"I've also begun reading novels by British 'science fiction' writer Ian McDonald about other rising powers -- India and Brazil. In River of Godsand the sequel, Cyberabad Days,the writer depicts the India of 2047 as a superpower of one-and-a-half billion in an age of climate change and technological advance -- water wars, genetically improved children -- and a country that has fractured into a dozen separatist states. Similarly, McDonald's novel Brasylis a portrait of near-future Brazil and the lives of a Rio TV producer, a self-made businessman up from the slums of Sao Paulo, and a Jesuit missionary on a mission in the 18th century. It won the British Science Fiction award. The books are well written, semi-plausible and offer a non-American-centric view of the near future -- something that is hard to get from reading or listening to US media cover how the President killed a fly on the air, what Newt Gingrich has to say, or the continuing adventures of Sarah Palin and her family."
Very glad you are enjoying the books, Derek. Next year will see the release of The Dervish House, set in Turkey in an even-nearer future. In the meantime, I hope you get your wish!
(The Fictionwise version of the first book in the John Justin Mallory series, Stalking the Unicorn, is also in the Kindle store for those who haven't read book one.)
Thus, I am very happy to inform you all that we concluded a deal last Friday to publish his novel, The Horns of Ruin, which mixes those same elements of steampunk and crime noir that he does so well with both high fantasy and . I was hooked from the first line of the pitch:
Eva Forge is the last paladin of a dead god.
Cue the Keanu Reeves "whoa." And if that doesn't get you, Tim elaborates, "You know, paladins with jetpacks. Clockwork monasteries besieged by revenants."
Excited? I sure am. Tim's writing it at the moment, so we're looking at late 2010 for a pub date at the earliest, but you can pick up Heart of Veridon in August, and then you can get as excited as I am.
Now, why not head over to Tim's blog and congratulate him?
And I am very pleased to announce that we have no less than 3 book covers up for awards.
In the hardcover category: Dan Dos Santos is up for his cover for Mike Resnick's Stalking the Vampire (wonderful design by Nicole Sommer-Lecht).
And for paperback: Todd Lockwood is up for his cover for Tom Lloyd's The Stormcaller (wonderful design by Grace Conti-Zilsberger ), while John Picacio is also up for his cover for my anthology, Fast Forward 2 (wonderful design by Jaqueline Cooke)
Of lesser interest, and a testament to the wonderful illustrators and in-house designers we have on our covers, I am also on the ballot. More important, I think, is that in a field that may produce 1000 original covers in a year, we have a whoppin' three Pyr books in the list.
Also, it should be pointed out, our pal John Picacio is nominated in FOUR CATEGORIES!!!
Check out his beautiful black&white artwork for interior illustration here (from Del Rey's Elric: The Stealer of Souls):
"The Chesley Awards were established in 1985 as ASFA's peer awards to recognize individual works and achievements during a given year. The Chesleys were initially called the ASFA Awards, but were later renamed to honor famed astronomical artist Chesley Bonestell after his death in 1986. The awards are presented annually at the World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon)."
Congratulations to all the nominees, and to the authors who are so lucky to have such wonderful art! I have always maintained that the history of SF&F illustration that we enjoy is a unique assetof our genre that should be celebrated, so this is very rewarding to see.
“James Enge writes Blood of Ambrosewith a subtle elegance that disguises his extraordinary narrative skill. The humor is natural and unforced. The characterization rings true, even under the revelation of shocking realities. The horror is never glorified, and it is all the more horrific for it. And the plot grows with organic grace. You won’t find any quests here, nor the usual clichés or trappings of epic fantasy. No, these pages drip the unexpected, and they will make you laugh and scream and cry and thirst for more…Simply put, Blood of Ambrose is a powerful and fun stand-alone novel. No cliffhangers. No commitment to three or five or twelve book arcs. Savor it. Read it slowly, and prepare your table for This Crooked Way."
-Adventures in SciFi Publishing blog, June 12, 2009
“When, less than a week after picking up the book, David Eddings died, I was shocked by the coincidence, but comforted that I had found such a worthy successor for my time…The standalone novel is such a rarity in the fantasy isle that walking readers through a character’s adolescent in one volume, never mind doing it convincingly, is a feat worthy of recognition in and of itself. But Enge does tell the story convincingly. At its heart, Blood of Ambrose is a coming of age tale that follows the Lathmar the seventh from the tender age of twelve to manhood. In that, this novel succeeds beautifully. The combination of brevity, rapid pacing, and convincing character development mark Enge out as an author to watch and Blood of Ambrose as a future classic of the Young Adult fantasy section.”
-The Great Geek Manual blog, June 7, 2009
“I've long loved Enge's Morlock stories in Black Gate, and this offers a heaping helping of the Ambrosii and their complicated family dynamic. In a way, this is a coming-of-age story, but it's also a study of family relationships, and it's a darn fine sword and sorcery epic as well. I love the sly asides and vivid imagery, but those never overpower the human elements of the story. I'm hanging onto this one--I bet it'll repay a reread down the road.”
- Electronic Leaves blog, June 10, 2009
Adrian Tchaikovsky's brilliant Shadows of the Apt series is coming to the US!!
We've just done a deal to bring Empire in Black and Gold, Dragonfly Falling, and Blood of the Mantis out here. All three books will be appearing from Pyr in early 2010, published in trade paperback in three consecutive months , March-April-May, so US readers can catch up with this dynamic series fast. Shadows of the Apt is a fantastic fantasy, with steampunk elements, that absolutely blew me away when I read it. Airships, steam trains, giant insects, fantastic characters, great action...
From the book description of Empire in Black and Gold:
Seventeen years ago Stenwold witnessed the Wasp Empire storming the city of Myna in a brutal war of conquest. Since then he has preached vainly against this threat in his home city of Collegium, but now the Empire is on the march, with its spies and its armies everywhere, and the Lowlands lie directly in its path. All the while, Stenwold has been training youthful agents to fight the Wasp advance, and the latest recruits include his niece, Che, and his mysterious ward, Tynisa. When his home is violently attacked, he is forced to send them ahead of him and, hotly pursued, they fly by airship to Helleron, the first city in line for the latest Wasp invasion. Stenwold and Che are Beetle-kinden, one of many human races that take their powers and inspiration each from a totem insect, but he also has allies of many breeds: Mantis, Spider, Ant, with their own particular skills. Foremost is the deadly Mantis-kinden warrior, Tisamon, but other very unlikely allies also join the cause. As things go from bad to worse amid escalating dangers, Stenwold learns that the Wasps intend to use the newly completed railroad between Helleron and Collegium to launch a lightning strike into the heart of the Lowlands. Then he gathers all of his agents to force a final showdown in the engine yard...
And for those of you wondering why you should wait for the US edition? (And needing another reason other than your karma and the desire to support Pyr in bringing across more such deserving UK authors...)
Well, I'm pleased to announce that the brilliant and talented Jon Sullivan, who did the covers for the 2nd and 3rd books in the UK, is going to be doing brand-new artwork for all three of the US editions. Now that's worth waiting for, isn't it?
Ian McDonald's River of Gods
Justina Robson's Mappa Mundi
David Louis Edelman's MultiReal (Volume II of the Jump 225 Trilogy)
That was fast!
Going Under (Quantum Gravity, Book 3)
Infoquake (Volume I of the Jump 225 trilogy)
Fast Forward 1: Future Fiction from the Cutting Edge
The first book, Shadow’s Son, is the story of an assassin thrust into the middle of a political and religious upheaval that threatens to topple the last bastion of civilization. It's got everything that Pyr fantasy is coming to represent - great action, grit & grime, morally ambiguous characters, strong females who are more than foils, complex politics, actual magic, and lots and lots of swordplay. The first book will be out around Summer 2010, which is a while to wait, but I think you guys are going to like it.
Meanwhile, you can visit Jon's website and his Facebook page.
I think the biggest change in SF's overall readership is that it's become much less dominated by hardcore SF buffs whose reading consists largely of SF. Compared to a generation ago, a lot more of our readers are just plain middlebrow readers—people who read a little SF along with a little of a lot of other things, and who don't necessarily regard the SF as alien to the rest of literature, or below the salt, or any of that stuff.
[Today's readers] are probably not connected to the SF social scene, they don't assess their SF and fantasy reading against a huge backdrop of inside-baseball industry lore, they may not have read all of the classics, but they're pretty good at making sense of fairly sophisticated SF storytelling because, guess what, in 2009, hundreds of millions of people are good at making sense of sophisticated SF storytelling. The problem for SF writers and publishers today isn't that there's not a mass audience for high-end SF storytelling; it's that there are immense numbers of other diversions on offer for those hundreds of millions of people.