The Geomancer


Author interview

Hey, folks. Hope you don't mind the quick drive-by link, but I wanted you to know about an interview I recently did. It's mostly about The Conqueror's Shadow, which is a novel I just published through Spectra, but there's a bit of info about my forthcoming Pyr novel, The Goblin Corps, as well. And more generally, I talk a bit about my style and preferences as an author, for those who are interested in that sort of thing.

Hope you'll give it a look-see.


Jump 225 Contest on Goodreads

Attention Goodreads members: You can win a copy of David Louis Edelman's INFOQUAKE, MULTIREAL, and GEOSYNCHRON. All three books in the acclaimed Jump 225 series are being offered in individual contests. Click the links for details and to enter for a chance to win each of the three books. Closed to entries in seven days. US members only. Good luck!


Le Sang Des Ambrose

The french cover for James Enge's Blood of Ambrose, from artist Frédéric Perrin. Coming from L'Atalante.

Ghosts of Manhattan: Blade Runner Rolled Back 100 Years

Rick Kleffel has posted his review of George Mann's Ghosts of Manhattan over at The Agony Column. The short of it? Rick proclaims GoM "some of the smartest and best-written scenes of action you're likely to have unfold on the Big Screen in your mind" and says the book, "reads like Blade Runner rolled back a hundred years. Mann has a distinctive and enjoyably clean prose style that rumbles around in our collective unconscious and stirs up the archetypes that power our reading."

Two Smart Guys Talking

There's a great video interview with End of the Century author Chris Roberson over at Transmissions from Beyond (the TTA press podcast). The interview was recorded at Denvention last year, so he is speaking of End of the Century as a forthcoming release. But it's a good insight into all of his work, as well as his publishing company, Monkeybrain Books.

Meanwhile Geosynchron author David Louis Edelman guest blogs on Pat's Fantasy Hotlist today, explaining why the acronym for his Jump 225 trilogy (Infoquake, MultiReal, Geosynchron) spells IMG. (And Pat says of the trilogy, "As good or better than most quality scifi yarns out there.") For more info on Geosynchron, you can check out the website at, which includes the first eight chapters of the book.


Paolo Bacigalupi's "The Gambler" Nominated for Nebula

Wonderful news this morning. Paolo Bacigalupi's "The Gambler", which originally appeared in our anthology Fast Forward 2, has been nominated for a Nebula Award in the Novelette category. Congratulations to Paolo on this, and also on his nomination in the Novel category for The Wind-Up Girl (from Night Shade Books).

"The Gambler" was previously a Hugo award and a Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award nominee. So if you haven't read it already, you might want to read "The Gambler" in its entirety on the Pyr Sample Chapters blog here.

And here is the full SFWA press release:

SFWA is proud to announce the nominees for the 2009 Nebula Awards.

The Nebula Awards are voted on, and presented by, active members of  SFWA. The awards will be announced at the Nebula Awards Banquetthe evening of May 15 at the Hilton Cocoa Beach Oceanfront, just 20 minutes from the Kennedy Space Center in Fla. Other awards to be presented are the Andre Norton Award for Excellence in Science Fiction or Fantasy for Young Adults, the Bradbury Award for excellence in screenwriting and the Solstice Award for outstanding contribution to the field.

 Short story
"Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela," Saladin Ahmed (Clockwork Phoenix 2, Norilana Press, Jul09)
"I Remember the Future," Michael A. Burstein (I Remember the Future, Apex Press, Nov08)
"Non-Zero Probabilities," N. K. Jemisin (Clarkesworld, Nov09)
"Spar," Kij Johnson (Clarkesworld, Oct09)
"Going Deep," James Patrick Kelly (Asimov's Science Fiction, Jun09)
"Bridesicle," Will McIntosh (Asimov's Science Fiction, Jan09)

"The Gambler," Paolo Bacigalupi (Fast Forward 2, Pyr Books, Oct08)
"Vinegar Peace, or the Wrong-Way Used-Adult Orphanage," Michael Bishop (Asimov's Science Fiction, Jul08)
"I Needs Must Part, The Policeman Said," Richard Bowes (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Dec09)
"Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast," Eugie Foster (Apex Online, Nov09)
"Divining Light," Ted Kosmatka (Asimov's Science Fiction, Aug08)
"A Memory of Wind," Rachel Swirsky (, Nov09)

The Women of Nell Gwynne's, Kage Baker (Subterranean Press, Jun09)
"Arkfall," Carolyn Ives Gilman (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Sep09)
"Act One," Nancy Kress (Asimov's Science Fiction, Mar09)
Shambling Towards Hiroshima, James Morrow (Tachyon, Feb09)
"Sublimation Angels," Jason Sanford (Jason Sanford, Nov09)
The God Engines, John Scalzi (Subterranean Press, Dec09)

The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi (Nightshade, Sep09)
The Love We Share Without Knowing, Christopher Barzak (Bantam, Nov08)
Flesh and Fire, Laura Anne Gilman (Pocket, Oct09)
The City & The City, China Miéville (Del Rey, May09)
Boneshaker, Cherie Priest (Tor, Sep09)
Finch, Jeff VanderMeer (Underland Press, Oct09)

Bradbury Award
Star Trek, JJ Abrams (Paramount, May09)
District 9, Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell (Tri-Star, Aug09)
Avatar, James Cameron (Fox, Dec 09)
Moon, Duncan Jones and Nathan Parker (Sony, Jun09)
Up, Bob Peterson and Pete Docter (Disney/Pixar, May09)
Coraline, Henry Selick (Laika/Focus Feb09)

Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy
Hotel Under the Sand, Kage Baker (Tachyon, Jul09)
Ice, Sarah Beth Durst (Simon and Schuster, Oct09)
Ash, by Malinda Lo (Little, Brown & Company, Sep09)
Eyes Like Stars, Lisa Mantchev (Feiwel and Friends, Jul09)
Zoe's Tale, John Scalzi (Tor Aug08)
When You Reach Me, Rebecca Stead (Wendy Lamb Books, 2009)
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making, Catherynne M. Valente (Catherynne M. Valente, Jun09)
Leviathan, Scott Westerfeld (Simon, Oct09)
For more information, visit or

About SFWA
Founded in 1965 by the late Damon Knight, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America brings together the most successful and daring writers of speculative fiction throughout the world.
Since its inception, SFWA® has grown in numbers and influence until it is now widely recognized as one of the most effective non-profit writers' organizations in existence, boasting a membership of approximately 1,500 science fiction and fantasy writers as well as artists, editors and allied professionals.  Each year the organization presents the prestigious Nebula Awards® for the year’s best literary and dramatic works of speculative fiction.


Geosynchron: a seminal work of 21st century SF

Paul Witcover, in Locus, on David Louis Edelman's Geosynchron: "This smart, idiosyncratic blend of cyberpunk, libertarian entrepeneurship, and social engineering will, I think, stand as a seminal work of 21st century SF."

And hey, that Martiniere cover is worth it alone, even if the book weren't phenomenal. Which it is.


Opening the Floodgates... Pyr Now Accepting Unagented Submissions

If you look at our Contact Us page, you will notice a change to the Pyr Submission Guidelines. As I have been hinting at for a few months, the Very Big News is that we are now accepting unagented submissions! That's right - we are joining the ranks of those few publishers fool enough to accept unagented, unsolicited material.

Now, right off - let me say that we are only accepting them if they follow our guidelines, and we are accepting them only in certain subgenres. Before you holler: This is not to say that Pyr will only be publishing in these subgenres, only that the amount of agented submissions we already receive in other subgenres is sufficient to our current needs. (We're still publishing science fiction, don't worry!) Read into this only that we are experimenting with casting a wider net in certain areas.

So, back to the Very Big News. How is this possible, you ask? Aren't you up to your eyeballs as it is without accepting unagented submissions? Well, yes, eyeballs and then some. Which is why last week we hired an editorial assistant slash slush reader. I'm very pleased to announce that starting immediately, Rene (pronounced Renee) Sears will be the official slush reader for unagented submissions. Rene is an avid sf&f reader who has already read a sizable portion of the Pyr catalog and has a good idea of what it is I look for. So she'll be the one drowning under the flood of submissions sifting through the chaff and passing the wheat on to my desk. Note that this is a new experiment, and if it doesn't produce the expected results, our guidelines could change again in future. And note, also and again, that you must follow our guidelines. Unsolicted submissions sent to my Facebook, Twitter and Personal Webpage are going to go on being ignored! (I have to have some kind of life, after all.)

So, without further ado, I'm hereby declaring the floodgates open.

Pyr® publishes only science fiction and fantasy novels. We are not currently looking for short story collections, anthologies, novellas or nonfiction. We prefer novels in the 100,000 to 130,000 word range. For science fiction, we do not consider material under 85,000 words in length. For fantasy, we do not consider material under 95,000 words in length.

  There are two required methods of submission, depending on whether or not you have agent representation:

  Unagented submissions: Email submissions ONLY—and ONLY in the subgenres of epic fantasy, sword & sorcery, and contemporary/urban fantasy. No horror, science fiction, or slipstream. Only full manuscripts accepted—no partials or outlines. Please send an email which includes your name, address, telephone number, and a one to three paragraph synopsis of your work, along with the manuscript attached as a Word doc or RTF file, to RSears at prometheusbooks dot com. Note that due to the volume of submissions a detailed reply in the case of a rejection may not be possible (and is unlikely).

  Agented submissions: Email submissions strongly preferred! Please query first with an email to Editorial Director, Lou Anders (Landers at prometheusbooks dot com).  The email should include a one to three paragraph synopsis of the project in question in the body of the email. Please do NOT include the manuscript or sample chapters with the initial query. Our needs are specific enough, and the volume of submissions we receive high enough, that we can save everyone time in this manner.  Again—only agented submissions at this address.


For Your Viewing Pleasure: Dragonfly Falling (Full Cover Spread)

Dragonfly Falling by Adrian Tchaikovsky
Cover Illustration © Jon Sullivan
Jacket Design by Jacqueline Cooke
The armies of the Wasp Empire are on the march, and first to feel their might will be the city of Tark, which is even now preparing for siege. Within its walls Salma and Totho must weather the storm, as the Ant-kinden take a stand, against numbers and weaponry such as the Lowlands have never seen. After his earlier victory against them, the Empire's secret service has decided that veteran artificer Stenwold Maker is too dangerous to live. So disgraced Major Thalric is dispatched on a desperate mission, not only to eliminate Stenwold himself but to bring about the destruction of his beloved city of Collegium, and thus end all hope of intelligent resistance to the remorseless imperial advance.
While the Empire's troops are laying waste all in their way, the young Emperor himself is treading a different path. His thoughts are on darker things than mere conquest, however, and if he attains his goal he will precipitate a reign of blood that will last a thousand years.


Elitist Book Reviews: The Top Ten of 2009

The guys at Elitist Book Reviews have published their Top Ten of 2009 lists. Steve and Nick list separately, but Pyr books are heavily represented in both (thanks guys).

In Steve's list, Kristine Kathryn Rusch's Diving into the Wreck, Tom Lloyd's The Grave Thief, and James Barclay's Dawnthief. In Nick's, Tom Lloyd' The Grave Thief, James Barclay's Nightchild, Mark Chadbourn's The Silver Skull, and Mike Resnick's Starship: Flagship.

Meanwhile, Jon Sprunk's Shadow's Son, George Mann's Ghosts of Manhattan, Adrian Tchaikovsky's Empire and Black and Gold and Tom Lloyd's The Ragged Man makes Nick's 2010 Most Anticipated Novels list. (And on a personal note, I was happy to see my co-edited anthology, Swords & Dark Magic, make both lists as well).


Too Good Not to Share

Tim Akers, in an email to me this morning:
"I think it's important to understand that fantasy in general and steampunk in specific are in danger of being constrained by their definitions. What's exciting about steampunk is that we're on the very edge of something that's being born, and we don't really know what it can become. The more we work at defining it, though, the less potential the thing has. Real innovation can only happen in undefined spaces, in chaotic environments. We, as authors and publishers and lovers of genre, have to force ourselves to work at the edge of things, to be unafraid of stepping out into a void of unknown potential. It's only when we give up comfortable tropes that we can do something genuine and fresh and, well, innovative."


For Your Viewing Pleasure: The Ragged Man (Front Cover)

Cover Illustration © Todd Lockwood
Design by Grace M. Conti-Zilsberger

Coming from Pyr in August

Lord Isak is dead; his armies and entire tribe in disarray. As the Farlan retreat and Kastan Styrax mourns his dead son, it is King Emin who takes the initiative while he still can. The secret, savage war he has devoted his life to nears its terrible conclusion as Ruhen positions himself as answer to the Land's problems. Before the conquering eye of the Menin turns in his direction Emin must take his chance and strike without mercy.

A showdown is coming and battle lines are drawn as blood is spilled across the Land. The specter of the Great War looms but this time the Gods are not marching to war. It will be men who decide the future now. But before victory, before survival, there must first be salvation—even if it must be sought in the darkest place imaginable.

With the tide turning against Emin and his allies the key to their survival may lie in the hands of a dead man.

For Your Viewing Pleasure: Ghosts of Manhattan

Ghosts of Manhattan © George Mann
Cover Illustration © Benjamin Carré
Jacket Design by Jacqueline Cooke

1926. New York. The Roaring Twenties. Jazz. Flappers. Prohibition. Coal-powered cars. A cold war with a British Empire that still covers half of the globe. Yet things have developed differently to established history. America is in the midst of a cold war with a British Empire that has only just buried Queen Victoria, her life artificially preserved to the age of 107. Coal-powered cars roar along roads thick with pedestrians, biplanes take off from standing with primitive rocket boosters, and monsters lurk behind closed doors and around every corner. This is a time in need of heroes. It is a time for The Ghost. 

A series of targeted murders are occurring all over the city, the victims found with ancient Roman coins placed on their eyelids after death. The trail appears to lead to a group of Italian American gangsters and their boss, who the mobsters have dubbed "The Roman." However, as The Ghost soon discovers, there is more to The Roman than at first appears, and more bizarre happenings that he soon links to the man. As The Ghost draws nearer to The Roman and the center of his dangerous web, he must battle with foes both physical and supernatural and call on help from the most unexpected of quarters if he is to stop The Roman and halt the imminent destruction of the city.


A Word on Infoquake....

Now that David Louis Edelman's Geosynchron, the final book in the Jump 225 series,  is out, we are getting emails from folks who can't find the first book in the trilogy, Infoquake, on Amazon. The reason for this: Amazon has just changed their search results in a baffling and frustrating manner. Now, under the stated purpose of offering "more choices" to consumers, they only display what they deem the "best edition" of a volume in a search string, rather than all editions. (The "best edition" seems to mean the most recent as far as we can tell.)

Thus, in the case of Edelman's Infoquake, the Solaris mmpb, being the most recent, is the only edition they will return in a search. The Pyr edition is still in there, but it's difficult to find. You have to click on "paperback" in the "formats" box, and then it will come up.

But just in case you are having trouble, here it is. And here is Multireal.

I hope that Amazon will restore the full capabilities of their search engine, since the resource that their database used to represent was one of their primary strengths. Meanwhile, I see that the Pyr edition of Infoquake pops right up on Barnes & Noble and Borders.


It's Contest Time!

Hey, folks. Ari Marmell, author of the upcoming Pyr novel The Goblin Corps here--and I need your help. Assist me in coming up with a name--well, technically a title--for a character in the novel, and you could win both an acknowledgment in the book and a free, signed copy of either The Goblin Corps or The Conqueror's Shadow.

Details here:

Looking forward to hearing what you come up with.

Impossible to Put Down

"The book was near impossible to put down," says Neth Space on Kristine Kathryn Rusch's Diving into the Wreck. "Diving into the Wreck was something of a departure from my usual fair and a departure that rewarded me well. The deep introspection combined with palpable tension created a near-perfect balance throughout. And Rusch does it all less than 300 pages. This one isn’t just for fans of traditional science fiction. 8/10"
Meanwhile, Elitist Book Reviews says of Mark Chadbourn's The Silver Skull that it is "one of the funnest books we have read. Period. Imagine a James Bond story, but way more awesome, set in an alternate Elizabethan England. This is what you get in this book." They go on, "The Silver Skull reads at breakneck speed and never relents. In one scene, there is a carriage being chased and careening all over the road, threatening, at any moment, to spill over. We felt the way the characters in the carriage felt while reading this, and oh was it fun. It takes only a chapter or two to get going and then doesn't stop."

Locus 2009 Recommended Reading List

Locus magazine have released their Recommended Reading List (also published in their February issue).

James Enge's Blood of Ambrose appears in the category of First Novels.

Ian McDonald is on for Cyberabad Days for Collections, and from that collection, "Vishnu at the Cat Circus" is on for Novellas.

The UK edition of Paul McAuley's Gardens of the Sun also made the list (ours comes out in March).

Congratulations to all three authors!