- - September 29th, 2009
The Company started with an old friend of mine. He’s nothing like General Kunessin, but he used to have an old Air Force greatcoat with the rank and unit insignia cut off (he was a pacifist; military greatcoats are amazingly warm; we lived in a cold place)
The image of a tall man in just such a coat coming home stayed with me for thirty years. During that time, I figured he must be coming home from the war; which in turn begged the question, what war? My spasmodic studies of history during that time led me to the unavoidable truth that there’s only ever one war, and it’s never over.
All of the veterans I’ve met over the years brought the war home with them. They came back dressed in it, like a coat. Some of them put the coat neatly away in a cupboard. Some of them hid it in the attic, lagging the hot water tank. Some of them, usually the ones who didn’t do so well in peacetime, carried on wearing it because they had nothing else to wear, and they lived in a cold place.
It’s sad that war never seems to go out of style. The veterans I’ve talked to all said the same thing; it was the comradeship, the friends, that made it bearable, even joyful. Do you still see your old army buddies, I ask? None of them do. I conclude that my original mental image was deceptive; nobody comes home from the war, because everybody who fights in the war stays there, for ever and ever, and somebody else comes home, wearing their coat.
The Company [UK|US] is K.J. Parker’s first stand alone novel and is available in paperback this month from all good booksellers.
- - September 23rd, 2009
Apparently I am what is known as an Unreliable Narrator, though of course if you believe everything you’re told you deserve whatever you get.’
Iain M. Banks is back with TRANSITION, an apocalyptic fable for terrible times.
And starting today we’re serializing the abridged audio edition of TRANSITION on iTunes. Each Tuesday and Friday you can download a new chapter of the abridged edition for free.
“TRANSITION is a book that makes you think, one that makes you look at the world around you in a different light, and it’s also a properly thrilling read. If only more contemporary fiction was like it.” — The Independent
- - September 21st, 2009
Artistic Whispers Productions has staged a wonderful full-cast reading of chapter one of Gail Carriger’s forthcoming SOULLESS. Listen to it here. And while you’re listening, explore the Victorian fashion of SOULLESS.
- - September 18th, 2009
When you’ve been away from a series as long as I’ve been away from the Landover books, there is a certain amount of trepidation involved when you consider returning. Readers have asked for a new Magic Kingdom book ever since the last one in 1995, but I just didn’t have a good enough idea to justify the writing of one. And, besides, other projects kept interfering. So I dragged my feet on the project and kept hoping something would happen to inspire me.
Eventually, of course, it did. But it came from an unexpected source. The Landover books always have something to do with what happens to me in real life, but things have been going along pretty smoothly for some time and so nothing much occurred to me when thinking of Ben and Willow. Then I remembered that their daughter, Mistaya, would be in her teen years. Some sort of trauma is always happening where teens are involved. Sure enough, I remembered an incident of some years back when one of my kids – one who shall remain nameless – got tossed out of boarding school. Now there’s some trauma. But what to do with it? This resourceful child managed to talk their way back in, but that wouldn’t do for Mistaya.
So I decided to deal with what happens when going back isn’t an option the child cares to consider and growing up is very much at issue. Mistaya, sent away to a world she doesn’t like, suddenly finds herself forced to discover what it is she really wants to do. A journey ensues, and along the way she has to come to terms with what it means when you have set yourself against virtually everyone and don’t have a real plan for how to make things come out right.
When young, we all go through a period of leaving childhood and entering adulthood and finding the effort a big fat pain in the butt. But what if you are a Princess, privileged and beautiful and heir to a magic that surpasses anything anyone else commands? What if who you are and what you are is at the source of the problem, and your flailing about puts the people you love the most at risk? Throw in some nasty opponents, some clueless G’Home Gnomes, a mystery in a haunted library, add your favorite talking dragon, and you’ve got something to work with.
I wouldn’t say that by the end of the book Mistaya’s troubles are over – far from it – but I would say she’s done some growing up. Even more important, she’s come to an understanding with her parents that will help smooth out the road ahead and let her continue her journey to adulthood.
A Princess of Landover [UK| AUZ] is available this month from all good booksellers.
- - September 17th, 2009
I’m pleased to announced that we will be publishing a new series from Gail Z. Martin! Set in the world of THE SUMMONER and THE BLOOD KING, this new series follows the fate of Summoner King Martris Drayke as he struggles to maintain the tenuous peace he has won for Margolan. Facing a new invasion from the north and tragedy at home, he must seek the aid of old friends and new allies, the guardians of an ancient power that watches the portals to the underworld, a nomadic fighting force known as The Sworn. Rumors have reached Tris’s ears that the dead The Sworn have vowed to protect are stirring uneasily in their burial mounds. The Dread are coming and Tris must do everything in his power to protect his home and his people.
We’re delighted to welcome Gail on board. THE CHRONICLES OF THE NECROMANCER has been a terrific series with the last installment coming out in December of this year—THE DARK LADY’S CHOSEN. Check it out at www.chroniclesofthenecromancer.com!
- - September 15th, 2009
Gail Carriger’s SOULLESS is a comedy of manners set in Victorian London, so to help set the mood we’ve just launched the Soulless Victorian Dress-Up Doll, (the flash and illustration are by the very talented Sarah Vaughn.) SOULLESS will be in bookstores at the end of September. Enjoy the game!
- - September 3rd, 2009
Australian Twilight fans can celebrate Bella’s birthday on Sunday 13 September at bookshops around the country. There will be games, trivia quizes, costume prizes and lots more! For details and bookings contact the shops directly:
When: Sunday 13 September, 7-9pm
Where: Shearer’s On Norton, 99 Norton Street, Leichhardt, NSW 2040
For more info/tickets contact: 02 9572 7766
Tickets only $15. Book early to avoid disappointment.
When: Sunday 13 September, 4.30-6.30pm
Where: Dymocks, Shop 111A Level 1, Hyperdome Shopping Centre, Anketell Street, Tuggeranong, ACT 2900
For more info/tickets contact: 02 6293 9055
Strictly limited places.
When: Sunday 13 September, 2pm
Where: Dymocks, 234 Collins Street, Melbourne
For more info/tickets contact: 03 9660 8500
This is a FREE event, but bookings are essential.
When: Saturday 12 September, 8.30am
Where: Dymocks, Shop 33-34, Garden City Shopping Centre, Riseley Street, Booragoon, WA 6154
For more info/tickets contact: 08 9364 7687
When: Saturday 12 September, 23.45-01.00 (yes, this is a Midnight event)
Where: Avid Reader bookshop, 193 Boundary Street, West End, QLD 4101
For more info/tickets contact: 07 3846 3422
This is a FREE event but guests under 18 must be accompanied by an adult
- - September 3rd, 2009
Symir: The Drowning City. Home to exiles and expatriates, pirates and smugglers. And violent revolutionaries who will stop at nothing to overthrow the corrupt Imperial government.
Amanda Downum’s fantasy adventure debut is out this week in both the US and the UK. Set in the dark alleyways of a port city on the edge of a corrupt empire, Isyllt Iskaldur must find and finance the rumored revolutionaries on behalf of her country. A necromancer and a spy, she must find a way to complete her mission, topple the palaces of Symir, and prove herself to the crown. But in a land where even the dead are plotting, she will be lucky to escape with her own life intact.
“THE DROWNING CITY is a compelling fantasy in a richly imagined setting dripping with visceral detail, building to a conclusion at once unexpected, appropriate and moving.”
— Jacqueline Carey
“If you read only one first novel this year, read this one. I promise it’s good.”
— Elizabeth Bear
“Lush, evocative. Amanda Downum creates a richly realized, refreshingly Eastern world full of charms and spirits, espionage and intrigue and the wars of great powers fought by proxy.”
— Brent Weeks
“Amanda Downum may just be a force to be reckoned with.”
“[A] complex and striking debut”
— Publisher’s Weekly