After reading Plague Birds by Jason Sanford this time last year, I bought all his novellas and story collections available on Amazon. However, this weekend when I decided to read the Nebula finalist novella, Blood Grains Speak Through Memories, I had no idea that it was the first quarter of a mosaic novel whose final part was only published this February. Had I read it as soon as I’d bought it, I’d have waited months to find out the resolution to the wider story arc.
Set in the distant future, The Blood Grains saga shows a world where nanotechnology rules humanity with a tight fist in order to protect the planet. Humans now live in two distinct groups. The day fellows, nomadic tribes that more around constantly in caravans, and anchors, those who serve the grains and are allowed to settle the land in recompense.
The grains control and manipulate the anchors through emotions and memories culled from their servants dating back twenty thousand years.
The story starts with one anchor, Frere-Jones, who has become disillusioned with the type of life the grains permit. It continues with her son, Colton, another anchor, Alexnya, and her mother in law, Chakatie.
Jason Sanford does it again. I am in awe of his writing. It’s so beautiful, emotional, deep with meaning, multi layered, rich, imaginative, original, and entertaining.
The world building in this future world is impressive. Each story builds on the last, giving more details about how the world works and how it got to be the way it is.
The characters are compelling, drawing interest from the first line. It’s easy to picture them, and the author expertly presents their differing opinions and agendas so it’s easy to understand their point of view. I loved seeing the world from both the day fellows and anchors sides, and even the grains have a type of personality.
The themes of the saga are what really elevate the story to a deeply satisfying tale. Love, grief, freedom, vengeance, forgiveness, and taking responsibility for your actions are all explored in the saga.
It shows how skilled the writer is that he can fire the imagination with his ideas, ignite your intellect with the dilemmas he describes, and leave you in tears with the story. Highly recommended.
I award The Blood Grains saga…
While Blood Grains Speak Through Memories is available for purchase as a separate novella, the other parts of the mosaic novella are only available to read in Beneath Ceaseless Skies.
The Emotionless, In Love was first published in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, March 2018.
Where the World Ends Without Us was first published in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, March 2020.
Blood Grains Scream in Memories was first published in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, February 2022.