War of the Words
Click so you can read it!
Pick up issue 28 of SciFiNow, which should be out now. It kicks off the collaboration between them and Tor to find a new author. War of the Words will encourage writers to send off three chapters and a synopsis by the 20th of August. SciFiNow will keep updating it’s website with content including podcast author interviews, Q&As and the mag will follow the publishing process with interviews and extracts.
It sounds exiting stuff – need to pick it up so I can find out the rules. Not that I’m going to enter…
I’ve been emailing John Jarrold, literary agent extraordinaire, and he was nice enough to pass along a couple of news items:
Nights of Villjamur is heading State-side
Del Rey paid a good five-figure US dollar sum for Mark Charan Newton’s mainstream debut Nights of Villjamur and its sequel.
If you haven’t noticed Nights of Villjamur has been getting some excellent buzz. So this is very exciting news and from what I’ve read so far I’m inclined to agree. Especially as he’s made it quite fast switching and deep. Not over until the fat lady sings though
Though here is how others have found it:
Liquid prose with noir stylings evoke a brooding city in all its glory and despair, filled with believable characters and dozens of small innovations that make the world that bit more intriguing.
Nights of Villjamur was a book that I couldn’t help but savor, lingering on several memorable passages, although there are various points when the action heats up so much, that I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.
Fantasy Book Critic
I was worried I would find a dense, overwritten piece of philosophical literature hidden under a fantasy verneer (think Terry Goodkind’s Naked Empire, but not piss-poor), but what I found instead was a tightly plotted novel that worked just as well as a fantasy novel as it did a piece of introspective literature. In short, it would behoove potential readers to drop preconceptions of ‘literary’ fantasy and give Nights of Villjamur a fair shot
A Dribble of Ink
The blurb for Nights of Villjamur
Political intrigue and dark violence converge in a superb new action series of enthralling fantasy. An ice age strikes a chain of islands, and thousands come to seek sanctuary at the gates of Villjamur: a city of ancient spires and bridges, a place where banshees wail the deceased, cultists use forgotten technology for their own gain and where, further out, the dead have been seen walking across the tundra.When the Emperor commits suicide, his elder daughter, Rika, is brought home to lead the Jamur Empire, but the sinister Chancellor plans to get rid of her and claim the throne for himself. Meanwhile a senior investigator in the city inquisition must solve the high-profile and savage murder of a city politician, whilst battling evils within his own life, and a handsome and serial womanizer manipulates his way into the imperial residence with a hidden agenda. When reports are received that tens of thousands of citizens are dying in a bizarre genocide on the northern islands of the Empire, members of the elite Night Guard are sent to investigate. It seems that, in this land under a red sun, the long winter is bringing more than just snow.
The Adamantine Palace is bringing more dragons
Ok, I admit it. I’ m not really into dragons. But reading some reviews I might be changing my mind:
These are the dragons your mom warned you about, the ones lurking in the shadows, doing bad things. Horrible things. These are the predators; the ones that floss with velociraptors. Unapologetic. Vicious. Intelligent. Unstoppable.
Blood of the Muse
It’s not just the dragons who come across well on the page; the human characters are also well treated by the author. Deas takes a lot of time to come up with characters that are well rounded and interact with each other in the way that you would expect from conniving, backstabbing and generally very ambitious people.
Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review
The dragons in Deas’s novel do, initially, seem to be of the Pony variety, but I’m pleased to announce that this impression changes rapidly when one of them gets loose.
The blurb for The Adamantine Palace:
The Adamantine Palace lies at the centre of an empire that grew out of ashes. Once dragons ruled the world and man was little more than prey. Then a way of subduing the dragons alchemicly was discovered and now the dragons are bred to be little more than mounts for knights and highly valued tokens in the diplomatic power-players that underpin the rule of the competing aristocratic houses. The Empire has grown fat. And now one man wants it for himself. A man prepared to poison the king just as he has poisoned his own father. A man prepared to murder his lover and bed her daughter. A man fit to be king? But uknown to him there are flames on the way. A single dragon has gone missing. And even one dragon on the loose, unsubdued, returned to its full intelligence, its full fury, could spell disaster for the Empire. But because of the actions of one unscrupulous mercenary the rivals for the throne could soon be facing hundreds of dragons . . . Stephen Deas has written a fast moving and action-fuelled fantasy laced with irony, a razor sharp way with characters, dialogue to die for and dragons to die by.
The sequel, KING OF THE CRAGS, is due for publication in April 2010.
But on top of dragons Stephen Deas has also made a three-book deal writing for young adults.
Simon Spanton (Editor @Gollancz – gav) said
‘Following the success of THE ADAMANTINE PALACE it only seemed natural to approach John and ask if Steve would be interested in writing something for our upcoming YA list. And I shouldn’t have been surprised that the material Steve came up with would prove to be exactly what I was looking for – a fast moving fantasy tale, set in a richly realised world, centred round a young character who rapidly finds himself deep in a web of conspiracies he is barely able to survive despite his skills. Being Steve this is also a book that pulls no moral punches and admits to a genuine darkness – no-one escapes the impact of their actions and with this book describing the fall of a young thief into a life as an assassin that’s a particularly powerful aspect to the story for a younger readership. Much like Kristin Cashore’s GRACELING and Carrie Ryan’s THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH I expect this book to appeal equally both to readers of 14 years and upwards and those, like myself, well past their teenage years who nevertheless enjoy fantasy’s ability to make you feel a world afresh. That Steve has been able to add this string to his bow only increases my admiration of his talent and professionalism.’
George Mann – it’s Snowing Books!!
George Mann has been signed up for more titles from Snow Books:
The six new books include the first two novels in a new series called ‘The Ghosts of Manhattan’, which is set in 1930s New York, as well as books four, five and six in the ‘Newbury and Hobbes’ series, which was started by The Affinity Bridge.
The deal will be completed by a short stories collection entitled The Huntingdon Legacy.
Really just need to pick up The Affinity Bridge next time I’m in Borders!
Sony UK sponsors Guardian Hay Festival to help push ebook device
Sony will back a panel discussion – called Brave New World: Rights and Wrongs in the Digital Future – as well as setting up a sponsored venue, Sony Screen, to provide “on-site experiential opportunities” with the Sony Reader.
I do love my little Sony Reader. I’ve been writing a post for the last few days trying to gather my thoughts on ebooks in general. There are lots of pros and cons to the whole business but for those people that like reading and don’t have a pile of books already that they need to read the Sony Reader and other ebook devices are a pretty good experience.