Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Editor is Metal as Hell

This is really more of a general update blog than anything else, but chock full of news you can feasibly use. If nothing else, you can take this as an opportunity to gain a bit of insight into the vast and complex world of publishing by seeing how an author communicates with an editor. Some of you will likely remember my announcement that I have been picked up by Pyr Books and their very fine editor, Lou Anders.

When presented with the knowledge that I was very pleased that he liked my book, Lou responded thus:
Like it? Made me want to shred my own s&s short into a thousand tiny bits. And stab you in the heart for being in your 20s.
Let me state for those of you who may be curious: it is very good if your editor likes your book. If your editor likes your book enough to wish physical harm upon you? Well, you're pretty much set, then, aren't you?

For the record, my editor at Gollancz has never threatened me...with physical harm. Though legend says that if you make him mad enough, he will start cursing at you in Old Entish (he is perhaps the tallest man on earth to be involved in literature outside of Godzilla's memoirs).

Anyway, onto further news: do you know what an ARC is? It goes by many names: Advanced Reading Copy, Proof, Bound Galley, Doorstop. The important thing is that Tome of the Undergates (my goodness, how did that Amazon link get there, oh well, no time to change it, sadly) has them! They have gone out to many fine blogs, I am told.

Among those most worthy of note: My Favourite Books, The Book Smugglers, Speculative Horizons, The Wertzone, Pat's Fantasy Hotlist, Graeme's Fantasy Book Review, NextRead and Haven't read them? Why not? What have they done to deserve your scorn? I wholly recommend giving them a look, and not just because they may say nice things about me! These are pretty much the gold standard for all opinions and reviews of fantasy fiction in the UK.

...unless they say mean things about me, in which case they are all filthy little wallaby-riders who suckle at the teat of Asmodeus and the resulting lactose intolerant reaction causes global warming that KILLS PUPPIES.

But for the moment, they are all quite good! The fine ladies (for there are two) at the Book Smugglers deserve special mention; their tendency to hunt in a pair allows them to take most authors by surprise and allows one of them to leisurely feed on the remains while the other keeps watch for other competing bloggers.

Note: This has been a confidential sneak peek at the upcoming nature documentary on the habits of book review bloggers, appearing in 2010 and narrated by David Attenborough.

And, in other things newsworthy, since my brand spanking new entry on the Orion Author/Title List has a showing of the cover art for the book, perhaps it is safe to show here, as well! You might have noticed it at the top there! Your reactions? They should pretty much be as follows:


What's that? The guy? Well, yeah, I guess he is kind of important to the story and that is a pretty badass-looking sword, but come on...water.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Pyr Publishing!

There's a publishing company out there making a buzz! You may know who it is based off the fabulous authors they have come to swallow whole, like a frog swallowing mayflies, that the meager authorial mass may be added to the collective might of the industry. Fantastic authors such as Tom Lloyd, James Barclay, JOE "MUTHAFUGGIN" ABERCROMBIE.

And! Yes, that's right, it seems as though Sam "Sharkpuncher" Sykes (I gave myself that nickname because it sounded cool; also, I know the site is under construction, shut up) will be joining the stable kept by the highly praised (deserving every ounce of it) Lou Anders, Hugo-nominated editor and all-around nice guy.

What does this mean for you, the kind and gentle reader? Several things! First of all, this being as close as two authors can possibly get before the fierce undercurrent of rivalry and insecurity tears them apart, I can now officially ask Tom Lloyd for money.

More importantly, though, it means Tome of the Undergates will be available in the United States by 2010, courtesy of Pyr! I'm excited! Are you excited? I'm excited!

This now officially raises the things I have in common with Joe Abercrombie to:

Things we have in common: Pyr Publishing, Heyne Publishing, Mynx Publishing, the all-important Gollancz-Orion Publishing, a fondness for fine beers and a fierce love for all things David Bowie.

Things Joe Abercrombie does not have in common with me: A strong, creamy moral center of virtue, five inches (of height), three inches (of waistline), the ability to chew bricks for extended periods of time and biceps the size of overfed platypuses.

Things I do not have in common with Joe Abercrombie: Like, a million books sold and the respect and adoration of readers worldwide.

I hope you are as thrilled about this recent development as I am.

...especially you.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Dragon Age! Dragon Book!


It's far beyond the capabilities of my feeble attention span to note how well a book is doing in sales, but I'm assuming The Dragon Book is doing well. It got quite a nice review from our friends at The Book Smugglers. Those ladies know what they're talking about, sirs and madames. Perhaps you should give it a try based on that?

Further, check out their review of Humane Killer by yours truly and some other author. "Weirdest characters ever?" Fwah!

Now, on to the serious matter of video games.

Everyone who's going to has probably picked up Dragon Age: Origins by now, yes? If not, I'd wholly recommend it. It's a Bioware game, closer to classics such as Baldur's Gate than newer ones such as Mass Effect (but that was a good'un, too). Thus far, it's been quite appealing.

In a market where characterization is basically boiled down to dimwits who believe everything they're told, this game is pretty refreshing for the sheer amount of personality in characters. Further, it's a "dark," "mature" (and dare I suggest...gritty?) game, so the characters are varying amounts of sarcasm, cynicism, lust and vulnerability. Quite good. As controls go, it's standard Bioware target and stab until dead (though I'm told shit gets real later).

My sole grievance thus far is...who the hell was in charge of designing the schemers and traitors? The whole point of being a traitor is that no one knows you're helping the enemy until it's too late. Yet we see people with sunken eyes, cold metal armor and greasy black hair and we're supposed to think this guy is on our side? I think the most insulting part thus far has been a traitor with a hook nose, whiny voice, shady story, voiced by TIM GOD DAMN CURRY. When has he ever played a good guy!?

I'm not at all suggesting that there can't be traitors or turncoats in a story (in fact, they usually make it better), but I find it slightly unbelievable that they can't figure out how to dress by this point. Protip to anyone wanting to become a traitor in a fantasy story: dress in bright colors, get a tan, bathe every day, say lots of inspiring things.

No one will ever see it coming.