Books by Emma Bull

TERRITORY by Emma Bull
Released: July 10, 2007

"Talky, often impenetrable, and so what? An indigestible concoction that'll stick in most folks' craws."
Bull (Finder, 1994, etc.) attempts to recast the events leading up to the gunfight at the O.K. Corral as a psychic battle between good and evil sorcerers. Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 1997

Victorian sleuthing, though billed as fantasy, from Brust (Five Hundred Years Later, 1994, etc.) and Bull (Finder, 1994). The story of James Cobham, Chartist, revolutionary, and confidant of Friedrich Engels, one of the founders of Communism, emerges through a series of letters and journal entries. In 1849, Cobham finds himself at an inn near Portsmouth, having supposedly perished in a boating accident two months before; he has no memory of the interval, though he bears suggestive scars and injuries. He then writes to his brother, at their ancestral Melrose Hall, where Cobham's independently wealthy cousin and bold amateur detective, Susan Voight, determines to discover why someone tried to murder him and why he was held capture and deprived of his memory. Some of the answers lie in Cobham's past activities as a daring revolutionary, as Susan's sleuthing and his own returning recollections attest. Behind all the strange goings-on is a bunch of sinister occultists allied with rich foreign power-brokers, whose objectives are to disinherit Cobham in favor of old rival Alan Tournier, and to discredit the entire revolutionary movement by manipulating Cobham. Very difficult to approach, top-heavy with philosophizing, and not particularly rewarding—although characterizing it as a humdrum Victorian adventure is, ironically enough, some measure of the author's success. Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 1994

The princess has been cursed by the Lord of Night: if she's not given whatever she wants, her parents will die and their kingdom ``fall into ruin.'' Bull's tale is built on the princess's unusual response to this prescription for indulgence: she does her best not to want anything. Still, she has treasures- -a cloak of invisibility and a horse, dog, cat, and crow—that she takes along when she sets out to find ``something'' she has dreamed about. Having given them all away to those in need, she comes home to find her parents in despair: the Lord is certain she now lacks what she wants. But no: the princess's kind gifts were her own choice. The magic ring that reverses the effect of the Lord's words, thus granting her real wish—to lift the curse- -is a bit of a cop-out, but children will enjoy debating Bull's original premise. Gaber's romantic, stylishly rendered art, escaping its borders to enliven clean white margins, is also sure to appeal. (Picture book. 5-10) Read full book review >
FINDER by Emma Bull
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

Elfland has returned, magically inserting itself into modern America; in the buffer zone between the two, Bordertown, where magic works alongside electricity and gas supplies, congregate misfits and refugees from both our reality and Elfland. One such human is Orient, whose talent is, unerringly, to find things or people; his partner, Tick-Tick, is an elf princess and motorbike mechanic. Orient is hired by Sunny Rico, one of Bordertown's distinctive, broad-minded, laid-back cops, to trace the drugs distributed by a recently murdered small-time dealer. The drugs purportedly transform humans into elves, but the victims die- -although Tick-Tick reports that the drugs actually work somewhat. They determine that a cop is involved somewhere along the line. Then, suddenly, elves fall sick: Sunny's partner, Linn, is an early victim, then Tick-Tick. As Sunny and Orient work to unravel the relationship between the wannabe-elves, the drugs, and the epidemic, romance between them grows; but elves are dying, and the guilty cop might well be Sunny's boss. Splendid ideas and beguilingly life-like characters, with a well set-up plot that mostly holds water. Despite the unnecessary last 50 pages: a refreshing, ingenious hardcover debut. Read full book review >