Saturday, February 28, 2009

Free Ebook: Sean Williams' The Crooked Letter

As you've probably already heard on Boing Boing or SF Signal or Bookspot Central, and as I've already Tweeted and Facebooked:

For the first time ever, Pyr Books is making one of our novels available for free as an eBook. Sean Williams' The Crooked Letter: Books of the Cataclysm: One is available now, in its entirety, as a PDF.

When mirror twins Seth and Hadrian Castillo travel to Europe on holidays, they don’t expect the end of the world to follow them. Seth’s murder, however, puts exactly that into motion.

From opposite sides of death, the Castillo twins grapple with a reality neither of them suspected, although it has been encoded in myths and legends for millennia. The Earth we know is just one of many “realms”, three of which are inhabited by humans during various stages of their lives. And their afterlives...

In the tradition of Philip Pullman and Ursula K. Le Guin and inspired by numerous arcane sources, the Books of the Cataclysm begin in the present world but soon propel the reader to a landscape that is simultaneously familiar and fantastic.

See why SFFWorld said:

"[E]xplores the nature of life, death, and reality. Big subjects, but with the precision of an archaeological expert, Williams is more than up to the task. There is a lot to admire in Williams' epic fantasy, the wide range of global religions and myths of which his afterlife is comprised, to the characterization of the protagonists. The story has the mythic resonance of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman and American Gods, the dark fantasy/horror one might associate with something like Stephen King’s Dark Tower saga, the multiple universes/realities of Moorcock’s Eternal Champion mythos, and the strange, weird creatures one might associate with China MiĆ©ville’s Bas-lag novels. Williams imagined world is equal part those novels which preceded his, but fortunately, there is enough newness to both the approach and vision to make this the work of a singular vision...." [R]eading many of the other titles Lou Anders has published with Pyr, I shouldn’t have been surprised with both the quality of the writing and the breadth of Williams’ imagination. Like a lot of the other books published by Pyr, Williams captures what makes a tried and true genre like Epic Fantasy so popular and enjoyable of a genre and spins a tale with his unique voice. This is the type of book you finish and can’t wait to read the sequel."

Download your copy here, and thanks for helping us spread the word!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Pyr's McDonald, Edelman & Roberson: Too Much to Keep Track of

You go out of town for a week, and look what happens:

Ian McDonald's Brasylhas made the short list for the Nebula Awards!! Meanwhile over on Boing Boing, fellow-nominee Cory Doctorow (Little Brother) reviews Ian McDonald's Cyberabad Days:
"Ian McDonald is one of science fiction's finest working writers, and his latest short story collection Cyberabad Days, is the kind of book that showcases exactly what science fiction is for. ...Cyberabad Days has it all: spirituality, technology, humanity, love, sex, war, environmentalism, politics, media -- all blended together to form a manifesto of sorts, a statement about how technology shapes and is shaped by all the wet, gooey human factors. Every story is simultaneously a cracking yarn, a thoughtful piece of technosocial criticism, and a bag of eyeball kicks that'll fire your imagination. The field is very lucky to have Ian McDonald working in it."
And Nick Gevers interviews McDonald on SciFi Wire:
"The title Cyberabad Days is a deliberate echo of the Arabian Nights. The stories are fairy tales of New Delhi. River was an Indian—novel, fat, many-voiced, wide-screen; Cyberabad Days is tales. Mumbai movies tell stories in ways that challenge our Western aesthetics and values. They're not afraid of sentiment, they're not afraid of big acting, or putting in song and dance, because Bollywood cinema's not supposed to be a mimetic art form. It's not about realism—that most pernicious of Western values—it's a show."
On io9, Charlie Jane Anders interviews Infoquakeand MultiRealauthor David Louis Edelman:
"I began with a vision of a futuristic world, and worked backwards to figure out how everything came together. Most of the backstory came about when I was writing the early chapters of Infoquake and just started randomly filling things in. When I'd get stuck writing the story proper, I'd just spend some time writing background articles. This kind of thing has always been attractive to me. I was the kid who bought AD&D modules just because I liked to read them, even though I didn't have anyone to play AD&D with. I'm the guy who always liked The Silmarillion better than The Lord of the Rings."
On the Adventures in SciFi Publishing podcast episode 75, host Shaun Farrel interviews End of the Centuryauthor Chris Roberson! Here's the direct download link. (And, as a reminder, here is part one and part two of my massive piece on Roberson's entire career. Part two wasn't up when I left town.)

These guys are making it hard for me to get caught up!

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Myriad Worlds of Chris Roberson, Part One

My massive post covering all of Chris Roberson's Celestial Empire stories to date is up on And guess what? This is only part one of a two-part post.

Check it out, ya' hear.

Coming next is my massive post covering all of his Bonaventure-Carmody universe work, as well as his media-tie in, stand-alone, and forthcoming comic book work. Took me friggin' forever.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Fast Forward 2: The Pulse of Sciece Fiction

I haven't seen the issue yet, but thanks to Shirt'n'Tie, I learned that Death Ray issue #17 has a very positive review of Fast Forward 2.

The review, by Thom Hutchinson, apparently says:
“May the series continue – while other anthologies look to check the pulse of SF, Anders seems determined to be the pulse, and that alone demands celebration.”
Works by me! And thanks to Shirt'n'Tie for pointing it out.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Two New Fantasy Novels Unleashed!

Two epic fantasy novels, Matthew Sturges' Midwinter and Tom Lloyd's The Twilight Herald (Book Two of the Twilight Reign quintet) are now shipping from Amazon and other online vendors. They should showing up in physical stores in a week or so as well.

Midwinter: Winter comes to the land only once in a hundred years. But the snow covers ancient secrets: secrets that could topple a kingdom. Mauritaine was a war hero. Then he was accused of treason and sentenced to life without parole at Crere Sulace, a dark and ancient prison in the mountains, far from the City Emerald. But now the Seelie Queen – Regina Titania herself – has offered him one last chance to redeem himself, an opportunity to regain his freedom and his honor.

The Twilight Herald: Lord Bahl is dead and the young white-eye, Isak, stands in his place; less than a year after being plucked from obscurity and poverty the charismatic new Lord of the Farlan finds himself unprepared to deal with the attempt on his life that now spells war, and the possibility of rebellion waiting for him at home. The Twilight Herald is the second book in a powerful new series that combines inspired world-building, epic battles, and high emotion to dazzling effect.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Robyn Hitchcock & the Venus 3: Goodnight Oslo

I just picked up Goodnight Oslo, the latest from Robyn Hitchcock and the Venus 3, the Venus 3 being R.E.M.'s Peter Buck on guitar, Minus 5/Young Fresh Fellows/R.E.M'er Scott McCaughey on bass, and Ministry/R.E.M.'s Bill Rieflin on drums. It's a very interesting album, quintessentially Hitchcock and yet very different from his other work, even different from the previous Venus 3 album, Ole! Tarantula. If I had to describe it to those-who-will-understand, I'd say it's almost like the complete Groovy Decay/Gravy Deco Sessions, filtered through middle-period R.E.M. With horns. Hitchcock says the CD is about saying goodbye to cycles of negativity, moving out of the "smoke age" of cigarettes and gasoline, and about hope and change.

"You never know when the clock will stop," he says. "I will probably never time-travel, heal the sick or levitate, which were the natural ambitions I had as a boy. But I have trained myself to write songs and perform them, and I'm still developing those abilities. I am past my peak as an animal, but not as an artist. Of course, your work doesn't necessarily improve with age; it just mutates. You have to give birth to those mutations, I guess. So my songs may be no better now than 30 years ago; they're merely alive in a different way, fed on different emotional nutrients, as I am."


Sunday, February 15, 2009

AISFP 74: Joseph Mallozzi and Yours Truly

Episode 74 of Adventures in SciFi Publishing is up. In this one, host Shaun Farrell conducts a joint interview with Joseph Mallozzi (Co-Executive Producer of Stargate: Atlantis and Consulting Producer of the forthcoming Stargate Universe), and Yours Truly. We talk about the back and forth between science fiction literature and its TV/film counterpart. Topics discussed include adaptations, the sophistication of new TV shows, fantasy literature, a Pyr title making cameos on Stargate Atlantis, Battlestar Galactica, Joe’s book club, and much more. You can listen to the interview on iTunes or at the direct link here.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Kay Kenyon Shortlisted for 2009 Reading List Award

The American Library Association has announced their selections for the 2009 Reading List award, and in the Science Fiction category, they chose Hunter's Run by Martin, Dozois, and Abraham. Congratulations, guys! Meanwhile, I'm please to see their four book shortlist includes one of our own. Woot. Kay made the list last year as well.

The Automatic Detective by A. Lee Martinez
City at the End of Time byGreg Bear
Matter byIain M.Banks
A World Too Nearby Kay Kenyon

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Adam Roberts

Me on Adam Roberts.

The End has Arrived!

Chris Roberson's End of the Century is now in stock at Amazon. And at B& as well. Expect it on retail shelves soon too.

Oh, and look, Kay Kenyon's City Without Endis too.

(Reports of sightings in the wild appreciated.)

Monday, February 02, 2009

2008 Locus Recommended Reading List

The Locus magazine 2008 Recommended Reading List is out. I am pleased and honored to see both anthologies that I edited in 2008 made the list - Fast Forward 2and Sideways In Crime.Five stories are individually recommended from Fast Forward 2, two from Sideways in Crime.

From Fast Forward 2:

"The Kindness of Strangers" by Nancy Kress, short story
"Catherine Drewe", Paul Cornell, novelette *
"An Eligible Boy", Ian McDonald, novelette
"The Gambler", Paolo Bacigalupi, novelette
"True Names" by Benjamin Rosenbaum & Cory Doctorow, novella

* Note that "Catherine Drewe" is technically a short-story, as it lists at 6,674 words. Don't know why it's listed here as a novelette, but very happy to see it being recommended either way.

From Sideways in Crime:
  • "The Blood of Peter Francisco" by Paul Park, short story
  • "Sacrifice"by Mary Rosenblum, novelette
Also making the list is the Gollancz edition of Paul McAuley's The Quiet War, which Pyr will be bringing out in the US later in '09. Wait for it!

Congratulations to all those receiving recommendations. 2008 was a great year. On to 2009!

Fortunately, 2008 Not a Criminal

Over on SFSite, Kay Kenyon's A World Too Nearcomes in at #7 in Greg L. Johnson's Best of 2008! Which is a good thing, since the sadly-now-defunct Realms of Fantasy wrote last year that, "It would be criminal if this novel didn’t make year’s best lists at the end of 2008.”

And look, the trade paperbackwas just released! Imagine that...