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2011 Locus Award Nominees!

The Locus Science Fiction Foundation have put up their list of nominees for the 2011 Locus Awards. Iain M. Banks (US/UK) has been nominated for Best SF Novel. Charles Stross (UK) has been nominated for Best Fantasy Novel. And N.K. Jemisin (US/UK) seems hellbent on getting on every major award list with a nod for Best First Novel. Congrats as well to Joe Abercrombie (US) for his nomination in the Novelette category.


And, finally, congrats to us for being nominated for Best Publisher!

Check out the whole list here!

USE OF WEAPONS voted The Best Sci-Fi Film Never Made

Tech news site The Register recently held a poll to ask readers which SF book most deserves to make it to the big screen, but has up until now been shamefully overlooked by the Hollywood bigwigs. An impressive 27,088 people voted, and the winner – with a stunning 10,032 votes – was Use of Weapons by Iain M. Banks.

It seems Iain is a popular choice, with Consider Phlebas, Excession, The Player of Games and The Algebraist all also making it into the top 50. But Use of Weapons was the clear favourite.

So what more evidence does Hollywood need? It’ll be a sure fire hit – get it into production straight away!

You can see the results of ‘The Best Sci-Fi Film Never Made’ poll right here. But the question is: who should play the leading man Zakalwe…?

FOOL MOON by Jim Butcher: a Dresden Files reread

Mark Yon has been a reviewer and web administrator at SFFWorld, one of the world’s biggest genre forum sites, for nearly ten years. He has also been on the David Gemmell Awards organisation committee for the last two years. In this series of rereads, Mark will guide us below through the whole of Jim Butcher’s fabulous Dresden Files series as we count down to the new hardback at the end of July.

Fool Moon takes place six months after the events of Storm Front.

Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden is Chicago’s only professional ‘wizard for hire.’ But he’s not been employed by the Chicago Police Department’s Special Investigations Squad since the events of Storm Front, the previous novel. His friend, police chief Karrin Murphy, has been giving him the cold shoulder because of these events – and because it’s down to him that she’s now under the suspicious watch of Chicago Police’s Internal Affairs.

Then one October night, he gets a visit from Lieutenant Murphy about a murder – one that has been very, very messy and seems to be the latest in a series of gruesome events, which coincidentally happen at full moon. And there are more moonlit nights on the way…   Read the rest of this entry »

Trudi Canavan hits the Sunday Times top ten for THE ROGUE

Congratulations to Trudi Canavan for hitting the Sunday Times top ten fiction list last weekend – and we’ve just heard today that The Rogue will be in the Sunday Times top ten again this week too! To celebrate, here’s a round-up of her action-packed tour so far…

After a busy launch day and extended signing session in London’s Forbidden Planet last Thursday, Trudi was whisked away to sunny Dublin on Friday morning. First stop was Eason’s, who had this fantastic window in place…

…and a full house of over 80 fans for the evening event. Trudi read a passage from the book, did a Q&A, and then some signing:


On Saturday there was a quick run around some of the other stores, signing stock including pre-ordered dedications for her fans who couldn’t be there to meet her in person. After a lot more signings and interviews Trudi even managed to squeeze in a little sightseeing before flying back to London, where she has spent the afternoon today in the Orbit UK office doing a ‘twinterview’ with Waterstones – see #tcav on Twitter for the final list of questions and answers. Now our Marketing guys are making her answer yet another set of questions, after which we will be releasing her for a well-deserved evening off!

Thank you to all Trudi’s fans who have already been to an event or followed the interview on Twitter – and if you haven’t caught her yet, check the tour dates via the link on the right of this page to find out where she’ll be next.

Cover Launch: TIMELESS

It is with a mix of joy and sadness that I launch the cover for TIMELESS by Gail Carriger. Joy, because I have loved working on these covers so much, and I happen to be a nerd about things ancient Egyptian, so Alexia Tarabotti + Pyramids = Squee. However, it is sad because this is the final book in the adventures of Alexia Tarabotti!

Of course, that doesn’t mean the end of our Lady Maccon. Did you hear about the Yen Press manga Soulless adaptation being created as we speak? The artwork is amazing! I’ve seen the cover and first chapter, I just can’t wait to see more…Trust me, even if you’ve never thought manga was your thing, you have to keep tabs on this book as it develops. Stunning work, and bravo to our Yen Press brethren.

As usual, we have a fabulous image of The Lady Maccon, portrayed by Donna Ricci, the captain of the steamship we call ClockworkCouture.com. Alexia in her explorer’s gear was shot by Pixie Vision Productions, who was also responsible for documenting the awesome Afternoon Tea that Gail and Donna co-hosted recently in L.A. (There’s a great fan writeup of the event here). I so love collaborating with people active in the world of Steampunk when we’re doing steampunk and victorian titles (hmm, foreshadowing alert for next season perhaps?). Everyone already knows the lingo, they always catch my chronological aberrations, and even better, they always add things to the books that I would never have thought of on my own.

So without further ado, here’s a teaser for Timeless

Read the rest of this entry »

author post

A Tale of Two Cons

I was talking with my greengrocer about where I was disappearing off to over the Easter weekend, and he listened to the sort of stuff that goes on, raising a skeptical eyebrow. Then he said: “A few years ago, I would have said you were mad, but I caught myself looking at this advert in my tropical fish magazine for a Fish Fair in Germany and thinking whether I could afford to go.” Neon tetras or science fiction: a gathering of disparate people with a shared but niche interest, meeting together for a short but intense period of time to celebrate everything fishy/skiffy, and then go back home where no one understands you and you indulge in your passion either ignored or mocked.

Okay. Let’s talk about the paradigm-shifting elephant in the room from the outset. The internet. I’m pretty certain it’s been as revolutionary for the tropical fish community as it has been for fandom. I remember the first time as a baby scientist that I emailed someone whose paper I’d been reading, back in the early days of JANET, UNIX line commands and glowing green-screen terminals. I wanted some more technical information – before, it’d have been a letter, a formal barrier to communication, slow and time-consuming – now the answer came flashing back from half a world away. Anyone in my tiny specialisation was no further than a short walk down the corridor to the computer room. I was abruptly, immediately, not alone. Read the rest of this entry »

Trudi Canavan takes London by storm!

The lovely Trudi Canavan arrived in London this week, and her UK tour kicked off yesterday in style with a welcome glass of bubbly at the Little, Brown office, where she was ambushed by a flurry of inhouse fans eager for her to sign their copies of her newly published hardback The Rogue (which she did, very graciously) followed by a jampacked signing at Forbidden Planet in London. Here’s how the evening went in photos:

Pre-mayhem pose in Forbidden Planet, just before we let in the hordes:

 Hope your arm doesn’t fall off, Trudi – the queue doesn’t look like going down any time soon . . .

And here’s your first fan:

We’ve never had a request for an author to sign a Kindle before, but last night not one but two superfans were delighted when Trudi agreed to do just that – in permanent silver marker!

A close-up of the freshly autographed Kindle:

Finally, here’s a posh arty pic of Trudi signing a non-digital book:

All in all it was a great evening – over 200 books signed for the extremely happy fans, Trudi was touched and delighted to see everyone, and it was the best possible start to her first major UK and European tour. Trudi is off to Ireland today for some events in Dublin, then back to England next week where she will be meeting fans at Costa Coffee in The Peacock’s Centre, Woking on Monday 9th May at 7pm – tickets are still available from Waterstone’s Woking.  She will also be on twitter for a Waterstone’s ‘twinterview’ at 4pm on Tuesday 10th May.  Just tweet your questions using #tcav and there are signed copies of The Rogue for the best questions!

For a list of all Trudi’s other UK events, just click here or click the link on the right hand side of this page to find the one nearest you.

Ember and Ash – we’re all fired up!

We are burning to tell you (couldn’t resist…) about the launch of Ember and Ash (ANZ | UK | USA) by Aurealis award-winning author Pamela Freeman. This is now available in Australia and New Zealand as well as in the UK and US – and a free extract is available here. You can also read about Freeman’s own reading preferences in fantasy fiction on the Galaxy Bookshop site. Freeman has been credited with writing high quality fantasy that avoids standard fantasy tropes, majoring on clever plotting and genuinely believable characters. And Ember and Ash itself contains rage, thwarted passions and the shadow of dark gods:

Ember’s marriage was to bind two warring people – until her husband-to-be is murdered by a vengeful elemental god who sees peace as a breach of faith. Set on retribution, she enlists the help of Ash, son of a seer. Together they will pit themselves against elementals of fire and ice in a last attempt to end the conflicts that have scarred their past.

Publishers Weekly has already commented that ‘Freeman’s unique setting and compelling characters make for a highly entertaining tale’, we look forward to more reviews in due course! Here is some previous praise for Freeman’s work and although Ember and Ash is a stand alone fantasy, we’ve recently published a fantastic omnibus of her Castings trilogy (ANZ | UK | USA), set in the same world.

Interview with Paolo Bacigalupi – Part 2

In Part 1 of our interview, Hugo and Nebula award-winning author Paolo Bacigalupi discussed the background to his stunning debut novel THE WINDUP GIRL and his concerns for a future where fossil fuels have run dry.

In this second instalment, Paolo talks about the practicalities of writing, why he became an author and what the future may hold in terms of his own work.

Perhaps unusually, you share your workspace with another writer – how do you use each other as sounding boards and for help with all the issues that crop up during the writing of a novel?

I think we alternately inspire each other, and get on each other’s nerves, but one of the benefits of having another writer around is that when you get stymied, you can go out for a walk together, and talk over the book, and sometimes that process of talking out loud gets you through the confusion.  I was just recently down in Mexico with another group of writers on a sort of writer’s retreat, and it was quite inspiring. Just being surrounded by a bunch of other people who are cranking out their books and who aggressively focused on building something out of nothing is hugely inspiring. Over two weeks I wrote an astounding number of words, and part of it at least had to do with being around so many other people who were working on books, and for whom there was no question that they were going to make up a story, and that their stories would be read, and that they weren’t crazy to be doing it.  It’s hard for me to have faith in my stories as I work on them. Hard to believe they should be written. Hard to believe that they’re worthwhile. Hard to believe that they aren’t stupid.  Being surrounded by other writers ameliorates that, for me, at least.

Read the rest of this entry »

STORM FRONT by Jim Butcher: a Dresden Files reread

Mark Yon has been a reviewer and web administrator at SFFWorld, one of the world’s biggest genre forum sites, for nearly ten years. He has also been on the David Gemmell Awards organisation committee for the last two years. In this series of rereads, Mark will guide us below through the whole of Jim Butcher’s fabulous Dresden Files series as we count down to the new hardback at the end of July.

And here’s where we commence the series.

Storm Front starts in typical film noir mode. With the sentence ‘I heard the mailman approach my office door, half an hour earlier than usual’, we are introduced to Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden. And he’s the only person in Chicago’s director enquiries listed under ‘Wizard’.

However, this Harry is not the ‘Potter’ type. As we see from his advertisement, his stock in trade is: ‘Lost items found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Reasonable rates. No love potions, endless purses or other entertainment’. Harry is more of your paranormal dealing, insoluble crime-solving type of guy, and the only wizard used as a consultant by the Chicago Police Special Investigations Department. They need him when dealing with the demons and ghouls that live in the strange other-world of the Nevernever.

Harry is in his typically seedy office when a phone call from Chicago’s SI chief, Lieutenant Karrin Murphy, involves him in a double murder investigation. The male victim is a bodyguard for the local mobster, Johnny Marcone. The other victim is Jennifer Stanton, an escort from the Velvet Room, a gentleman’s club run by one of Chicago’s vampire families.

Things get really interesting when Harry discovers that the murders involve black magic, and a black mage is behind them. And more worryingly, though Harry doesn’t know who it is, the black mage knows him. And is out to get him.

Read the rest of this entry »

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