Soon in bookshops:
Water Logic

“I've been writing 12 hours a day, no shower, hardly eating... and generally behaving like an artist for once.” – Laurie

“I've been writing 12 hours a day, no shower, hardly eating... and generally behaving like an artist for once.” – Laurie

Water Logic
(Book 3 of the Elemental Logic series)

Book summary

In Water Logic, a new government has formed, and now soldiers and farmers, scholars and elemental talents, weary of war, must fight to ensure that revenge and retribution are not their only future. Some on each side cannot forget their losses, and some cannot imagine being at peace with former foes. And there is a mystery: before memory, before recorded history, something once happened that now must be remembered. Now, by water logic, the logic of patterns repeated, the lost must be found – or the found may forever be lost.

By water logic . . .

  • a cow doctor becomes a politician
  • a soldier becomes a flower farmer
  • a lost book contains a lost future
  • the patterns of history are made and unmade

Water Logic is an epic work of sustained imagination that tells deep truths about politics, people, and power.

Read an excerpt from Water Logic

Listen to Chapter 1 read by the book's author, Laurie J. Marks

  • By winter's end, the field of rubble had become famous. The new councilors of Shaftal had begun to arrive in Watfield from far and near, and all came to view the remains of the destroyed wall. Seth went there as soon as she and her Paladin companion entered the city, even before they sought a place to lay down their heavy packs and thaw their frozen fingers.
  • Read the rest of Chapter 1 . . .

Reviews of Water Logic

  • “This is a genuinely original and subversive work of fantasy literature. It's the real thing: capable of changing the world, or at least the way you see it.
  • “Grittier and ultimately more satisfying than Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover novels, but with some of the same delicious sense of a world with plenty of room for queerness ... there's the depth and mythic sweep of Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea novels, with a seasoned, mature sense of a world where adults make hard choices and live with them.
  • “Marks's characters are real people who breathe and sleep and sweat and love; the food has flavor and the landscape can break your heart. You don't find this often in any contemporary fiction, much less in fantasy: a world you can plunge yourself into utterly and live in with great delight, while the pages turn, and dream of after.” – Ellen Kushner, author of The Privilege of the Sword
  • Early reviews of Water Logic . . .

Readers ask questions about Water Logic – Laurie Marks answers

Q: According to your elemental profile, your elemental make-up includes 0% water. Did this make Water Logic a harder book to write?
A: For a while I feared it would be impossible. When I was working on an early draft of the book, my friend Rosemary Kirstein, who's in my writer's group, said that in order for the plot to work, the protagonist, Zanja, needed to learn to think in a water-logical sort of way – Zanja, a crosser of boundaries, had to cross the boundary into an alien way of thinking. Of course, for her to cross that boundary, I had to do it also, and this was not good news.
Fortunately, in this non-Shaftal world, a person's elemental make-up is just a metaphor. So I was able to call on my varied (or random) life experiences and remember the times that I vaguely understood how music works, even just for a moment; or the rare occasion that I actually enjoyed mathematics; or the process by which I had gradually become able to be funny.
I also was able to spend a couple of hours talking to a friend, Mike Manning, who is an accomplished musician and mathematician.
But the most helpful part of my research was serendipidous: By chance I discovered that Karen Joy Fowler, whose book Sarah Canary is one of my favorite books of all time, is essentially a water witch – she's practically 100% water. So Sarah Canary became my model of water logic – what it sounds like, what it looks like, how it works.
Q: How do you choose names for your characters?
A: I look at the books on my shelves and put together random syllables from the titles until I come up with something that sounds good. Naming places isn't any more scientific, and I hate the process just as much.

See our faq for more questions and answers on Laurie's writing.