bog of legend and language, riddled with bones and iron, sodden with witches' blood."—Margo Lanagan, author of Tender Morsels"Greer Gilman is a master of myth and language with few equals in this world. Cloud and Ashes is a triumphant, heart-rending triptych, a mosaic of folklore, intellectual pyrotechnics, and marvelous, motley characters that takes the breath and makes the blood beat faster."—Catherynne M. Valente, author of In the Night Garden"No one else writes like Greer Gilman. She is one of our most innovative and important writers, in fantasy or out of it. If you want to see what language can do, the heart-stopping beauty it can achieve, read Cloud & Ashes."—Theodora Goss, author of In the Forest of Forgetting"Cloud and Ashes is a dark pastoral shaped from bits of ballads, scraps of nursery rhymes, fragments of Tarot, tatters of ancient myth, and shreds of archaic language, all shot through with luminous ribbons of Gilman's own personal cosmology.... Gilman's prose reminds us that most magical systems locate the power of magic in the power of language itself. Cloud and Ashes is particularly recommended to those readers who enjoy myth and folklore, especially the myths of Ariadne and Persephone. Cloud and Ashes is also highly recommended to those readers who enjoy fantasy which explores language and folklore."—Green Man Review“Gilman's ‘A Crowd of Bone’ . . . is dense, jammed with archaic words and neologisms . . . but the story—complex, tangled in narrative as well as syntax, and very dark—rewards the most careful of readings."—The Washington Post Book World“I am wind and memory who spells this . . .”In the eighteen years since her Crawford Award–winning debut novel Moonwise, Greer Gilman’s writing has only grown more complex and entrancing, more beguiling and inventive.Gilman’s second novel, Cloud & Ashes, is a slow whirlwind of language, a button box of words, a mythic Joycean fable that will invite immersion, study, revisitation, and delight. To step into her world is to witness the bright flashes, witty turns, and shadowy corners of the human imagination, limned with all the detail and humor of a master stylist. In Gilman’s intricate prose, myth and fable live, breathe, and dance as they do nowhere else.Cloud & Ashes collects three Winter’s Tales (“Jack Daw’s Pack,” “A Crowd of Bone,” and the longest, “Unleaving”) centering on folk traditions, harvest rites, the seasons, gods, and trickster figures.In “Unleaving,” Margaret, granddaughter of a goddess, escapes from the underworld into the human realm, Cloud. She is pursued, and, in escaping, brings about an epochal change, separating the kingdom of myth from the human world.Cloud & Ashes is a work that reaches back to the richness of Shakespeare—Gilman understands that the depth of Shakespeare’s work lies in his range—and the reader will rejoice in her counterplay of high myth and bawdry even while being drawn into the world of Cloud. Inventive, playful, and erudite, Gilman is an archeolexicologist rewriting language itself in these long-awaited tales.Greer Gilman is the author of the novel Moonwise, which won the Crawford Award and was shortlisted for the James Tiptree, Jr. and Mythopoeic awards, as well as of the World Fantasy Award–winning “A Crowd of Bone.” She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.