BLUE AND GOLD by K.J.Parker, cover by Vincent Chong. Burton, MI; Subterranean Press; 2010. 1st trade hardcover edition.
A new novella by the enigmatic author of The Engineer Trilogy, The Company, and the novella, Purple & Black.
“Well, let me see,” I said, as the innkeeper poured me a beer. “In the morning I discovered the secret of changing base metal into gold. In the afternoon, I murdered my wife.”
For a man as remarkable as the philosopher Saloninus, just another day.
Of course, we only have his word for it, and Saloninus has been known to be creative with the truth. Little white lies are inevitable expedients when you’re one jump ahead of the secret police and on the brink of one of the greatest discoveries in the history of alchemy. But why would a scientist with the world’s most generous, forgiving patron be so desperate to run away? And what, if anything, has blue got to do with gold?
Trade, fully cloth bound hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly:
“Parker (Purple and Black) opens this darkly comic novella with a grandiose proclamation from its flawed narrator. Saloninus claims to have mastered the art of turning base metal into gold and confesses to poisoning Eudoxia, his wife... The charms of this lovable rogue keep the story moving right up to the final punch line.”
From Library Journal:
“The author of ‘The Engineer Trilogy’ has written a mesmerizing short novel that combines fictional autobiography with political intrigue and the art of the confidence man… History rewrites itself at every turn in this tale of an alchemist whose own base metal becomes, at last, pure gold.”
“[Blue and Gold] is remarkably satisfying for those willing to enjoy the journey and the company.”
From another review in Locus:
“I had more pleasure reading K. J. Parker’s Blue and Gold than just about anything I’ve read all year. It features a beautifully constructed plot, plenty of cynical jokes and even some worthwhile commentary on man as a political beast… This is an extremely funny story through and through.”
From SF Site:
“It’s really a beautifully constructed plot, which snaps home elegantly at the close. Where it is also revealed exactly why the book is called Blue and Gold: gold seems obvious enough, but why blue? The reason is the last delight in a book full of them.”
“The humor is needle sharp as Parker skewers academe and those who would pervert science to their own ends. She has ten novels to her credit including the recent novella Purple and Black also published by Subterranean. This publisher produces little gems in its novella series. This one is a crowning jewel.”
Fine in fine dj.