Special announcement! New Editorial Director!

March 19, 2015

Prometheus Books Announces New Pyr Editorial Director

Rene Sears to Manage Acquisitions and Editorial Direction for SFF Imprint

Amherst, New York—Prometheus Books is pleased to announce Rene Sears as editorial director of Pyr, our science fiction and fantasy imprint. We are thrilled that this appointment coincides with Pyr’s 10th anniversary this month, as it opens the way for a new aesthetic while preserving our rich history.

When Pyr’s original editorial and art director, Lou Anders, resigned after nine years, Sears was tapped to help shepherd projects in progress during the transition. She had been part of our professional family for quite some time, having previously worked with Pyr in several capacities including acquisition support, copyediting, and promotion.

Sears has acquired titles in ongoing series (such as Rising Tide by Rajan Khanna and The Prison in Antares by Mike Resnick) and helped oversee the process of directing cover illustrators and designers. Her first original acquisition is a historical fantasy by author Stephanie Burgis—tentatively titled Masks and Shadows—planned for spring 2016 publication.

In a recent Locus interview, Burgis says the book brings together her “geeky obsessions” of fantasy and opera. With alchemists, mystery, and a plot to assassinate an emperor and empress, this wildly romantic fantasy novel is like an 18th-century Downton Abbey with magic, set in the Austro-Hungarian palace where Joseph Haydn worked as the court composer. Burgis has written a trilogy of middle-grade historical fantasy novels, and numerous short stories for adults. Masks and Shadows will be her adult debut novel.

As Pyr enters its second decade, we are excited by the combination of continuity and fresh point of view the appointment of Rene Sears provides. We’re also proud that Sears adds to the growing list of women in executive positions at science fiction and fantasy presses, joining such esteemed editors and publishers as Toni Weisskopf at Baen, Ginjer Buchanan at Ace, and Joanna Kramer at Orbit.
Before joining Pyr, Sears copyedited for mental_floss magazine. She has a BA in English literature from Duke University and an MFA in sequential art (also known as comic books) from Savannah College of Art and Design. Her short stories have been published at Daily Science Fiction and in the Fantasy Faction Anthology. She lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with her husband, two children, and dog.
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Smash 'em together

We love playing by the rules.

Yeah...sure. That's why some of our favorite books have been mash-ups of different genres, a little of this and a little of that.  A square peg that might be able to squeeze itself into the round hole but throws up it's arms in triumph yelling "You can't make me do it!" Here's what we're talking about:


Vampires + steampunk + pulp adventure + romance + politics + alternate history

The original Vampire Empire trilogy introduced a fresh approach to vampire mythology while also starting an epic romance. Cue fangirl squee: The story of Gareth and Adele will continue with a new ongoing, character-based series that will start with The Geomancer this fall!


Science fiction + legal drama + quantum physics + murder mystery 

Next month, David Walton seamlessly blends hard science fiction and particle physics with a crime so twisted, it'll keep you guessing until the end. It will be followed by a book, Supersymmetry, in September.


Wild west + steampunk

Few stories are stranger than Mike Resnick's Weird West tales. Join Doc Holliday, Thomas Edison, Billy the Kid, and Geronimo in


Portal story + flintlock fantasy 

A 21st-century man walks into a world of magic and mayhem.  Luckily, his enemies have never seen what weapons the modern world can create. the second book, Gold Throne in Shadow, comes in this fall!


Steampunk + sword and planet

Ever wonder what Victorian London would look like on another planet? With aliens dressed to the nines? Wonder no more!


It's time for this week's giveaway!  To celebrate our 10th anniversary we're once again offering up one copy of any book mentioned in this post! Yep, that even applies to the books coming out this fall. So to enter, comment below or send an e-mail with the subject "Week two giveaway" (making sure to include which book you'd like to win) to  This contest ends on Friday, the 20th.


No "Dead End" in sight: Mike Resnick on the future of science fiction

As the winner of five Hugos (and nominated for thirty-one more), Mike Resnick is a name every genre fiction fan should know. His Kirinyaga series, with sixty-seven major and minor awards and nominations to date, is the most honored series of stories in the history of science fiction. Resnick published his first book with Pyr, Starship: Mutiny, ten years ago in our inaugural year, and a decade later he began a new series with the recently released The Fortress in Orion.  With sixteen Pyr books in his catalog, and three with our sister imprint Seventh Street Books, we thought we'd ask him a few questions about the past and future of the science fiction and fantasy genre.


Pyr: What drew you to speculative fiction? What are some of the earliest books or stories you remember reading that made you want to write in the genre?

Resnick: It started with Edgar Rice Burroughs' Mars books when I was 8 or 9 years old. I'd graduated to Ray Bradbury's Mars by the time I was 12, and I read every science fiction book I could get my hands on while I was in high school. Its speculations fascinated me, and made almost all other fiction seem somehow lackluster and pedestrian. (Not a view I no longer hold, I should add. But in my formative years, there was science fiction and there was everything else.)

I always knew I wanted to be a writer. I sold my first article at 15, my first poem at 16, my first short story at 17...but back then I knew I had to get a lot better before I attempted to write and sell science fiction, so I didn't sell my first science fiction book (not a very good one, I admit) when I was 24.

It is interesting that your first series with Pyr (the Starship series) was a space opera, and ten years later you begin a new space opera series with The Fortress in Orion. Where were you as a writer ten years ago and where do you see your career headed now?

In both cases -- as well as the Weird Western tetralogy that split them -- (former Pyr editorial director) Lou Anders suggested I write these series. In the case of the Starship series, I'd never done any military science fiction—and indeed, this was not very typical of that sub-genre, since it was and is my firm belief that a good commanded avoids conflict whenever possible. The current Dead Enders trilogy is very like Mission: Impossible (the old TV series, not the Tom Cruise movies) where a team of experts, each with a special talent, is given a complex and dangerous situation to solve.

Looking back at your own work over the last ten years, what themes do you see emerging? How much of that is a conscious decision going into writing, and how much do you find looking back?

You have to understand: I've been a full-time and reasonably successful science fiction writer for about 40 years, and was winning awards for it as far back as 1977, so I'd have to say that 75 novels and close to 300 stories into my career, I may be revisiting and honing certain themes, doing variations on them, but brand-new themes are not emerging (though brand-new approaches still are). Like every writer, every time I get an interesting notion it goes into my idea file, where some 200+ stories and books are still waiting for me to find the time to write them.

How has science fiction as a genre changed over 10 years? What do you see on the horizons for SF?

In the mid-1950s there were 56 professional science fiction magazines, and less than 100 science fiction books were published annually. These days we have 3 digest magazines and we publish about 1,500 books a year. So the major change is obvious: we have morphed from a short story field which boasted the occasional novel to a novel field that has a much more limited market for short stories.

That's artistically. Professionally, more and more writers—new and established alike—and are finding workable and meaningful ways to self-publish and make a living at it, which was never possible as recently as ten years ago.


Thank you to Mike Resnick for that insight!

Last week we announced a giveaway with our Women of Writing round up, and a winner has officially been chosen. Congrats to Cynthia Carter on wining a copy of Edge of Dark!  This Friday we'll have another giveaway to continue our 10th anniversary celebration.


The Wonderful Women of Writing

There's frequent grumbling in the science fiction and fantasy genres that there aren't enough female authors. In honor of Pyr’s month-long 10th anniversary celebration, let’s take a look at a few women writers we've published over the years.

Brenda Cooper is an award winning author of science fiction, and this week she brings us a brand new space opera Edge of Dark.  This duology explores the conflict between an advanced society that has filled a solar system with flesh and blood life and the near-AI’s that it banished long ago.  She's also author of the Ruby's Song series, The Creative Fire and The Diamond Deep.


Janet Edward's YA series has won multiple awards around the world, and all the books aren't even out yet in the US! Earth Girl and Earth Star follow Jara as she goes from an unknown, Earth-bound outcast to a planetary hero in the spotlight. The third and final book, Earth Flight, comes out this September.


Kristine Kathryn Rusch heads deep into the ruins of space with Diving Into the Wreck, City of Ruins, and Boneyards. Historian Boss discovers an impossible spaceship from Earth, and what she finds could lead to an intergalactic war.

Kay Kenyon's writes on a grander-than-grand scale, and she proved this in her Entire and the Rose series.  Bright of the Sky first came out in our second year, and the Philip K. Dick and John W. Campbell award nominated author completed her space opera with A World Too Near, City Without End, and Prince of Storms.


K. V. Johansen revisits the world of her novel Blackdog in her newest epic fantasy series with The Leopard and The Lady.  A war rages between gods and the people of Marakand, can their only hope free his soul to rescue them all?

Philippa Ballantine's Shifted World novels throw ancient spirits and dragons into a landscape that constantly changes.  A quest story like no other, Hunter and Fox and Kindred and Wings take you into the depths of the world and the history of a ruined people. 

And to celebrate these women (and our ten year anniversary) let's kick off our first giveaway of the month!  We're choosing one person to win any book mentioned in this post.  Comment below or send an e-mail to with the subject "Week one giveaway," making sure to include which book you'd like to win if we choose you. The winner will be announced on Wednesday!


Hooray for March – Pyr Celebrates its 10th Anniversary All Month Long!

Everyone likes a celebration, and we think bringing you great science fiction and fantasy books for the past TEN YEARS is a pretty good reason to celebrate.  So, check our Facebook page, Twitter feed, and of course this blog throughout the month for exclusive behind-the-scenes posts and articles, and of course, plenty of giveaways.


The Wide World's End

The tale of the early days of Morlock Ambrosius--master of all magical makers, wandering swordsman, and son of Merlin--concludes!

James Enge can do wondrous things with words.  He can make you feel like you're in the middle of a battlefield or stuck in a dungeon, he can make you weep for the wicked and cheer for them too.  If you haven't yet read any of his books (or short stories)

Morlock Ambrosius is a crooked man.  Well, sure he's got a bit of a mean streak--but with his hunched shoulder he's literally crooked.  He's also a drunk. And his dad is Merlin.  So, life hasn't really been all that easy for Morlock.

If you're looking for a tale of swords, magic, dragons and dwarves, told with a healthy dose of humor and wit, then look no further than Enge's Morlock books.  The final volume of his Tournament of Shadows series, The Wide World's End, came out earlier this month.

If you're not willing to commit to a trilogy, you can pick up any of these epic stand-alones (which I promise really isn't an oxymoron) featuring the one and only Morlock Ambrosius.


Win an ARC of Superposition!

Get ready for a mind-bending, quantum physics murder mystery unlike anything you've ever read before!

Jacob Kelley's family is turned upside down when an old friend turns up, waving a gun and babbling about an alien quantum intelligence. The mystery deepens when the friend is found dead in an underground bunker…apparently murdered the night before he appeared at Jacob's house. Jacob is arrested for the murder and put on trial.  

As the details of the crime slowly come to light, the weave of reality becomes ever more tangled, twisted by a miraculous new technology and a quantum creature unconstrained by the normal limits of space and matter. With the help of his daughter, Alessandra, Jacob must find the true murderer before the creature destroys his family and everything he loves.

Head over to Goodreads and enter to win an ARC of Superposition!


Get your questions ready

Do Ferals go to the movies? Are there any pickles left after the end of the world? Do YOU have a question for Falling Sky author Rajan Khanna?

All of your apocalypse-related questions can be answered by the author on his Reddit Ask Me Anything page on February 19th! You can post your questions during the day, and Rajan will start to answer them at 7 pm ET. Look for his name on the Books section sidebar to participate.

Go check it out, and ask Rajan Khanna (almost) anything your heart desires.


Farewell, Widdershins

Widdershins has been abandoned, kicked down, left for dead, stabbed a few of times, and arrested once or twice. She thought leaving her home would help her wounds heal, but now she knows the only way to forget your past is to bury it once and for all.  Tomorrow, Ari Marmell brings his thrilling Widdershins Adventures to a dramatic close in Covenant's End

The thief Widdershins and her own "personal god," Olgun, return to their home city of Davillon after almost a year away. Her nemesis, Lisette, has also returned, and she is not alone. Lisette has made a dark pact with supernatural powers that have granted her abilities far greater than anything Widdershins and Olgun can match.

Together, Widdershins and Olgun will face enemies on both sides of the law, for Lisette's schemes have given her power in both Davillon's government and its underworld. 

Even with the help of Olgun, old friends, and new allies, Widdershins may be required to make the hardest sacrifice of her life, if she is to rid Davillon--and herself--of Lisette once and for all.

To celebrate the conclusion of the Widdershins series, you can pick up the Kindle edition of the first Widdershins Adventure, Thief's Covenantat only $3.99 for the entire month!

And the next books in the series will be waiting patiently with open, when you've finished. This is one you definitely won't want to miss.


Win it before you can buy it!

From now until February 1,  you can hop on over to Goodreads to for the chance to win an ARC of Brenda Cooper's latest science fiction novel Edge of Dark, which hits shelves this March!

What if a society banished its worst nightmare to the far edge of the solar system, destined to sip only dregs of light and struggle for the barest living.  And yet, that life thrived?  It grew and learned and became far more than you ever expected, and it wanted to return to the sun.  What if it didn’t share your moral compass in any way?

In Edge of Dark, meet ranger Charlie Windar and his adopted wild predator, and explore their home on a planet that has been raped and restored more than once.  Meet Nona Hall, child of power and privilege from the greatest station in the system, the Diamond Deep.  Meet Nona’s best friend, a young woman named Chrystal who awakens in a robotic body….