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Martine, Arkady

Entry updated 26 October 2021. Tagged: Author.

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Pseudonym of US academic and author AnnaLinden Weller (1985-    ) whose doctoral dissertation, "Imagining Pre-Modern Empire: The Letters of Byzantine Imperial Agents Outside the Metropole" (successfully submitted and available 2014), clearly informs her fiction, as does Armenian-Byzantine Frontier: The Cultural Politics of Empire in the Medieval World (2018). She began publishing work of genre interest with "Lace Downstairs" in Abyss and Apex for the 4th Quarter of 2012.

Martine is of specific sf interest for the Teixcalaan sequence beginning with A Memory Called Empire (2019), a Planetary Romance set in a moderately distant future Space Opera galaxy with the action focused on the elaborately bureaucratic, markedly Byzantine central planet of the Teixcalaan Empire (see History in SF). The protagonist, seconded there as ambassador from her native Lsel Station, one of a confederation of Space Habitats, must attempt to navigate the conspiracy-rife intricacies of workings of the Empire, a planet and interstellar domain of Theatre of Memory intricacy (see Memory), where enactions of precedence-dominated protocol are almost insuperably taxing. The protagonist is initially aided by the embedded Aspect (see Avatars) of her dead predecessor; but this "imago" soon malfunctions. The first sequel, A Desolation Called Peace (2021), builds complexly from this base, with a focus on the Politics of empire, and intensifies a sense of how deeply inhabited her Space Opera universe seems. A Memory Called Empire won the Compton Crook/Stephen Tall Memorial Award for best debut novel and the Hugo for best novel. [JC]

AnnaLinden Weller

born New York, 19 April 1985

works

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Teixcalaan

nonfiction (selected)

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