(Found) HELP!! Novel series about woman mapmaker

ShaunaC

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Aug 15, 2020
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These were 2 novels that seemed meant to be part of a trilogy. I believe the author was an academic, maybe a professor, with an unusual name. The 2 books were published years apart, the first one in the 80s, maybe even earlier, and the second in the 90s. Main character was a young woman who traveled as a mapmaker, part of a highly respected & fairly powerful guild. There were "wizards" who seemed to use advanced technology that seemed like magic. There was another main character, a young man, who wanted to become a wizard and figured out how to make gunpowder. There was an alien race that lived beyond a kind of dead zone, who lived in kind of a hive-like community. They communicated using shape blocks that the females produced from their bodies. The males could only "speak" if they collected these blocks to use. There was another male character that used a boat to find these creatures. The boat had to have a copper bottom because there were tiny snails in the water that would bore through the boat below the waterline
 

Suzecog

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Aug 20, 2013
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I knew I’d read this as soon as I read your post. I remembered those aliens, but from where I had no idea. The first part reminded me of Rosemary Kirstein’s Steerswoman books which were published with a long gap between books 2 and 3, so that fits your recollection. A bit of rummaging confirmed that there were strange aliens in it, similar to your description. There are 4 books in total and I believe another 2 in the pipeline. I’m looking forward to reading
 

ShaunaC

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Aug 15, 2020
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I knew I’d read this as soon as I read your post. I remembered those aliens, but from where I had no idea. The first part reminded me of Rosemary Kirstein’s Steerswoman books which were published with a long gap between books 2 and 3, so that fits your recollection. A bit of rummaging confirmed that there were strange aliens in it, similar to your description. There are 4 books in total and I believe another 2 in the pipeline. I’m looking forward to reading
Oh my god, thank you so much! This has been driving me crazy for years!! I had actually gotten the books from the library instead of buying them, and knew there was supposed to be a new one coming out but couldn't remember the author or title by the time I thought to look. Oh, what a relief! Thank you
 

Suzecog

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Aug 20, 2013
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45
You are very welcome and thank you for coming back to confirm it was your book. It’s so frustrating when people don’t. The books are pretty cheap on Kindle at the moment too. Happy reading!
 

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