Author Archive

Bring Me My Brass Reading-Goggles! has a nice overview of Steampunk, along with some recent offerings, including Gail Carriger’s forthcoming SOULLESS (Sept:US)

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.

The Most Awesomely Bad SFF Cover in the Universe!

The votes are in and we have a winner! We’re pleased to present to you the title for your worst cover ever.

(drumroll please)

Across a Trembling Sea the Cyborg Fairies Dance

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.

Suggestions below.

Karen Miller on Sanity

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.

You can join the conversation here.

You Got Served!

Joe Abercrombie’s latest is just out, and we have two new endorsements from true geek royalty. Felicia Day, star of The Guild and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog tweeted about the book:

OMG indeed!
OMG indeed!

And over at Time Magazine’s Nerd World Lev Grossman (author of the forthcoming The Magicians ) writes:

Abercrombie writes dark, adult fantasy, by which I mean there’s a lot of stabbing in it, and after people stab each other they sometimes have sex with each other. His tone is morbid and funny and hard-boiled, not wholly dissimilar to that of Iain Banks. … Volumetrically speaking, it’s hard to think of another fantasy novel in which this much blood gets spilled.


So just in case George R.R. Martin’s endorsement wasn’t enough, you really have no excuse now to miss Joe’s first stand-alone hardcover. [US]

The Worst Cover Ever: The Winnowing

We asked for your help coming up with the worst title for the most awesomely bad cover ever, and you responded with over 350 entries! There are some truly inspired offerings that didn’t make the cut, but cut we must, and so without further ado we present, in no particular order, the best of the worst.

  • The Thing with the Glass Buttock
  • Rise of the Fallen, Book Seven, The Pre-Antepenultimate Battle
  • A Stain Upon The Vastness
  • Across a Trembling Sea the Cyborg Fairies Dance
  • An Old Dragon, A Dead Witch, and a Fat Guy: The Third Book of Stories that Go Nowhere.

Click here to vote for your favorite using our woefully unscientific poll.

Joe Abercrombie vs. Brent Weeks

In a literary feud certain to divide the genre, Joe Abercrombie, author of Best Served Cold (US) and Brent Weeks, author of the Night Angel Trilogy (US|UK|AUS) , have thrown down the gauntlets, stomped their boots threateningly, and now meet in the gladiatorial arena of Babel Clash.

Their first disagreement involves blogging, naturally.

Says Brent: “J.R.R. didn’t blog; George R. R. does. William Shakespeare didn’t; Joe Abercrombie does. Need I say more?”

Responds Joe: “J.R.R. would definitely have blogged had he had the technology available, but he was totally a console guy, played way too much Halo, and wouldn’t allow a PC in his home. Shakespeare? Have you read the sonnets? Obviously primitive blogs. Some of them he even printed out from his Sinclair ZX80, they have some of the original silvery whorls of printer tape in a glass case in the foyer of the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford. FACT.”

Be sure to tune in over the next two weeks as these two new stars of fantasy put the CLASH in Babel Clash.