The Cosmic Codex
The Cosmic Codex
Club Codex (November 2023): "The Mountain in the Sea" by Ray Nayler

Club Codex (November 2023): "The Mountain in the Sea" by Ray Nayler

Read and discuss the Locus Award winning novel
“An alien intelligence” by Brian S. Pauls; Digital illustration created using Midjourney
My latest short story An Unexpected Grace appears in Boundary Shock Quarterly 24: Science Fiction Holidays.
Still coming to terms with her decisions during a recent assignment, Corporal Siwela takes a leave-of-absence. Perhaps a holiday visit to her home community will help get her head straight. But the trip doesn’t go as planned. Marooned and wounded in the Martian outback, running out of air, Siwela won’t survive without aid. This wasn’t how she planned to spend Christmas.

Princess Serina, the last survivor of House Starfire, refuses to be crowned empress until she’s wiped out the rebels who killed her family. Only then will she prove to the bickering nobility, and herself, that she is worthy of the crown.

Just when victory seems near, mysterious messages lead her to believe the rebels have infiltrated the Core’s military. Her investigations reveal a new threat, one even more insidious than the assassination of the emperor sixteen years before. Will she unmask the conspiracy that threatens to destroy everything she sacrificed to protect? Or will she become its next victim?

On the Outward Edge is the first book in a series of five novellas capturing the critical moments of the fourth era, the Core Galactic Empire, in the Myriadu universe

Our Club Codex selection beginning November 26 is The Mountain in the Sea by Ray Nayler. We’re starting this novel a bit late because the previous discussion went longer than expected. Nayler received the Locus Award for First Novel in June.

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From the publisher’s website:

“Rumors begin to spread of a species of hyperintelligent, dangerous octopus that may have developed its own language and culture. Marine biologist Dr. Ha Nguyen, who has spent her life researching cephalopod intelligence, will do anything for the chance to study them.

The transnational tech corporation DIANIMA has sealed the remote Con Dao Archipelago, where the octopuses were discovered, off from the world. Dr. Nguyen joins DIANIMA’s team on the islands: a battle-scarred security agent and the world’s first android.

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The octopuses hold the key to unprecedented breakthroughs in extrahuman intelligence. The stakes are high: there are vast fortunes to be made by whoever can take advantage of the octopuses’ advancements, and as Dr. Nguyen struggles to communicate with the newly discovered species, forces larger than DIANIMA close in to seize the octopuses for themselves.

But no one has yet asked the octopuses what they think. And what they might do about it.”

Here’s the discussion schedule for November and December:

  • November 26-December 2: Chapters 1-16

  • December 3-December 9: Chapters 17-32

  • December 10-December 16: Chapter 33-Epilogue

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I plan to post my thoughts on our current chapter selection to Club Codex each week. Join me!

Please restrict posted comments to the chapters we are currently discussing or have discussed. This will help protect other participants from spoilers. Thank you!

I look forward to sharing ideas with each of you.

Go to Discussion Thread

The final Club Codex selection of the year is as follows:

  • December: Dreams Bigger Than Heartbreak by Charlie Jane Anders1

Questions or comments? Please share your thoughts!

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“Dreams Bigger Than Heartbreak” is the second book in Anders’ Unstoppable trilogy. Participants in this discussion are encouraged to read the first novel, “Victories Greater Than Death”, in advance.