Backlist Plug: Ian McDonald’s CHAGA series

Today, we wanted to draw your attention to Ian McDonald‘s classic Chaga series: CHAGA, KIRINYA and TENDELÉO’S STORY. The trilogy is now available in eBook, published by the JABberwocky eBook Program, and the first two books are also published in Germany by Heyne.

CHAGA, originally called EVOLUTION’S SHORE, was first published in 1995 and was nominated for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. Here’s the synopsis…

On the trail of the mystery of Saturn’s disappearing moons, network journalist Gaby McAslan finds herself in Africa researching the Kilimanjaro Event: a meteor-strike in Kenya which caused the stunning African landscape to give way to something equally beautiful – and indescribably alien. Dubbed the ‘Chaga’, the alien flora destroys all man-made materials, and moulds human flesh, bone and spirit to its own designs. But when Gaby finds the first man to survive the Chaga’s changes, she realizes it has its own plans for humankind… Against the backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro, McDonald weaves a staggering tale of keen human observation and speculation, as the Kilimanjaro Event changes the course of the human race by exposure to something beyond its imagination.

Here are some of the reviews CHAGA received…

‘McDonald… consistently explores new territory with his breathtaking images and incisive language. Both form and substance blend fortuitously in a work that features strong characters, a suspenseful story, and a profound message of hope and transformation. A priority purchase for SF collections.’ Library Journal

‘One of the finest writers of his generation, who chooses to write science fiction because that is how he can best illuminate the world.’ New Statesman

‘Optimistic near-future alien-contact yarn… McDonald’s tale is also inventive and challenging… a dense, complex, rather weighty, often fascinating piece of speculation.’ Kirkus

You can also read an excerpt from the novel here.

KIRINYA (1998) was showered with similar accolades when it was published: the novel was described by SFX as ‘a huge and ambitious novel’ and ‘the work of a supremely talented writer’, and McDonald was hailed as an ‘outstanding writer’ and ‘marvellous talent’ by The Times...

The end of the universe happened at around ten o’clock at night on 22 December, 2032. It’s just that humanity hasn’t realized it yet. And the Chaga, the strange flora deposited from the stars, is still busy terraforming the tropics into someone else’s terra. Gaby McAslan was once a hungry news reporter who compromised her relationship with UNECTA researcher Dr. Shepard for the sake of her story… but Gaby is no longer a journalist and she doesn’t want to be a full-time mother, even though her child Serena is her last link with Shepard. Gaby’s fire has gone out; she’s gone soft. But the massive political and military upheavals rocking the world are about to drag her back into the action.

The final book in the Chaga series, TENDELÉO’S STORY is a novella that was originally published by PS Publishing in 2000.

From the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, an alien force begins to spread, turning the land into an unrecognizable alien landscape. Tendeléo is nine years old when this first package comes down, and before she reaches adulthood the Chaga will change her life forever.

Ian’s latest series is Luna, of which the first two books are out now: NEW MOON and WOLF MOON, published by Gollancz in the UK and Tor Books in North America. The series is also available in a growing number of translated editions.

Backlist Plug: Algis Budrys’s WRITING TO THE POINT

In this instalment of out Backlist Plug series, we wanted to draw your attention to Algis Budrys‘s WRITING TO THE POINT. Considered one of the best writing guides, it is published by WordFire Press. Here’s the synopsis…

The classic work of writing instruction back in print! The complete, concise guide to writing fiction that sells from one of the most popular instructors of the Writers of the Future and Clarion workshops. Get a master’s competitive edge in the writing business. Bestselling writer, editor and renowned writing teacher Algis Budrys, known as “AJ” to his many students, has distilled his fifty years of success into Writing to the Point. Write better stories. Fix mistakes in your current stories. Writing to the Point contains all the writing articles that appeared in the classic tomorrow Magazine, re-edited and expanded. Algis Budrys has taught hundreds of people at scores of workshops, and was a well-known critic, editor, and author in his own right.

Budrys was a master science fiction storyteller. A handful of his novels are available as eBooks via Open Road Media: ROGUE MOON, MICHAELMAS, WHO?, FALLING TORCH, THE FURIOUS FUTURE (a short story collection), and HARD LANDING.

Backlist Plug: Elizabeth Hand’s CASS NEARY series…

Today, we turn back the clock a few years, and spotlight Elizabeth Hand‘s cult-classic, critically-acclaimed Cass Neary duology: GENERATION LOSS and AVAILABLE DARK. The novels are published in the UK by Constable & Robinson. Here’s the synopsis for the first novel…

The secrets of small-town life can be more deadly than fist fights and dead junkies…

Cass Neary is not afraid of living on the edge. A photographer whose shots of New York’s punk scene in the seventies earned her fame, caché, and a cultish kind of cool, Cass has spent much of her life in the dark, watching and waiting. But thirty years later she is alone, adrift and falling rapidly into oblivion. So when an old acquaintance asks her to interview a fellow photographer — a notorious recluse who lives on an island off the Maine coast — she accepts.

There, she learns about a decades-old crime that is still claiming new victims — and comes to realise that her days of living dangerously are not over yet: amid this inhospitable hinterland, Cass comes to realise that her final shot might also be a shot at redemption.

The series has been described as ‘Patricia Highsmith meets Patti Smith’ and as a ‘mesmerizing literary thriller’. Here are some more reviews…

‘Cass Neary… makes Lisbeth Salander seem like a model of mental stability… Stunning.’ Publishers Weekly

‘In the spirit of Stieg Larsson”s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo… As the dark Nordic forest thickens, so does the plot. Larsson fanatics may be unable to resist.’ New York Post

‘Pulsing with tension throughout… charged with its own chilling luminosity.’ Washington Post

‘A brilliant sequel to Hand”s acclaimed literary thriller GENERATION LOST… Stunning.’ Booklist (Starred Review)

‘Fiercely frightening yet hauntingly beautiful, with a startling heroine you”ll never forget… Shimmers with gorgeous writing even as it scares the dickens out of you.’ Tess Gerritsen

‘Intense and atmospheric, Generation Loss is an inventive brew of postpunk attitude and dark mystery. Elizabeth Hand writes with craftsmanship and passion.’ George Pelecanos

‘A skin blistering crime novel as edgy and black as dried blood on a moonlit night.’ Robert Crais

Elizabeth Hand’s latest novel, WYLDING HALL, was published recently by Open Road Media.

Zeno represents Elizabeth Hand in the UK and Commonwealth, on behalf of Martha Millard at Sterling Lord Literistic.