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STEPHEN GOLDIN is a Nebula Award finalist science fiction and fantasy writer who was born in 1947 in the city of Philadelphia. When he was 13, his parents moved to California and, upon reflection, he decided to accompany them. It was a lucky thing he did, too; otherwise, when he went to college, the commute to UCLA would have been quite difficult. He eventually graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor's degree in Astronomy.
His first job out of college was as a civilian space scientist for the U.S. Navy. The urge to write was strong, though, and after several years he left to try writing full time. He only regretted the move every other Thursday, when he would have gotten paid.
After several years of genteel poverty, he took a job as writer/editor for a pornographic humor paper, the San Francisco Ball. In retrospect, this was a great crucible; because of deadline pressure, he had to learn to make his writing dirty, funny, and one draft.
At about this time, too, he began selling novels on a regular basis. While he has, from time to time, held down other full-time employment (he helped design the Star Trek: The Next Generation computer game "A Final Unity" for Spectrum HoloByte and has also written manuals and game design documents for Maxis), his real love is fiction writing and he continues to pursue it.
His first wife was fellow author Kathleen Sky. Their medieval-style wedding was a Saturday morning program item at the 1972 World Science Fiction Convention in Los Angeles. In the 10+ years of their marriage, in addition to their individual works, they collaborated on a pair of stories ("Painting the Roses Red" and "The Devil Behind the Leaves") about the diMedicis, a family of interstellar swindlers.
Mr. Goldin's current wife is fellow author Mary Mason. Their wedding took place the night before EclectiCon 1 in Sacramento, at which Mr. Goldin was the Guest of Honor. They currently live in the San Francisco East Bay area. So far they have co-authored two books in the Rehumanization of Jade Darcy series: Jade Darcy and the Affair of Honor and Jade Darcy and the Zen Pirates. More books in this series are planned.
Mr. Goldin is an atheist whose interests include Broadway show albums and surrealist art. He has lived with cats virtually all his adult life.
Mr. Goldin served the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America as editor of the SFWA Bulletin and as SFWA's Western Regional Director.
on Dec. 09, 2015 :
Wow! Just one more chapter…
As a child, I loved the Tales of the Arabian Nights, of djinns and wizards, clever thieves and maidens-in-peril. The Parsina Saga has that same feel of exotic landscapes and ordinary people caught up in the clash between ancient good vs. evil. I could smell the spices and feel their exhaustion as they stumbled through desert heat, cheered for the characters who jumped right off the page, and found myself staying up late into the night to read 'just one more chapter' like Sheherezade's mad sultan.
What was most interesting about this series is the fact it's not your same old boring re-hash of Lord of the Rings (which, let's face it, while we all love it, does every … single … epic fantasy series really need to be set in a medieval world?) I found myself running to the computer to google exotic words such as caravansary which, while I understood perfectly in context of the story was a camel-stable, I just -had- to find out if such a thing existed in real life (they did). Of course then I fell down the Wikipedia rabbit hole to learn about djinns and the ancient caravan routes. Some of the ruins of these caravan-cities were beautiful (google Qalaat al-Madiq). After reading this series, I could picture what they must have looked like in their heyday.
While the length and worldbuilding in this series was excellent for a hard-core epic fantasy doorstopper fan like me, I would feel very comfortable giving these books to my teenage daughters to read. Fingers crossed: maybe THEY will fall down the Wikipedia rabbit hole as well. There is a nice blend of characters of different ages, genders, backgrounds and personalities that there is something for everybody. I think I learned more about the history and geography of the Middle East than in two semesters of World History classes.
My only criticism is the first chapter starts out with an 'old style' history of the city from an omniscient narrator. I'm an action-oriented reader, so I was a lot happier once I got into the head of the characters and started seeing the city through their eyes. Once there, I was absolutely hooked through the next 1,000+ pages of epic goodness.
(reviewed the day of purchase)