Monday, March 30, 2009

Free Online Reading: "Fire and Sleet" by James Enge

James Enge's forthcoming novel Blood of Ambroseis epic swords and sorcery starring his enigmatic creation, Morlock Ambrosius, wandering swordsman, master of all magical makers, and dry drunk. Before his novel debut, Morlock already featured in many works of short fiction appearing in the pages of Black Gate and elsewhere.

This morning we posted "Fire and Sleet" at the Pyr Sample Chapters blog, an original novelette "published" there for the first time anywhere. Although it stands on its own and makes a wonderful introduction to Enge's fascinating character, it is also a sequel of sorts to the earlier tale, "A Book of Silences," originally published in Black Gate and now also appearing on our blog. Read and enjoy!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Batman R.I.P. - over and good riddance!

My review of Grant Morrison's convoluted, misguided, and incomprehensible Batman: up at

No, really, Lou, don't hold back. Tell us what you thought.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

James Enge's Blood of Ambrose has arrived!

James Enge's Blood of Ambrose is now in stock at Amazon,and at B& Brick and mortar stores will soon follow!
“James Enge writes with great intelligence and wit. His stories take twisty paths to unexpected places you absolutely want to go. This isn't the same old thing; this is delightful fantasy written for smart readers.”—Greg Keyes, New York Times bestselling author of The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone series
Behind the king's life stands the menacing Protector, and beyond him lies the Protector's Shadow...

Centuries after the death of Uthar the Great, the throne of the Ontilian Empire lies vacant. The late emperor's brother-in-law and murderer, Lord Urdhven, appoints himself Protector to his nephew, young King Lathmar VII and sets out to kill anyone who stands between himself and mastery of the empire, including (if he can manage it) the king himself and his ancient but still formidable ancestress, Ambrosia Viviana.

When Ambrosia is accused of witchcraft and put to trial by combat, she is forced to play her trump card and call on her brother, Morlock Ambrosius—stateless person, master of all magical makers, deadly swordsman, and hopeless drunk.

As ministers of the king, they carry on the battle, magical and mundane, against the Protector and his shadowy patron. But all their struggles will be wasted unless the young king finds the strength to rule in his own right and his own name.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Free Fiction: "A Book of Silences" by James Enge

April will see the release of James Enge's swords & sorcery novel, Blood of Ambrose,an epic work featuring Morlock Ambrosius, wandering swordsman and master of all magical makers. The book is a stand-alone adventure, but Morlock returns in the (already-delivered) follow-up, This Crooked Way, and we've just signed for a third Morlock novel, the wonderfully-titled The Wolf Age. But Morlock Ambrosius already has a significant following, as Enge has been chronicling his adventures in short fiction for some time prior to his novel debut. One such tale,"A Book of Silences," first appeared in the pages of Black Gate magazine. We are pleased to reprint it in its entirety at the Pyr Sample Chapters page. What's more, we will shortly be presenting "Fire and Sleet," which follows directly on the events of "A Book of Silences" and is an original novelette that will debut at the Pyr website for the first time anywhere. So, read and enjoy!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

if you're just joining us: iphone, tricorders and the batmobile

Jon Armstrong has uploaded the latest episode of his stupendous podcast, if you're just joining us, and this one features an interview with Yours Truly. Jon says, "Lou and I talked about the iPhone, tricorders, the batmobile, writing, earings, and his wife’s cooking among other things."

You can listen to or download the episode right on the site at the link above, or listen to it via iTunes.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

NPR, Battlestar Galactica, and Me

My piece on NPR's All Things Considered is online. "At The U.N., 'Battlestar' Troops Talk Ethics Of War," by Lara Pelligrinelli, using the occasion of the Whoopi Goldberg-moderated, Battlestar Galactica panel at the United Nation and the show's just-aired finale to talk about politics in science fiction television. You can listen to the audio online, and read the article here. There is also a link on the page to a Realplayer video of the entire panel.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The 2009 Hugo Awards Final Ballot

The 2009 Hugo Awards Final Ballot is out. I'm honored, thrilled, and tickled several shades of pink to be nominated in the Best Editor, Long Form category for the third year in a row. I'm just as thrilled (okay, almost as thrilled, and really by a hair's breadth) to see two stories from Fast Forward 2on the ballot. A huge congratulations then to Benjamin Rosenbaum & Cory Doctorow for their Best Novella nomination for "True Names," and Paolo Bacigalupi for his Best Novelette nomination for "The Gambler." (And those are links to both stories online, for those who haven't read them yet and would like to do so before voting in the final round.)

Meanwhile, a huge congratulations to Pyr authors Charles Coleman Finlay, Ian McDonald and Mike Resnick on their Hugo nominations (for non-Pyr work,but no less thrilled for them), and to the artists we've worked with on various Pyr covers - John Picacio, Daniel Dos Santos, and Bob Eggleton.

And, really, a huge congratulatons to everyone on the ballot. I'm happy for so many folks. What a year! And, of course, you know I'm loving that The Dark Knight is on there too, as it should be. See you all in Montréal.

Update 3/20: Since it's come up, here's a list of the books I edited in 2008.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Quiet War makes Clarke Shortlist

I'm thrilled for Paul McAuley, whose novel The Quiet War, just made the Arthur C. Clarke Award shortlist. The Quiet War was one of my favorite reads of the past year. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I acquired US rights to it, and Pyr will be publishing it in September, with a new cover from the magnificent Sparth (who just turned in his illustration last week; I'll debut the cover on the Pyr blog in a few.)

Meanwhile, the prize of £2009, along with a commemorative engraved bookend, will be presented to the winner on Wednesday, April 29th, at an award ceremony held on the opening night of the SCI-FI-LONDON Film Festival. Congrats to all the nominees.

(And yes, those of you in the US should wait for our edition, as I'd really like to be able to publish the sequel, Gardens of the Sun, which I'm about to start reading shortly. If you can't wait, you could always read the UK edition, vote for it for the Hugo, then gift the US one when it comes out to that friend you're trying to get into smart, literate, award-calibre SF. It's just a suggestion...)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

David Louis Edelman: One Last Adventure Before the End

I'm still reeling under the news that one of my favorite podcasts, Adventures in Sci Fi Publishing, is closing up shop, if not forever, at least for the indefinite future. Shaun's podcast is essential listening in my book, and I think I'd say that even if I wasn't his most frequent guest (learned that recently, and now no one can take my crown away! But I'd rather they still had the opportunity to try.)

Meanwhile, I'm honored that Shaun is going out on a string of Pyr-related interviews. First he interviewed Yours Truly (jointly with Joe Mallozzi), then Chris Roberson, and now David Louis Edelman. I know he's recently recorded an interview with Kay Kenyon, so that should still be forthcoming, though I'm assuming the planned talk with James Enge didn't make the cut.

But I'm grateful for the years of support Shaun Farrell has shown us, as well as the window into the rest of the SF&F community he's provided me over the years (I don't get to read much outside my own list, so podcasts are how I stay informed). I'm going to miss this show terribly, and I hope Shaun returns in 2010 as promised. It's going to be a long wait!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

This makes me smile...

From Pat's Fantasy Hotlist: "With Bright of the Skyand A World Too Near,Kay Kenyon established herself as one of the most underrated science fiction authors out there. In my opinion, The Entire and the Rose is without a doubt one of the most fascinating scifi series on the market today. In City Without End,Kenyon elevates this series to new heights.... Kay Kenyon's latest is full of surprising twists and turns, and the plot moves forward at a crisp pace. No offense to Peter F. Hamilton and other scifi authors in the middle of ongoing series, but The Entire and the Rose could well be the best game in town right now. I commend this series to your attention. Can't wait to see how the author will close the show!"

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Conventions: Where I'll Be in the Spring/Fall

I'll be holed up here for most of the spring, but starting late summer, my convention attendance is really going to ramp up. Here's what's scheduled so far:

Anticipation / 67th World Science Fiction Convention
August 6th - 10th
Montréal, Quebec

Sept 4th - 7th
Atlanta, Georgia

Con*Stellation XXVIII
September 18th - 20th
Huntsville, Alabama

Appearing in my capacity as art director, I'll be speaking and doing portfolio reviews at:
IlluXCon 2009
Nov 12th - 15th
Altoona, Pennsylvania

And I'm really pleased to be Editor Guest of Honor at:
OryCon 31
Nov 27th-29th
Portland, Oregon

Sadly, I won't be at WFC this year - just too much travel in November to squeeze it in, and, frankly, I'm tired of missing Halloween.

Midwinter: Like Tolkien meets Abercrombie meets Chadbourn

Just added a sizable excerpt from Matthew Sturges' Midwinter to the Pyr Sample Chapters blog, making it the 43rd book to go up there (where there are also four complete short stories, one of them original to the site. What are you waiting for?)

And speaking of Midwinter,over at Fantasy Book Critic, Robert Thompson and Liviu C. Suciu have done a joint review of Matt's debut fantasy. In their intro materials they write, "think Tolkien meets Joe Abercrombie meets Mark Chadbourn." This thrills me, not just because I publish two of the three writers above (you can work out which), but also because "Abercrombie meets Chadbourn" was how I described it to my dark masters when presenting the book in the first place. (I also mentioned some similarities to Justina Robson's Quantum Gravity universe in the way the various dimensions are aligned.)

While not being blind to problems he chalks up to first-novel-itis, Robert concludes, " I really enjoyed the book and thought it was a fun, entertaining and imaginative new entry in the fantasy genre. I was also quite impressed with Matthew Sturges and believe he has the talent and creativity to make a name for himself outside of comics. Definitely looking forward to the sequel!"

And Liviu says, "Midwinter is a page-turner and a very exciting novel which managed to surprise me with unexpected twists and turns despite its seemingly straightforward plot.... Overall, Midwinter is the best pure genre debut of 09 so far for me and I highly recommend it."

I'm thrilled, further, to see that the comments section includes some love for the wonderful cover illustration from Chris McGrath. He's currently working on the art for, and Matt is currently writing, the follow-up, The Office of Shadow, about which more later.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Kindle Me This, Lou Man

Really geeked about the Kindle ap for the iPhone. I just bought the Kindle version of The Graveyard Book as a way to check it out. Personally, I will probably still do most of my reading with Stanza, but that's because most of my reading is manuscripts - not finished books - and Stanza makes it really, really easy to upload Word documents. But if I were a big consumer of other publisher's books, Kindle for iPhone would probably be my preferred reader. Anyway, I'll report back when I've read a book on it.

Meanwhile, my good friend Stephenson just bought a Kindle 2. He sends me this screenshot, which warmed up my morning:

And did you hear that B&N just bought Fictionwise?

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Sunday, March 01, 2009

My Locus Interview is Up

The wonderful Nick Gevers interviews me for his new SF Quintessential column on Locus Online, where we talk about my anthology Fast Forward 2and science fiction in general. Here's a clip:

Anders: Well, first and foremost, science fiction has to be entertaining if it is to work at all. I recently read an anthology (won't say which) that I thought was just one sanctimonious lecture after another on how bad our contemporary lifestyle is and how we've all got it coming. And frankly, I had to slog through the book, and it's made me quite angry, because I don't think this sort of thing is doing anyone any favors. "Action," "Adventure," and "Fun" aren't dirty words and never should be.