Monday, 29 July 2013

Crown Thief Out in Audiobook, and Other Listenables

I've been looking forward to the Brilliance Audio adaptation of Crown Thief coming out.

As I've explained before, it would be undeniably weird and inappropriate and self-indulgent to read your own book, but no one ever said you can't listen to it.  Which is a good thing, because it's much more fun anyway, especially when you have the excellent James Langton returning to do his thing and make your book a good bit wittier and more entertaining than it ever was on the page.

I loved James's take on Giant Thief, so much so that I think it might have become the official version in my head; by the time I got to writing Prince Thief, I couldn't help noticing I'd mentally adopted James's accents for some of my major players - Marina Estrada is forever going to have an Irish lilt in my head now - and I can't wait to hear what he's made of some of the new players.  I have a feeling that his take on Synza, and one particular Synza-starring scene in particular (if you've read it, I'm sure you know which I mean*) is going to be a whole lot of fun.

Since I'm being hopelessly unrepentant about how much I enjoy podcasts of my own work, I should admit that I also recently listened to John Rubinstein's totally appropriate reading of The Sign in the Moonlight at Nightmare, and that I've made a start on Kate Baker's elegant, understated take on Across the Terminator, recently posted at the mighty Clarkesworld.

* Or, thinking about it, if you've seen the cover.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Endangered Weapon B: Mechanimal Science Lives!

That's all there is to say, really: Endangered Weapon B: Mechanimal Science is finally out.

I've been talking about this project for so long now - since October 2009, to be precise - that it's hard to know what to say now that people actually get to see it.  (Okay, quite a lot of people have already seen bits of it, thanks to Free Comic Book Day and the Myebook preview, currently at an astonishing 50'000 views, but you know what I mean.)

I guess I could say what's actually in the book?  I mean, I've possibly been a bit cryptic in the past, rattling on about mechanically enhanced grizzly bears battling Nazi dolphins on the moon and whatnot.  Although in fairness, that's actually a fairly concise summary of the introductory story.  Then there's issue one, The Tentacles of Doom, which was partially included in the FCBD issue and which covers the origins of our protagonist the Professor, his chief engineer and unwilling prospective child bride Tilly, his ursine factotum Banjo and his ninja butler, the redoubtable Wiffles ... along with some stuff about psychic squid and giant killer carp and, oh, Mothra, possibly.  As for issue two, The Monsters of Monster Island, that sees the Professor encountering Dracula, the Wolfman and the Invisible Man, and discovering what really happened to Frankenstein and his monster.  And then there are some Endangered Weapon-themed games, (because what comic book is complete without at least a couple of games?), and an introduction by the wonderful Mr Paul Cornell.

So that's Endangered Weapon B: Mechanimal ScienceAin't it Cool News described it as "...a MONTY PYTHON / Mike Mignola love child," and they were more right than they'll ever know.  You can pick it up from Amazon here, in Kindle or in print direct from publisher Markosia.

And in the meantime, here's a picture of an airship disguised as a bumble bee approaching Dr Frankenstein's castle:

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Prince Thief Cover Reveal

Isn't that just stunning?

Yeah, Angelo Rinaldi's cover for Prince Thief has finally been revealed to the world ... and hopefully, if the world has any sense at all, it's responded with a sharp intake of breath and a cry of "My, but that's a cover of unusual awesomeness!"

I have to admit, I'm particularly in love with this one; even compared to the other two, it's a truly striking image, and uncannily close to what I had in mind.  I think there's a trend at the moment for more simple, less involved covers in Fantasy, but personally I love to look at the front of a book and think "blimey, that's an interesting thing going on right there." 

I mean, if you've followed the series this far, you must be at least a little bit curious as to why Damasco is running away from a burning - or, let's face it, pretty much exploding - ship, and who that is behind him, and ... is that the crown of Altapasaeda he's carrying? 

And if you haven't read Giant Thief or Crown Thief, don't you want to read a book where there's that much stuff on fire?  I know I would. 

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Across the Terminator in Clarkesworld

Since I started submitting short fiction, many, many moons ago, there have been a handful of markets I never really dared imagine I'd make it into.  Over the years, as the rejections from those markets piled up, that doubt hardened into a certainty, and eventually I even began to accept it.  Some things just aren't meant to be.  I'd never break that absolutely top rung of professional markets, in the same way that I'd never climb Everest or play professional ice hockey or box with Uwe Boll.  It's okay to have realistic aspirations and to know your limits.  I kept sending - because you have to, don't you? - but the thoughtfully worded rejections kind of stopped registering after a while.

Then last week I sold a story to Clarkesworld.

So, colour me surprised.  And also very, very pleased.  And still a little shocked and stupefied.

Especially since the story in question is getting quite long in the tooth now, and especially since this isn't even the first time I've sold it to a professional market.  It was scheduled to be in Digital Science Fiction, a promising 'zine that I was really sad to see stop publishing just before Across the Terminator was due to come out.  So I guess the fact that I've sold it to two pro markets in a row means it must be one of my best short stories; it's certainly one of my favourites ... but then then I always say that, don't I?  It's about love and politics and it's set on the moon, one of those subjects I seem to keep coming back to, and unlike a lot of my science fiction it contains some actual real science that I did actual research to try and make sound plausible.

You can read Across the Terminator here, or follow the links from the Clarkesworld home page to pick up this issue in any electronic format you can realistically think of.