June 2012 Archives

The Apocalypse Codex (UK cover)

I have a new book coming out in July: "The Apocalypse Codex", #4 in Bob Howard's working memoirs, the Laundry Files.

UPDATE: UK publisher Orbit are running a competition! Do you have what it takes to work for the Laundry? (Jobs—or other prizes—for the successful applicants.)

(The official publication date is the 3rd—next Tuesday—in the USA, in hardcover and ebook. In the UK, a production delay means it's due on the 19th, two weeks later, but you have the options of a paperback and a lower-cost ebook. And as usual, dead tree editions may begin to show up in bricks-and-mortar book stores a week or so ahead of the official date.)

Here's a list of places you can buy copies online.

If you want to order signed copies, right now your only option is Transreal Fiction in Edinburgh, who call me in to sign books. (I will normally sign anything you shove under my nose except a cheque, but I don't have a signing tour scheduled for "The Apocalypse Codex" and this is a nose-to-the-grindstone working month for me.)

If you want to know which sales channel give the author most money, the order is: ideally an undiscounted hardback from a small retailer (like Transreal), followed by a discounted hardback from a big box store or Amazon or the undiscounted UK trade paperback, then an ebook, then a discounted trade paperback from a big box store ... the book will be available as a mass market paperback or discounted ebook in July 2013, which makes the author even less money, but more than a remaindered copy or a pirate download or library loan.

Want a taster of the contents? Orbit, my UK publisher, are posting extracts over the next week, starting here ... or you can look below the cut!

Normally, I get one shot at fixing typos/errata in a book once it is in print; that's when the publisher gets ready to re-typeset it for a paperback release.

I can't say any more about this in public yet, but there is going to be a new release of the Merchant Princes series some time next year, and I have a remit to go through all six books with fire and the sword, not only fixing typos but correcting more substantial errors. (Not changing the plot or dialog, but: revolvers with safety catches? That sort of thing.)

Anyway, this is the typo thread for the first two volumes of the Merchant Princes. (Note: only the first two volumes. There will be typo hunts for the second two, and then the third two. I want to keep them separate for reference purposes.)

If you've stubbed your toes on any typos, mis-spellings, continuity errors, or factual bloopers, please list them here. Ideally also say what page they occur on, and in which edition (US hardcover, US paperback, or UK paperback). If you've got an ebook copy, cut-and-paste (or copy manually) a unique string of 3-4 words from the same or an adjacent paragraph so I can search for the blooper. I've got about four weeks to get this turned around, so anything you can come up with now will help!

(This flame bait bought to you in lieu of a real blog entry, due to exhaustion from traveling.)

Driven by Apple's persistent failure to lighten my wallet by announcing a 7" iPad, I recently acquired an Android tablet: a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7-Inch, Wi-Fi), aka GT-P3113. What can I say? It's cheap, but it's not one of the nasty knock-offs. If the hardware ran iOS and had an Apple dock connector (or just plain ordinary micro-USB) I'd be singing its praises. As it is, it has rapidly become my preferred ebook reader, beating out the Kindle Fire (which was designed for that task). So you can take this as a lukewarm recommendation—if you want a jacket-pocket ebook reader that can do other stuff on the side, this one is quite classy.

But I have reservations about the bigger picture ...

On Thursday (once I'm home).

Meanwhile, in Munich:

Meat!!!

Bavaria is to Germany as Texas is to the United States, to a first approximation. Discuss.

I'm in Munich this week, and I plan to be drinking in the Paulaner Brauhaus (Kapuzinerplatz 5, 80337 M√ľnchen; click here for map) from 7pm on Monday 18th. All welcome! (Yes, I will sign books if you bring them.) If in doubt, look for the plush Cthulhu!

UPDATE: due to the weather, we're in the beer garden at the back.

A crate containing 20 hardcover copies of this book arrived on my doorstep this morning:

The Apocalypse Codex

... Which means they're on their way to various warehouses and will be shipping in the next few weeks.

Want to order a copy? Use one of these links if you're in the USA:

The Apocalypse Codex (A Laundry Files Novel—via Amazon)

The Apocalypse Codex (Kindle version)

The Apocalypse Codex (Audiobook via B&N)

The Apocalypse Codex (Hardcover or Nook edition—via B&N)

The Apocalypse Codex (hardcover via Powell's)

Want it in the UK?

Due to an unfortunate production scheduling delay, it's going to take about two weeks longer to show up. (The US edition is published in hardcover by Ace, the UK edition in paperback by Orbit: it took a little longer than usual for Orbit to get the typeset files from the US and reflow them for the different paper size.) However, you can order it here (and it's cheaper than the US edition):

The Apocalypse Codex (Trade paperback, via Amazon.co.uk)

The Apocalypse Codex (UK Kindle ebook)

The Apocalypse Codex (via Waterstones)

Want it signed?

My local SF specialist bookshop, Transreal Fiction, will be stocking "The Apocalypse Codex" and can call me in to sign copies. Mike's happy to take orders via internet and ship books within the UK or overseas. (Please note that Transreal is a small business, and won't be getting stock in much before the official publication date; that means an inevitable delay in shipping. Also note that Mike is on vacation this week so may be slow answering his email.) Order signed copies here.

A spam botnet is torture-testing the server again, so I'm shutting down comments until it goes away.

Update Comments may be up or down depending on how irritating the spammers get. I just re-enabled them. (Load average on the server is currently 0.01. At the point when I disabled comments the load average was spiking towards 10. It's a roughly logarithmic indicator of how heavily the machine is loaded ...)

In other news: Over on SFSignal, here's a round table discussion on literary and speculative fiction by me, Elizabeth Bear, Bradley Beaulieu, and Rob Ziegler. Lots of chewy opinions here. (And yes, I had a brain fart and confuse "Stand on Zanzibar" with "The Shockwave Rider", and nobody caught it before publication.)

I am back home, after nearly a week in NYC, during which time I got to do BEA.

Before I went, my carpal tunnel problem was getting better. It's now a lot worse: and not because I was doing a lot of writing, either.

Folks, if you meet an author for the first time, by all means offer to shake their hand. However, writing is something we do on computer keyboards, and some of us have exciting and unpleasant repetitive strain injuries. It's generally considered polite to refrain from inflicting screaming agony on your favourite author in order to display your enthusiasm. So please be gentle when shaking our hands!

(NB: offering to crush the author's other hand instead is not an improvement: most keyboards require eight fingers and two thumbs to operate ...)

This PSA is, alas, necessary because I've been on the receiving end of one too many walnut-crushers this week (with a book signing on top), and I am consequently resorting to diclofenac gel (a fairly powerful anti-inflammatory and pain-killer for musculoskeletal problems: available without prescription in the UK, but not the US). I'm also laying off the keyboard as much as possible for the next couple of weeks, and trying to reserve my keystrokes for business-related activities.

I'm in New York, attending Book Expo America, a huge publishing trade show, because of Tor's DRM-free ebook announcement. (And, speaking of DRM-free ebooks, it looks like the dominos are beginning to fall: IPG—the Independent Publishers Group, a distributor for smaller publishers—are about to start offering a DRM-free publishing channel for their members. Good for them!)

So I've been busy recovering from jet lag, giving talks, meeting with editors, and having my head scanned at MakerBot Industries. Because Cory Doctorow had his head scanned and he wanted company. No, really. This is the twenty first century and we have 3D printed models of Cory Doctorow and we have quadrotor drone cat-copters but I still can't get decent bandwidth on my mifi in a foreign country. Sigh. The future: it's not what I expected!

For reasons I hope to be able to explain next week, I'm going to be thin on the ground for the next six days—well okay, I'm going to be at Book Expo America, one of the two biggest English-language publishing trade shows.

This has the happy side-effect that I will be absent from the UK during the Queen's 60th anniversary, and thus missing out on the orgy of self-congratulatory forelock-tugging and brown-tonguing reactionary apologetics that will turn the media into a cess-pit of nostalgic feudal wank for the duration. Ahem. Not that I bear any grudges against the current incumbent, but I find the institution intrinsically offensive simply because it defines two classes of citizen in the UK: those who are eligible to be head of state by ancestry, and those who are not and never will be.

Why can't we have a (purely ceremonial) head of state selected by random lottery from the adult population—national-level politicians and serious criminals excluded—to represent us? Discuss.

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