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Announcement: Merchant Princes relaunch in the UK

I've been sitting on this for months, but if you've been wondering why I was collecting typos in the Merchant Princes books and moaning about editing my way through a mountain, I can now explain:

Tor are relaunching my Merchant Princes series in the UK as a trilogy of big fat alt-hist thrillers.

Cover: The Bloodline Feud

They'll be available in trade paperback and (DRM-free) ebook formats, rolling at one month intervals starting in April 2013. This is a "author's cut" of the first six books; I've fixed a ton of errors and tidied up the text, merging the six short novels into three much longer ones. Note that we've had to re-title the books to avoid confusing booksellers' databases: so they're going to be titled "The Bloodline Feud", "The Traders' War", and "The Revolution Trade".

(Your questions are answered below the cut.)

Q: Are these new books?

A: No. "The Bloodline Feud" is the novel originally published in two volumes as "The Family Trade" and "The Hidden Family", restored to its original form, with additional bugfixes. The subsequent two volumes collect "The Clan Corporate" and "The Merchants War" (in "The Traders' War") and "The Revolution Business" and "The Trade of Queens" (in "The Revolution Trade").

I had to put in a ton of work to turn the original books into the new omnibus versions. The series was originally planned as Big Fat Books; but for reasons too tedious to go into the first 600 page doorstep I handed in was split in two for publication, and subsequent volumes had to be larded with "what has gone before ..." recaps. I've been fixing errors and typos and also tightening up the prose; the new release is actually about 3-4% shorter than the original series. (But at 620,000 words, it's still longer than "War and Peace".)

Q: Are they fantasy? SF?

A: It's definitely an SF series. However, the SFnal underpinnings of the story are slipped in stealthily and are not obvious in the first volume.

Q: Why the new titles?

A: "The Family Trade", "The Hidden Family", and "The Clan Corporate" were briefly published by Tor UK in the noughties. If we recycled those titles we'd bamboozle the booksellers' databases and quite possibly damage our sales track (the first time out of the gate, those books sold rather badly).

Q: I'm not in the UK. Will I be able to buy these?

A: For the time being this is a UK/Commonwealth release. I hope that Tor US will choose to reissue the series in this format at some time in the future.

Q: Are there going to be more books in this series?

A: That's under discussion. However, given my current workload—of books I'm under contract to write—any further books could not appear in print/ebook before 2015 at the earliest. (It takes me on the order of a year to write a novel these days, and it takes a publisher on the order of a year to process a manuscript through their workflow and turn it into a published book.)

Q: Why do you hate America?

A: (Ah, someone's read "The Trade of Queens" and took it the wrong way!) Hershey's Chocolate.

[ Discussion here ]



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This page contains a single entry by Charlie Stross published on September 10, 2012 12:55 PM.

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