“Stunning”, “a book that makes you think”, “complex and wildly imaginative” “a corker of a thriller” — not many contemporary novelists get these many quotable lines in a single rave review, but when Iain M. Banks is the novelist in question, and his newest novel TRANSITION the book reviewed — in this case we think it safe to say, this in today’s Independent (UK) will only be the first of many.
No, we’re not just throwing out random insults at our readers for the hell of it . . . this is actually the title of the new laugh-out-loud vamp-themed book from Christopher Moore, which Publishers Weekly have aptly described as:
‘[A] cheerfully perverse, gut-busting tale’
and Booklist as:
‘[A] hilarious mockery of the pursuit of the appetites’.
In this rambunctious tale, Tommy, a naïve and eternally lusty 19-year old from Incontinence, Indiana, is rather peeved to find out that his hot vampire girlfriend Jody has turned him into a bloodsucking fiend too.
If he admits it, there are some pretty cool things about being a vampire – like eternal youth, super-strength and enhanced senses, and hey – even his zits have cleared up! It’s just the fact of being dead which is a bit of a bummer, along with the fact that anything except blood makes him projectile vomit, and that he passes out every day at sunrise, making trips to the mall rather difficult.
So Tommy and his girlfriend set out to find a minion to run errands for them and generally be their slave-around-the-house. And who better than the angsty goth teenager they meet at the local drugstore? Meanwhile, Tommy and Jody have other more important things to worry about, like fleeing from Tommy’s former turkey-bowling pals who have turned on him, and the fact that the centuries-old vampire who bit Jody in the first place has decided he wants her back.
The news of Trent Jamieson’s sale to Orbit has been on everyone’s lips here. Trent says he’s deep in the draft of Death Works book two, Managing Death, and is discovering all sorts of interesting things concerning the machinations of regional managers, and the truth behind Death Moots. ‘Dreadful things await my characters and I’m rushing towards them, eyes half closed, wishing they didn’t have to happen – I’m such a nasty writer, even when I don’t want to be. Gotye’s Heart’s a Mess and Spoon’s The Ghost of you Lingers were the theme tunes to Book One. This book’s playlist repeats are turning out be Killswitch Engaged’s Reckoning and Amanda Palmer’s Another Year – go figure.’
Karen Miller’s The Prodigal Mage has just been released in hardcover in the US and UK. Its sequel, The Reluctant Mage, comes out next year and she’ll be starting work on that in a couple of weeks. She’s currently doing a down and dirty rewrite on the 3rd Rogue Agent novel, Wizard Squared, before it goes off to copy it. That’s due out next year too.
Pamela Freeman is ecstatic to receive an advance copy of Full Circle. The fans who have started a Castings Trilogy page on Facebook can hardly wait until it hits the bookstores.
Glenda Larke reports that the UK cover of The Last Stormlord by has been finalized, and Book Two, Stormlord Rising, is now with the copy editor. When her main Orbit editor, Samantha, remarked that she was on tenterhooks for Book Three, Glenda checked hurriedly checked the due date for submission… Luckily it seems that Sam just meant that Book Two was such a cracking story she’s finding it hard to wait for the conclusion! You can follow Glenda’s musings over at Tropic Temper.
Meanwhile, Sean Williams has been absolutely accruing stellar reviews for The Grand Conjunction. You can drop over to his LJ to read them in full, but here’s a taster. Terra Incognita says: “This is a tale of unimaginable span. … It doesn’t seem possible that a series of books could do or contain more. The Grand Conjunction concludes a grand achievement. Five stars.” Bookgeek says: “breathless space combat and desperate gambits…a truly jaw-dropping piece of SF extrapolation and large-scale thinking”. Sean’s Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is the first ever computer game tie-in novel to debut at #1 on the New York Times hardback list, and is being reissued in mmpb very soon (through Titan). Sean has also written an article over at Death Ray about the joys of juggling original work against the greatest franchise in the world to promote it. Sean recently launched the South Australian Writers’ Festival and will be off to present an award at the 25th Writers of the Future bash later this month. You can also catch him at the WFC in San Jose later this year. And no, he doesn’t sleep!
Though it’s still winter in Queensland, the days are bright, blue and around 27 degrees Celsius. Hard to stay inside when it’s so glorious, but I’m a disciplined writer on a mission (I am!) to finish Transformation Space. September brings a few (work) outings for me though, including The Brisbane Writers Festival and Gen Con Oz. By the time they’re over, I should have a copy of Mirror Space in my hands.
Gail Carriger has employed some very original thinking to the alternate-history-with-monsters game. She also lampoons the vicious world of Victorian society where an arch remark or fumbled introduction could reduce one to a state akin to walking death. Soulless is a character-driven romp with great worldbuilding and delicious rapier wit that recalls Austen and P.G. Wodehouse. Mystery and bloodshed abound, tea will be served,and there will be treacle tart!
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
That said, we couldn’t disagree more with the reviewer’s mild criticism of the cover: “her bumbershoot has arbitrary gears and a length of rubber hose attached to it for no discernible purpose.”
The purpose of the gears and hose are deliberately indiscernible – right up until the point when they deliver a steam-powered can of whoopass on Alexia’s foes.
But overall, it’s a lively, informative piece – and be sure to check out the comments for more recommendations.
Karen Miller’s THE INNOCENT MAGE, which we published in 2007, has been one of the most successful fantasy debuts of recent years, and continues to feature prominently in the fantasy bestseller charts. THE INNOCENT MAGE was followed by a sequel, THE AWAKENED MAGE, and then the Godspeaker Trilogy (EMPRESS, THE RIVEN KINGDOM, and HAMMER OF GOD), as well as the first two books in the Rogue Agent series (THE ACCIDENTAL SORCERER and WITCHES, INC.) written under the pen name K.E. Mills. As well as Star Wars novel, WILD SPACE. She’s also written five books by Patrick Rothfuss and completed the Song of Ice and Fire. Okay, maybe not.
But we are definitely delighted, thrilled, and pleased as punch to be releasing this week Karen’s new book, THE PRODIGAL MAGE, in the US and UK. It marks a return to the world of THE INNOCENT MAGE – with some familiar characters and some new – and the start of a new 2-book story arc that will conclude with THE RELUCTANT MAGE. We’ve given Karen permission to take an afternoon off to celebrate her hardcover debut, on the strict understanding that she makes up the time later in the week.
The votes are in and we have a winner! We’re pleased to present to you the title for your worst cover ever.
It was an incredibly tight race, with Rise of the Fallen, Book Seven, The Pre-Antepenultimate Battle in second place, but in the end the Cyborg Faries put down the Fallen.
So there you have it. Our fearless art director is warming up her Photoshop as we speak, but before she can start we need two more key cover elements: the author name and the reading line.
Author names are straightforward enough (if you’re having problems, heed Dr. Ronald Chevalier’s advice).
The reading line is a more delicate matter — for that we need the top-line description of the book that will inform everything. The best reading line will give the reader a hint about what to expect in the book – even if that hint is wholly inaccurate.
For the next two weeks Karen Miller will be guest-posting at the Babel Clash blog. She starts her visit with an answer to the age-old question: are writers sane?
Writers – like actors — have a kink in the brain. It’s a kink that means we are at the same time deeply and intimately involved in the process of being human while standing outside that process watching it happen. It means that we can never truly be at one with our own lives because we can’t ever totally lose ourselves in the unconscious moment. A part of us is always conscious, always watching, analysing, pulling the moment apart so we can put it back together again as fiction.
Last month was the paperback publication of the concluding volume of Terry Brooks’ fantastic Genesis of Shannara series. You can read the first chapter of the concluding volume, The Gypsy Morph, here.
But the post title says Terry Brooks x 2 and that’s what we have for you! We thought the ending of one series would be the perfect time to give you all a sneak peek of the next. A Princess of Landover is coming out this September and (as you might’ve guessed from the title!) it’s a return to the world of Landover. If you’ve never read a Landover book before, A Princess of Landover is the perfect place to start. It’s got all the great storytelling and excitement you’d expect from Terry Brooks and, of course, we have an extract for you here.