The Guardian loves Aliette…

aliette-headshot2This is just a very quick post to draw your attention to The Guardian‘s Booksblog post from Monday 15th April. It is a list of “The Best Young Novelists – from SF’s universe“, and includes the nigh-unstoppable Aliette de Bodard!

Aliette has been racking up a string of prestigious award nominations (crossing fingers for eventual wins, of course), and this is a great extra bit of exposure for one of our major young  talents. The Guardian has included her in a list of such luminaries as Lauren Beukes, China Mieville and Joe Abercrombie.

Congratulations, Aliette!

deBodard-Obsidian&Blood-BlogAliette’s latest big release in the UK is the omnibus edition of her Obsidian and Blood trilogy (published by Angry Robot)…

SERVANT OF THE UNDERWORLD — Year One-Knife, Tenochtitlan the capital of the Aztecs. The end of the world is kept at bay only by the magic of human sacrifice. A priestess disappears from an empty room drenched in blood. Acatl, high priest, must find her, or break the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead.

HARBINGER OF THE STORM — The year is Two House and the Mexica Empire teeters on the brink of destruction, lying vulnerable to the flesh-eating star-demons and to the return of their creator, a malevolent goddess only held in check by the Protector God s power. The council is convening to choose a new emperor, but when a councilman is found dead, only Acatl, High Priest of the Dead, can solve the mystery.

MASTER OF THE HOUSE OF DARTS — The year is Three Rabbit, and the storm is coming… The coronation war for the new Emperor has just ended in a failure, the armies retreating with a mere forty prisoners of war not near enough sacrifices to ensure the favor of the gods. When one of those prisoners of war dies of a magical illness, Acatl, High Priest for the Dead, is summoned to investigate.

Kings of the North Freebies…

Elizabeth Moon‘s brand new new novel,  KINGS OF THE NORTH, the second volume in her new Paladin’s Legacy series is to be published by Orbit here in the UK later this month.

If you’re looking to send us a fantasy novel at some point, you could do worse than look to Elizabeth’s work as an fine example of what the market is looking for right now – and courtesy of Orbit – a publisher always on the look-out for commercial fantasy, here’s some free sample chapters from the novel to help you do just that.

Elizabeth has also just contributed a guest piece to the Orbit Blog entitled ‘A Few Favourite Fantasy Dragons‘ which is well worth a look. (Hint: Dragons are hot right now – no pun intended … well, okay, a bit intended!)

King Kieri’s realm has been destabilised by political wrangling and his court is blind to the dangers – until an assassination attempt on their king. And when this backfires, Kieri’s enemies start planning an invasion using dragonfire, a force unseen for hundreds of years. In King Mikeli’s adjoining kingdom, his crown is threatened by a bandit prince. Alured the Black claims his lineage gives him dominion over all the lands. His ambition is boundless, his methods are ruthless and he will not be swayed from his goal, whether or not it undermines a region already on the brink of war. Dark mages also watch for weakness and hunger for their own lost powers. The Kings of the North must plan wisely, as disaster is a sword’s breadth away.

Michael Cobley’s Brand New Web Site…

Mike has a new web site, and a fine looking thing it is too!

Head straight over there now, why don’t you? Below is an example of the kind of content that will be posted there, along with Mike’s  varied and insightful thoughts on whatever takes his fancy, and – most importantly – news about his novels, short stories and public appearances. Enjoy!

Peter V. Brett Hits Sunday Times Bestseller List…

Wow!! THE DESERT SPEAR, Peter V. Brett‘s brilliant follow up to his acclaimed début THE PAINTED MAN was only released yesterday, but the enormous interest in the book and the volume of pre-orders have resulted in  deservedly high bookscan figures and we’re all thrilled and delighted to see THE DESERT SPEAR in at #9 on the Sunday Times Bestseller List.  Here are a few relevant links…

I’ll post further reviews in due course. Meantime, well deserved congratulations to Peat, Joshua, Emma and all the Voyager team.

The Deed of Paksenarrion Released

Elizabeth Moon‘s The Deed of Paksenarrion omnibus has just been published by Orbit. This bumper release collects together Elizabeth’s three epic fantasy novels ;  The Sheepfarmer’s Daughter, Divided Allegiance, and Oath of Gold. Great to see these reissued at long last, and in such an impressive package too.

Paksenarrion wasn’t planning to submit to an unwelcome marriage and a lifetime of poverty, so she left her village with a plan and her grandfather’s sword. And a few weeks later, she was installed as Duke Phelan’s newest recruit in a company of soldiers for hire, her arms training about to begin. But when Paks sees combat, she’s stabbed with an ensorcelled knife and barely survives. Then the near-misses start mounting up, raising questions about this young fighter. Is she attracting evil because she is a danger to them all? Or is there another reason malignant forces seek her life? Paks will face the spider-minions of the Webmistress Achrya, orcs and the corrupted men who serve blood mage Liart, Master of Torments. She will also earn the gratitude of elves and of her Duke. And through conflict she will learn she has powers of her own and a destiny. To become a gods-chosen Paladin of Gird, and a target for the ultimate torture.’

Be sure to check out the Orbit blog where Elizabeth has recently contributed this guest post.

Lavie Tidhar… “Heaven is a Supermarket”

And following on from the entry below, our other Angry Roboteer Lavie Tidhar has also been interviewed by Charles Tan over at his Bibliophile Stalker Blog. In this article, Lavie discusses his soon to be published project with Apex Books, anthology The Apex Book of World SF and his recently published  novella (written with Nir Yaniv) The Tel Aviv Dossier. He also offers up some insight into his humdrum life out there in Laos!

What’s a day in the life of Lavie Tidhar like?

I’m practising the old Indian Bead Trick at the moment – you might know it better as the Needle Swallowing Trick that Houdini made popular. It’s when you swallow needles and thread and then bring them back out with the needles all threaded together. Wonderful illusion. I’m too chicken to put needles in my mouth though, so I’ve been using safety pins! Ha! Definitely not as glamorous.

Which is to say, very dull, really. I get excited if I go across the border to Thailand because they actually have supermarkets there! I think heaven is a supermarket, all clean and shiny and bright. And they have a Mister Donut!

I’m easily pleased.

Of Elfland and Inspiration

Freda Warrington has just had a fascinating article published at the BSCreview. In the piece she addresses that age-old clichéd question of ‘where do you get your ideas from?’…

elfland-thumb“It’s an irresistible question, because truly comprehending what goes on in someone else’s mind is impossible, intangible, and all the more fascinating for it. Truth is, I don’t always know where my own ideas come from. They seldom arrive fully formed, but tend to develop in a tree-like fashion, usually in need of considered pruning. But what makes us want to write in the first place?”

Freda’s novel Elfland, published by Tor Books is due for release mid-August.

Sue Hubbard on Diane Arbus…

The New Statesman web site is carrying a fascinating review by Sue Hubbard on the Diane Arbus exhibition that is currently at London’s Timothy Taylor Gallery (until 27th June).

“‘I really believe there are things which nobody would see unless I photographed them.” Diane Arbus’s photographs of people, many of whom were on the margins of life, were rooted in an understanding of the relationship between photographer and subject. Attuned to the small tragedies of contemporary life, she was to photography what Raymond Carver was to literature. As John Szarkowski, organiser of the Museum of Modern Art’s landmark 1967 “New Documents” exhibition, said: “The portraits of Diane Arbus show that all of us – the most ordinary and most exotic of us – are on closer scrutiny remarkable.'”…

Chris Schuler Reviews Hans Fallada…

alone-in-berlinChris Schuler recently had his review of Hans Fallada‘s novel Alone in Berlin (recently published in the Penguin Hardback Classics series in a new translation by Michael Hoffman) published in the Independent on Sunday (click through to read this review online.)

It is June 1940. In a Berlin apartment, Old Persicke, a drink-sodden retired publican, and his ambitious Nazi sons celebrate the fall of France. Their quiet, middle-aged neighbours, Otto and Anna Quangel, have just learnt that their only child has been killed in that campaign. On the top floor, an elderly Jewish lady tries to make herself as inconspicuous as possible, while in the rear tenement, Emil Borkhausen, blackmailer and pimp, is sniffing around for a chance to turn a quick profit…

Chris Roberson Podcast… and more!

end-of-the-century-us-thumbHere’s a fascinating interview with Chris Roberson that was broadcast recently on the Adventures in SciFi Publishing podcast show. Amongst other things, Chris discusses his novel End of the Century, just published in the US by Pyr – a free excerpt of which you can see here.


And here are  a couple of links to an in-depth, two-part Lou Anders’ article on the website all about Chris’s work….

More on ‘Hackney’ and author Iain Sinclair…


  • Reviews are starting to come in for Iain Sinclair’s new book Hackney, That Rose-Red Empire and we’ll be posting news of them here as they come in. For starters, here’s a four star write-up from today’s London Metro paper.
  • Check our previous post for details of specific Hackney related events that are coming up and don’t forget to listen to BBC Radio 4 next week, when Hackney, That Rose-Red Empire will be being featured as Book of the Week.
  • The Observer carried a wonderful interview with author Iain Sinclair on February 8th , 2009. ‘The brilliant chronicler of uncharted, often unloved, parts of Britain has stayed close to home for his latest epic – a bittersweet love letter to the London borough of Hackney. He takes Rachel Cooke for a stroll round his patch – no ordinary walk, as the visionary author beautifully evokes the area’s rich history while reflecting on his own memories of the urban landscape.The piece is available here online.
  • And if all this coverage is wetting your appetite for the book (and how can it not?) the publisher Hamish Hamilton has made an except of the book’s opening chapter available online. Click this link for the pdf.

Sarah Ash Takes “The Page 69 Test”

Sarah Ash applies The Page 69 Test to her latest novel Flight into Darkness, published recently in the US by Bantam. Sarah says…

flight-into-darkness-thumbA reader recently emailed me, mentioning how intrigued he was at finding a fantasy series in which gunpowder and eighteenth century weaponry can be found alongside dragons and daemons. I really appreciated that comment! Because in writing this series I wanted to evoke an Age of Reason not unlike our own and confront the enlightened thinkers and scientists with the raw forces of an ancient and powerful magic that they can neither explain away nor begin to understand.” Follow this link to read more

And if this wets your appetite and you’d like to investigate Sarah’s wonderful fantasy novel further, follow this link for an excerpt of the first chapter, available to read free at