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Peng Shepherd

Autor(a) de The Cartographers

5+ Works 2,626 Membros 125 Críticas 2 Favorited

About the Author

Includes the name: Peng Shepherd

Obras por Peng Shepherd

The Cartographers (2022) 1,688 exemplares
The Book of M (2018) 862 exemplares
All This and More (2024) 20 exemplares
Free Cake {short fiction} (2013) 1 exemplar

Associated Works

Some of the Best of Tor.com 2021 Edition (2022) — Contribuidor — 81 exemplares
The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2022 (2022) — Contribuidor — 79 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum

Data de nascimento
Local de nascimento
Phoenix, Arizona, USA
New York University (MFA | Creative writing)



What if you could go back to moments in your history and make a different choice? Because of the butterfly effect, even small changes can have ripple effects that result in major differences for the future.

Marsh gets such a chance when she is picked to be the contestant on Season 3 of "All This and More," a reality TV show that, thanks to the technology known as "quantum bubbling," allows her to go back in time and make different choices.

This new technology is very vaguely explained, so the reader must have a large capacity for suspension of disbelief here regarding this plot point, which undergirds the entire novel. Once you get past that, the story proceeds smoothly. Most of the book consists of Marsh making change after change to her history, which leads her down a different path from the one her original life took. I found the different iterations of her life story a little confusing to follow, but if you let go of the need to keep it straight in your head it kind of just flows, one episode to the next.

Complications arise that throw a monkey wrench into Marsh's story as well as adds a twist and suspenseful story line, and towards the end the plot picks up speed.

There is a "pick your ending" element to this novel, and the author tells us in the beginning that the reader can choose to read straight through (which I did) or choose various decisions for Marsh and take a wilder ride.

There are some plot points that don't make sense and don't resolve (what happened to the Chrysalis pill?) so it's best for the reader to just enjoy the ride, the concept, and the adventure.
… (mais)
ChayaLovesToRead | May 12, 2024 |
I picked up this book because I love maps and am always drawn to titles that hint of maps. This novel is a murder/map mystery with elements of the fantastic. When Nell’s father, head of the Maps Division at the central New York Public Library, is murdered, Nell discovers he has hidden an out-of-date gas station map that caused a falling out between them years earlier. Uncovering why he has kept the map and why its ownership is a threat takes Nell and the reader on a journey of discovery. The novel is inspired by the true story of a phantom settlement placed on a map by its creators to protect their copyright—this was a common practice in days gone by. When I look at maps, I see in them time and place and possibility; it is the last of these that the novel explores. An entertaining read about not your everyday group of characters (i.e., cartographers).… (mais)
EvaMSO | 67 outras críticas | May 6, 2024 |
Cartographers by Peng Shepherd

Print: Available – (Bib info from Amazon website) ISBN-13: 978-0062910691; Publisher: William Morrow; Publication date: 03/15/2022; Pages: 400
Digital: COPYRIGHT: 2022; PUBLISHER: William Morrow (HarperCollins); ISBN: 9780062910721; CHAPTERS: 27; PAGES: 392 (Kindle)
*Audio: (info from Overdrive) COPYRIGHT: 13-March-2022; ISBN: 9780063096530; PUBLISHER: HarperAudio; DURATION: 14:46:06; PARTS: 14; File Size: 423523 KB; Unabridged (Overdrive LAPL MP3)
Feature Film or tv: Not that I’m aware of.


CHARACTERS: (Not comprehensive-and spelling could be wrong)
Helen (Nell) Young – Protagonist
Dr. Daniel Young – Nell’s father, head of the NYPL map division
Tamara (Tam) Jasper-Young – Nell’s mother
Wally – One of Daniel and Tamara’s college friends
Romi – One of Daniel and Tamara’s college friends
Eve – One of Daniel and Tamara’s college friends
Francis – One of Daniel and Tamara’s college friends
Bear – One of Daniel and Tamara’s college friends
Felix – Nell’s old boyfriend

Selection: Don (husband) and I were at a public library in Laguna Niguel. The Friends book store was closed but this was in the display window. Don was intrigued, so I hunted the audio down on Overdrive through my Los Angeles Public Library subscription.
About: The story concerns a young lady, Nell, with a college education that prepared her for map making and archiving. It opens with her in a job she’s somewhat ashamed of after having been evicted from her internship years ago at the New York Public Library’s map department, by her own father, with whom she’s not spoken since. We soon learn he’s been found dead in his office, and here the intrigue begins.
Liked: Story inspired by an actual historic event; The “phantom settlement” concept; The group of students who became friends, and stellar students in their enthusiasm; The characters and their depth; The plot’s organization; The library setting; The title; The book cover; The apropos initial “Secret Garden” quote that sets the mood; The interview at the end with the author whose responses are gracious and intelligent.
Disliked: Glossing over of small details to make the fantasy components work, or maybe avoid making a long book even longer – example: A phantom settlement closet-sized-room in an academic institution enables a murderer to complete his task completely undetected; Contains a minor inaccuracy or two, such as: I am pretty sure, having worked in both, that Public Libraries do not have the position of “Chairs”. They have “Directors”: Academic libraries have “Chairs”. Many of the character motives don’t work for me. There’s a distinct romanticism for the paper era of maps and books contrasted heavily against cold technology.
Overall: My husband enjoyed this a tad more than I did, I think. I’m a little too critical, I think.

Peng Shepherd – From “About the Author” in the digital edition of the book: “PENG SHEPHERD was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, where she rode horses and trained in classical ballet, and has lived in Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, London, Washington, D.C., and New York City. Her first novel, The Book of M, won the 2019 Neukom Institute for Literary Arts Award for Debut Speculative Fiction and was chosen as a best book of the year by Amazon, Elle, Refinery29, and The Verge, as well as a best book of the summer by the Today show and NPR’s On Point. A graduate of New York University’s MFA program, Peng is the recipient of a 2020 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the Elizabeth George Foundation’s emerging writers 2016 grant.”

EMILY WOO ZELLER-From Wikipedia: “"Emily Woo Zeller is an American voice actress and audio book narrator. She voices Panam Palmer in CD Projekt Red's 2020 videogame Cyberpunk 2077. In the Star Wars canon, she is Dr. Aphra in the audio drama Dr. Aphra and narrated in the 2020 audio production of FROM A CERTAIN POINT OF VIEW: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. Personal life: Zeller attended UC Berkeley majoring in dance, theater, and performance studies. In her fifth year, she was awarded one of the school's Eisner Awards for creative talent in 2006.[1] After school, she spent some time living on Lamma Island in Hong Kong.[2][3]
Awards and honors: In 2020, AudioFile Magazine selected Zeller as a Golden Voice narrator.[4][5][6]"
NANCY WU – From nancywuvoice.com: “Nancy is an award-winning audiobook narrator. Specializing in emotive storytelling, wild and wacky characters, and difficult accents, she is known for magically bringing stories to life.
Her work is consistently featured in AudioFile Magazine, The New York Times, and other top publications.”
KAREN CHILTON – From Penguin Random House Audio Publishing: “Karen Chilton is a New York–based actor and writer. As a narrator, her voice can be heard on numerous audiobooks and in many advertising campaigns, and her narration has garnered her an Audie Award, as well as an AudioFile magazine Earphones Award.”
RON BUTLER – From Wikipedia: “Ronald Butler Jr. is a Bahamian-born American television actor, director and comedian who is best known for portraying Oscar, the clever receptionist, on the Nickelodeon television series True Jackson, VP, from 2008 to 2011. He often portrays former President Barack Obama in comedy sketches. He has performed with the Atlantic Theater Company for over 20 years.”
NEIL HELLEGERS – From Tantor Media: “Neil Hellegers is a narrator, actor, and educator who lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife, son, and orange mutt. His voice work can be heard during various commercials, sundry video games, and in numerous audiobooks. Neil has appeared in films, TV shows, and commercials, and has performed and taught Shakespeare to students of all ages. He has a BA from the University of Pennsylvania in theater arts and psychology, and a MFA in acting from Trinity Rep Conservatory.”
JASON CULP – From IMDb: “Jason Culp was born in Los Angeles, second son of actor/writer Robert Culp and his wife Nancy. Raised variously in the San Fernando Valley, Ojai, Malibu and Beverly Hills, he began acting at the age of 10 in a small role in the film "Hickey & Boggs", directed by his father. After a great deal of theater through his teen years, he trained at the American Conservatory Theater, in New York with Herbert Berghof and Uta Hagen at the esteemed HB Studio, and back in Los Angeles in the 80s with John Lehne. He appeared in the soaps "General Hospital", "Days of our Lives", and appeared in the film "Skinheads". He moved to New York in the early 90s and resided there for 25 years, doing regional theater and focusing on voice over work, audiobooks and writing. He has now returned to Los Angeles to resume his acting career.”
BRITTANY PRESSLEY – From Penguin Random House Audio Publishing: “Brittany Pressley is an AudioFile magazine Earphones Award–winning narrator. She is also an accomplished singer-songwriter and voice actress. Her voice can be heard on national and international TV and radio commercials, as well as in several animated series and video games.”

GENRE: Fantasy; Literacy Fiction; Paranormal and Urban Fantasy; Suspense; Thriller

SUBJECTS: Phantom Settlements; print (paper) maps; academics; computerized maps; map reproductions; mapping; family relations; friends


DEDICATION: (Couldn’t find in the digital version)

EXCERPT (From Chapter 1: The Library) :
“The bell on the door jangled sharply as she pushed her way in, and Farah—unfailingly, in orange—glanced up from her crossword puzzle and tipped her head. Nell made her way to the back of the bodega, where she poured two cups of coffee from the stainless-steel thermos, and then brought them to the counter.
“‘Something lines,’” Farah muttered, brow furrowed. She and Nell never chitchatted, just nodded at each other and occasionally traded puzzle hints, which made Nell like her even more. “Only three letters.”
“Try ‘ley,’” she replied as she held out Humphrey’s money. “What?”
“Ley. L-E-Y.” Ley lines. She smiled. It was a mapmaking term.
The old woman studied the crossword, and then nodded briskly. It fit.
The cash register clicked, the drawer shot open, and Farah handed Nell her change. Nell grabbed a coffee with each hand and ducked into the cold morning again. She almost made it back to their building in one breath, but had to suffer one more lungful of biting air before she scrambled inside and up the stairs.
“Nell.” Humphrey’s voice echoed from the other side of the office as soon as she opened the door.
“I got the coffee,” she replied, but trailed off as she rounded the corner and saw the expression on his face.
“Did you take your phone with you?” he asked. He wasn’t in his office, but by her desk.
“No. What’s wrong?”
In response, his gaze slid over to where her phone sat, screen dark and silent.
“Someone’s been trying to reach you all morning. They just called the main line, in my room,” Humphrey finally said.
“Who was it?” she asked. “Humphrey. Who was it?”
He hesitated, but her warning glare forced him to continue. “You should check your messages,” he said. “Someone from the library needs to talk to you urgently.”
The library.
Nell went to her desk and set the coffees down, then gently picked up her mobile as if it were a small, not quite tame animal. Humphrey was still there, but was staring awkwardly at the pile of junk papers on the desk they used for dumping old mail instead of at her. Trying to give her support and privacy, but in fact just making everything more awkward. She wouldn’t have expected such a big, loud man to become so meek in a crisis. Was this a crisis? She knew she was stalling. Before she could think about it anymore, Nell swiped the screen to unlock the phone and poked the green icon to pull up her calls.
“Are you okay?” he finally asked.
“Yeah,” Nell said.
But she wasn’t. Not at all.
The one she’d missed, several times now, was from someone who wasn’t stored in her contacts anymore and so displayed only as a number rather than a name, but she still recognized it immediately. It was not a number she’d seen in almost a decade, since her unceremonious firing from the NYPL, and never expected to see again, because she’d sworn never to speak to him again for it.
But it was not her father who had made the call from his office phone.
Nell, Swann’s voice was frantic and hushed after the beep. It startled her to hear him, after all this time. I’m sorry to call you like this after so long, but there’s been an emergency. Call me back as soon as you get this.
As soon as the message ended, the phone rang again in her hand, startling her. This time it was the police.”
3 stars

3/05/23 to 4/14/23
… (mais)
TraSea | 67 outras críticas | Apr 29, 2024 |
This book about maps met so many checkboxes for me: dark academia and nostalgic stories, books and libraries, magic and mystery, fathers and daughters. But in the end, it just missed the mark. In the beginning, I was hooked by the conspiratorial plot, the cryptic past, and the furtive meetings about encoded maps, but it just didn’t last. By the middle, I just wanted to know how all the surreptitious pieces connected. And at the end, the esoteric characters felt mostly underdeveloped.

… (mais)
lizallenknapp | 67 outras críticas | Apr 20, 2024 |



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