I am extremely excited to be a part of the cover reveal for The Four Profound Weaves, which centers two trans elders who work together to defeat a murderous tyrant. I was an early reader for this book, and I must tell you that this novella is wonderful, timely, and so very necessary, along with being gorgeously written and characterized, and completely gripping. I’m looking forward to reading the final iteration of the book, which comes out September 1, 2020! (Review to come closer to publication.)
I am delighted by this truly sublime cover that captures so much of the essence of this story. It’s such a beautiful cover and I’m so glad to be sharing it with you!
But don’t just take my word about this amazing book…
Praise for The Four Profound Weaves
“The Four Profound Weaves is a balm and a call to arms. R. B. Lemberg reassures us that there’s still time to find yourself, no matter how old you are; and they stir our revolutionary urges to defeat murderous dictators. But this novella is also a finely-drawn, realistic character study of people who love their communities but never quite feel at home in them. And the magical system is a sheer delight. Thoughtful and deeply moving, The Four Profound Weaves is the anti-authoritarian, queer-mystical fairy tale we need right now.”
—Annalee Newitz, author of Autonomous and The Future of Another Timeline
“R.B. Lemberg writes with a luminous pen, spraying light all around their words and ideas. They create a universe where carpets and cloaks bear history and the future. A perilous chase, with assassins and gods in pursuit, reveals the fluidity of life by following the threads—both bright and dark—that weave together to create a complex and mystical journey toward friendship, family, and love.”
—Jewelle Gomez, author, The Gilda Stories
“R. B. Lemberg’s The Four Profound Weaves tells the journey of a pair of aged and appealing wanderers searching for magic, art, identity, and peace. Thought-challenging points-of-view weave together stark violence, intricate powers, and the musings of long and complicated lives. The Four Profound Weaves contains imagery that glows on the page.”
—Patricia McKillip, author of the Riddle-Master Trilogy and The Forgotten Beasts of Eld
“Nobody in fantasy is doing what R. B. Lemberg is doing. Their work is generous, insightful, and focused on people—older, damaged, queer—whose stories most writers would keep in the background. This is a book about people walking into traps to find themselves, about fumbling out of stagnation and into adventure. Let this be your introduction to R.B.’s world of song carpets, deepnames, and deserts full of roving lovers.”
—Isaac R. Fellman, author of The Breath of the Sun
“Lemberg weaves a gripping tale of community, identity, betrayal, and hope. From the sweeping expanse of the desert to the confined splendor of a sinister palace, every page contains wonder. I flew through the story, breathless, needing to see what would come next, and I was rewarded with every twist in the narrative. The Birdverse is lush and gorgeous, even when painful, and The Four Profound Weaves takes the reader on a wild ride through some of the deepest and richest pockets of it.”
—Julia Rios, Hugo Award-winning editor
“I am staggered by the richness and intricacy of R. B. Lemberg’s imagination. The Four Profound Weaves is an intense and emotional story of a journey of change, growth, and courage.”
—Kate Elliott, author of the Court of Fives trilogy
“Over the years, R. B. Lemberg, in their prose and poetry alike, has built a world of serpents, deserts, stars, and bones, where transformation is omnipresent and restlessness rewarded. The Four Profound Weaves is a jewel-bright tile in their ongoing mosaic. To read it is to experience apotheosis: but instead of toward heaven, we ascend toward a more total humanity. Weaves is a patient work, at times compellingly kind, at other times merciless. Always, subtly woven. Like the Nameless One in its pages, this book does not—perhaps cannot—pretend to be anything other than what it proclaims for itself: the four profound weaves—change, wanderlust, hope, death. But these aren’t chronological; they’re a pattern, a randomized one—and death is only the middle.”
—C. S. E. Cooney, World Fantasy Award-winning author of Bone Swans, Stories
“Reading the first pages of The Four Profound Weaves feels like being invited into the home of a beautiful stranger. As you sit with these characters and come to know them, you too will feel know. In reading this story about recognition and transformation, I felt recognized and transformed. It’s a fantastic alchemy on Lemberg’s part, and their love and labor shines off the page. I don’t know any writer that could so skillfully take me apart with a story, or put me back together with such care. This was a story I didn’t know I desperately needed.”
—Nino Cipri, author of Dzanc Prize-winning Homesick
Book description for The Four Profound Weaves
Two transgender elders must learn to weave from Death in order to defeat an evil ruler—a tyrant who murders rebellious women and hoards their bones and souls—in the first novella set in the award-winning queer fantasy Birdverse universe
Wind: To match one’s body with one’s heart
Sand: To take the bearer where they wish
Song: In praise of the goddess Bird
Bone: To move unheard in the night
The Surun’ nomads do not speak of the master weaver, Benesret, who creates the cloth of bone for assassins in the Great Burri Desert. But aged Uiziya must find her aunt in order to learn the final weave, although the price for knowledge may be far too dear to pay.
Among the Khana in the springflower city of Iyar, women travel in caravans to trade, while men remain in the inner quarter, as scholars. A nameless man struggles to embody Khana masculinity, after many years of performing the life of a woman, trader, wife, and grandmother. As his past catches up, the man must choose between the life he dreamed of and Uiziya – while Uiziya must discover how to challenge the evil Ruler of Iyar, and to weave from deaths that matter.
In this breathtaking debut set in R. B. Lemberg’s beloved Birdverse, The Four Profound Weaves hearkens to Ursula Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness, and offers a timeless chronicle of claiming one’s identity in a hostile world.
About the Birdverse
The Birdverse is the creation of fantasy author R. B. Lemberg. It is a complex, culturally diverse world, with a range of LGBTQIA characters and different family configurations. Named after its deity, Bird, Birdverse works have been nominated for the Nebula award, longlisted for the Hugo award and the Tiptree award, placed in the Rhysling award, won the Strange Horizons readers’ poll, and more. The Four Profound Weaves is the first full-length work set in the Birdverse.
And now…the cover of The Four Profound Weaves
Cover Illustration and design by Elizabeth Story; Cover Consultant: Francesca Myman
About RB Lemberg
R.B. Lemberg is a queer, bigender immigrant from Ukraine, Russia, and Israel to the US. Their stories and poems have appeared in Lightspeed‘s Queers Destroy Science Fiction, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Strange Horizons, Uncanny Magazine, Sisters of the Revolution: A Feminist Speculative Fiction Anthology, People of the Book: A Decade of Jewish Science Fiction and Fantasy, and more. R.B.’s work has been a finalist for the Nebula, Crawford, and other awards. Many of R.B.’s stories are situated in Birdverse, an LGBTQIA+-focused secondary world. Their Birdverse novella The Four Profound Weaves is forthcoming from Tachyon Press in 2020.
In their academic life, R.B. is a sociolinguist working on immigrant discourse, identity, and gender. R.B. lives in Lawrence, KS with their spouse Bogi Takács, child Mati, and an odd but cheerful community of books. You can find R.B. online on Twitter at @rb_lemberg, on Patreon at http://patreon.com/rblemberg, and at rblemberg.net
- I am friends with the author, as well as a patron on Patreon, and I was an early reader for this book.
- All links to Amazon will be affiliate ones. If you buy through those links, I will make a small amount of money on that sale (which I plan to use to buy more books to review), but it will not add any to the cost of your product. It comes out of the company’s profits.
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Related Posts and Reviews
- Where to start with Birdverse infographic by the author
- Links page to all previous Birdverse works on the author’s website
- My review of the Birdverse story “A Portrait of the Desert in Personages of Power”
- My essay response to the Birdverse story “Grandmother-nai-Leylit’s Cloth of Winds”
- My post about the Birdverse story “Geometries of Belonging”