Sputnik and Saraykeht

The Long PriceToday is 4 October. That means two things:

1. It’s the Fiftieth Anniversary of the launch of Sputnik, the Soviet satellite that lit the fuse on the Space Race and captured the hearts and minds of millions of young SF fans around the world (and as an aside, if any of you haven’t seen October Sky or read Homer Hickam’s extraordinary memoir, Rocket Boys, upon which it was based, do so immediately!).

2. It’s publication day for Daniel Abraham’s extraordinary Orbit debut, The Long Price. Comprising A Shadow in Summer and A Betrayal in Winter (published separately in the US), The Long Price is an original and elegant debut that has already garnered effusive praise from some giants of the genre:

‘A thoroughly engrossing debut novel from a major new fantasist. A poignant human tale of power, heartbreak, and betrayal’ — George R.R. Martin

‘An architecturally-perfect fantasy world filled with a fascinating, highly distinctive set of characters’ — Walter Jon Williams

‘One of the most elegant and engaging fantasies I’ve read in years’ — Jacqueline Carey

‘Intricate, elegant, and almost hypnotically told, this tale of gods held captive will hold you captive, too’ — Connie Willis

Don’t know about you, but I’d take notice of these folks — I mean, they’ve only got about two dozen Hugos and Nebulas between them! I’d also get used to seeing Daniel Abraham’s name on award short lists — as George R.R. Martin notes, he’s a major new voice in fantasy fiction.

Number One!

Congratulations to Karen Miller, whose second novel, The Awakened Mage (out this week), has charged straight to the top of the SFF paperback bestseller charts in the UK. In the US, both The Innocent Mage and The Awakened Mage are among the Top 5 mass-market fantasy bestsellers. Karen is very happy — and so are we!

Dystopian Dreamin’

Over at BN.com, Paul Di Filippo writes about the history of SF dystopias, and says of The Electric Church:

Somers’ strategy of blending Invasion of the Body Snatchers with allusions to contemporary cults coats this profane, kickass thriller with a veneer of social commentary reminiscent of some Galaxy-era novel reinterpreted by Warren Ellis.

Read the whole piece here.

Orbit Authors Open up About Vampires, Iron Maiden.

Jennifer Rardin talks about her urban fantasy debut Once Bitten, Twice Shy over at Scifichick.com (The scifichick.com review is here.)

And Jeff Somers appears as part of Largehearted Boy’s “Book Notes” series with a soundtrack to The Electric Church.

Iron Maiden, Two Minutes to Midnight
The greatest. Song. Ever. Bar none. You can write action sequences to this endless dual-lead-guitar gem until your hands fall off. Fun fact: Every movie fight sequence ever filmed can be synchronized to this song. Go ahead, try it. You might need to drink a little first. It seems to help.

Click here for the full playlist.

Unfiction Unanimous

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Over at the Unfiction message board a team of players just solved the last puzzle on The Electric Church Website: unlocking the story hidden in the site, saving Ty’s old friend, and learning the secret ingredient in author Jeff Somers’ homemade moonshine. If you were one of the players at Unfiction, drop us a line at the email listed at the finish line, we’d love to hear from you. And thanks to everyone for playing!

If you haven’t poked around the site, you can still play the game – and if you get stuck, Unfiction provides a lively walkthrough.

This is our first attempt at building an ARG for a book promotion, and it was a lot of fun to put together. We’d love to know what you thought – what we did right, what we did wrong, and how we can improve next time.

For posterity, (and any players who need to find the penultimate password ) the blogad is here.

Once Bitten will suck you in…

Once Bitten, Twice Shy CoverScifichick has just posted a fabulous review for Once Bitten, Twice Shy, out from Orbit next month in the US and the UK.

“Blending some of my favorite elements: fantasy, espionage, mystery, action, and just a touch of romance, makes a recipe for one extremely entertaining story.” more…

The love for Jaz Parks doesn’t stop there, though. Be sure to check out Living Read Girl, who calls Jennifer Rardin “a new scream queen on the scene.”

And check out Jennifer’s blog at www.jenniferrardin.com

Church is Out

Thanks to everyone who trekked out to distant Red Hook last night to hear Jeff Somers reading from The Electric Church. Here’s Jeff, along with publicist Carolyn O’Keefe and editor Devi Pillai.

Jeff Somers at Rocky Sulivan’s

In other Church news, if you’ve been surfing blogs you may have spotted the ads for the book with a mysterious flashing bar code. Adrants posted about the campaign – which includes devious puzzles, Pandora chatbots, and hidden narratives – here.

Join us for Church this evening

If you’re in Brooklyn this evening, come join us down in Red Hook at Rocky Sullivan’s (gmap) to hear Jeff Somers read from The Electric Church. Jeff’s a great reader, Rocky Sullivan’s is a fun bar, and you’ll have significantly more fun than you would at yet another panel on the state of book reviewing.

8:00 PM on Monday, Sept. 24
Rocky Sullivan’s
34 Van Dyke St. (corner of Dwight St.)
Redhook, Brooklyn
718-246-8050