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His Master's Voice

Back in the mists of time I wrote a couple of novels, titled "The Atrocity Archives" and "The Jennifer Morgue". These came with some extras, notably afterwords explaining the ideas underlying the universe of the Laundry Files. And lo, there have been no signs of a British audiobook edition ... until now.

To coincide with the new, facelifted covers on the British editions of these books (below), Orbit are getting ready to release audio editions that don't come with an American accent. (These will also be available via the RNIB's talking books service for blind and visually handicapped people.)


And as a trailer, they're releasing the first chapters of each book, for your streaming audio pleasure!

The Atrocity Archives:

The Jennifer Morgue:


UPDATE

And in other Laundry Files related news ...

Astute sky watchers will know that a new Laundry Files novel, "The Rhesus Chart", is due out in July 2014.

I'm now able to announce that, in addition, a new Laundry Files novella is going to show up in the next few months! You'll be able to read "Equoid" on Tor.com at the end of September. It will be followed by a limited run signed first edition hardcover (illustrated by Steve Montiglio, who did the covers for the Golden Gryphon editions of "The Atrocity Archives" and "The Jennifer Morgue"!) from Subterranean Press in 2014.

"Equoid" is set shortly before the events of the "The Fuller Memorandum". It's the longest non-novel-length Laundry story so far. And it explains (among other things) precisely what H. P. Lovecraft saw behind the wood-shed when he was 14 that traumatized him for life, the reproductive life-cycle of unicorns, and what really happened on Cold Comfort Farm.

(Beyond that, I've got tentative plans for more Laundry Files novels—but nothing's going to happen until after I've written the next chunk of the Merchant Princes series.)

43 Comments

1:

Oh jeez - f*ck off, Flash. When I say 'Deny', don't just loop and present that dialog again in the hope I'll click 'Allow'.

2:

OT from the topic, but I just came across this languagelog post with a quote from our host

http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=5154

3:

Definitely OT for this thread.

If you'd posted this on the Neptune's book launch thread, it would have been more on topic.

It would also have followed another comment also mentioning that.

4:

The embedded flash is badly broken, I couldn't get it to work in two browsers (possibly cookie related).

Here are the SoundCloud links, they don't require flash: The Atrocity Archives: Chapter 1 The Jennifer Morgue: Chapter 1.

5:

Oh jeez - f*ck off, Flash. When I say 'Deny', don't just loop and present that dialog again in the hope I'll click 'Allow'.

After being annoyed for some time by Flash, and my inability to turn it off, eventually an update came along. Now Flash features are represented with a grey square warning me that I'm using an out of date version, advising me to update, and with a 'click here to activate' option. I'm happier, but the company would call it rewarding the wrong behavior.

6:

We, in the U.S., still speak the King's English (King George III), thank you very much.

http://www.livescience.com/33652-americans-brits-accents.html

"The Patriots and the Redcoats spoke with accents that were much closer to the contemporary American accent than to the Queen's English.

It is the standard British accent that has drastically changed in the past two centuries, while the typical American accent has changed only subtly.

7:

Interesting, for me it worked the other way around. The soundcloud page complains that I have a flash blocker and that I need to enable flash to hear anything.

8:

Invisible. Debian; Stable; Iceweasel.

I enjoyed the books greatly.

9:

The embedded flash is badly broken, I couldn't get it to work in two browsers (possibly cookie related).

I guess that what those two large empty spaces are?

Chrome Mac here.

10:

Glad to see these released for the UK. I've marked them to be bought when my next audible credits go through, today.

Which gives rise to the question: how do audible credits work in terms of author royalties? Or are they accounted for in terms of the original purchase price of the audio rights?

11:

Are these the same as the audio books currently available from Audible.Com or are they new versions?

12:

These are 100% new recordings.

Audible only bought North American rights; Orbit acquired UK rights. The UK is a much smaller market, and recording an audiobook isn't cheap: unless you're a big seller, it's not economically viable to record an audiobook just for the UK. My understanding is that Orbit tried to buy the repub rights from Audible, but Audible wanted so much money that it would have cost as much to record locally ... i.e., Orbit would have made a loss on the deal (in view of anticipated low sales).

Two things changed. First, I acquired more fans. Second and more importantly, the Royal National Institute for the Blind's talking books readers started to request a lot more SF and fantasy over the past decades. So Hachette (Orbit's parent group) sorted out a cost-sharing deal with the RNIB: the RNIB would get free use of the recordings for their talking books for the blind service, and Hachette got to use their studio facilities. (NB: There's boilerplate in all my book contracts waiving royalties on braile editions and talking books for the blind.)

So this is making it commercially possible for Hachette to publish a much wider range of SF/F in audio editions in the UK/EU market.

13:

Thank you for the prompt reply.
Purchased and downloading now.

14:

Firefox 21.0 under Windows 8, It Just Works.

Try another distro?

15:

Do tor.com pay you anything for your short stories, or is it just free publicity (for both side I guess)?
Sorry if that's a rude question, I'm just being nosy.

Either way, I'm sure I'll enjoy reading it, all of the other shorts you've had on there have been great :)

16:

The reproductive life-Cycle of unicorns ... hmm ... let me guess both funny & very nasty? And does it incude *SparklY* ??

Ys, sometning NASTY in the woodshed indeed ... with or without tentacles? And di said woodhed have a strnge geometry?

One could ramble on for hours ....

17:

Do tor.com pay you anything for your short stories, or is it just free publicity (for both side I guess)?

Tor.com is currently the highest-paying short fiction market I know of. Not as much per word as I get for a novel, but nevertheless enough to keep me happy.

(The industry standard rate for short fiction is execrable -- it hasn't really risen since the late 1970s, and you can't make a living at short fiction. In contrast, if most fiction outlets paid like Tor.com ... well, I'd be taking a pay cut if I switched to writing 100% short fiction, but I'd still be able to live on what I earned from it.)

18:

For the curious:
Tor.com's Submissions Guidelines

Certainly better rates than the magazines I've looked into.
I thought my current bit of writing was going to be a short story, but am now nearing Tor's upper word limit, and nowhere near the meat of the story. Don't think it'll be under 18,000 either.

19:

Having just got around to hearing the preview: I think the reader should have a slight deeper voice. This will not stop be buying them both and ( I presume Fuller in due course. )

I've got a theory about audiobooks.... All it requires is the rights to a certain book by Anne Desclos, and a voice who sounds like Joanna Lumley or Andréa Ferréol (imagine that gentlemen...).

I'll go to sleep now.

20:


" ...and a voice who sounds like Joanna Lumley or Andréa Ferréol (imagine that gentlemen...). "

Well ..maybe, perhaps ..but only if you disregard the Merits of Anita Pallenberg ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ak1227_mOqU

21:

" It will be followed by a limited run signed first edition hardcover (illustrated by Steve Montiglio, who did the covers for the Golden Gryphon editions of "The Atrocity Archives" and "The Jennifer Morgue"!) from Subterranean Press in 2014. "


How 'Limited ' is Limited and when will we be able to pre-order?

You did mention this one - err, obliquely as it were - when I appealed to you to fill in the Back History of The Laundry Files as far back as that suspiciously too small frigate HMS Surprise of the late great Patrick O'Brian, CBE series that featured expert mathematician Captain Jack Aubrey of the Royal Navy and his ship's surgeon Stephen Maturin, a physician, natural philosopher, and secret agent... who were both expert musicians, with Aubrey, the mathamatician, playing the violin.

It’s just GOT to be worth a short -ish - story.

22:

Woah! Rewind a second! More Merchant Princes stuff? I'm just reading that series for the first time and I was getting depressed I was near the end:)

23:
Anita Pallenberg

Works for me. And at the time Barbarella was brilliant ( give me the password for the revolution, pretty, pretty (Llanfairpwllgwyngyll) - But IMO it's all in the voice and syntax and perceived intention of those thing and for me, well, I prefer an Arabic french metier or a Toronto Canadian accent. But we all have our problems. And mine is I haven't stopped posting and should be asleep...

24:

Boo Merchant Princes. More Laundry!

(Sorry but I could never get into that series. Too much medieval economics.)

25:

I think Cold Comfort Farm did not successfully leap the Atlantic; the social assumptions for its humor may be too specifically British, or perhaps it is now dated. (On the other hand, The Vicar of Dibley is not wholly lost on Americans.) From the Wiki article, at least some of the problems seem to be that many of the characters are inbred morons...

26:

I hereby log my pre-order for (printed, nice version of "Equoid" - & so will everyone else, I expect!

s-s @ 25
Yes, but that's part of the point & the joke ... a very sick joke, too.

27:

For reasons, the second series won't be dealing with the medieval world, so I understand.

28:

That sounds like a good subject for fanfic.

29:

Nope. The new series is strictly atompunk and on up to high-tech near future and beyond.

Still about development economics, though.

30:

After being annoyed for some time by Flash, and my inability to turn it off,

If you're using Firefox, click on View/Toolbars/Add-on Bar. It gives you a small toolbar at the bottom right that allows you to disable JavaScripts, Java, Flash, cookies, and some other stuff.

Firefox is free, if you're not using it.

31:

Is there likely to be a print collection of the Laundry short stories/novellas at some point in the future?
I think only Down on the Farm, Overtime and Equoid are uncollected, so I accept it would only happen if there were a few more at some later date.

32:

Mm I think Bobs voice could do with being more snarky think James May.

Neaver thought of Andy being a Geordie though.

Some of the pronunciations are a bit off Mhari is pronounced it should be pronounced Vah - ree and at one point neuron seems to be used instead of Neutron

33:

If you're using Firefox, click on View/Toolbars/Add-on Bar.

Thank you; I'd not noticed that before. It's not exactly what I'd like (the ability to blacklist and whitelist Javascript by website) but it's better than being spammed by Flash ads.

34:

Is there likely to be a print collection of the Laundry short stories/novellas at some point in the future?

Yes, but not for some years. For contractual reasons Equoid can't be collected until late 2016. As for the others ... I've only got around 65,000 words of uncollected Laundry short pieces, and I write around 1-2 short stories a year. So I won't have enough material for a substantial collection before 2016 in any event.

The other problem is that the publishing market is changing very rapidly. The old wisdom -- 5 years ago -- was that short story collections sold worse than novels, so attracted smaller advances. It's anybody's guess what the new wisdom will be in 5 years time; it might make more sense to unbundle the works and sell them separately at singles.

(I should note that "Down on the Farm" and "Overtime" are available as ebooks from Tor right now, for US $0.99 each, DRM-free. "Equoid" will join them after online serialisation on Tor.com, although it might cost a little more.)

35:

Thank you; I'd not noticed that before. It's not exactly what I'd like (the ability to blacklist and whitelist Javascript by website) but it's better than being spammed by Flash ads.

What you want is to install the NoScript add-on for Firefox. Does exactly what you want, and a bunch more.

You probably also want to install AdBlock Plus, Cookie Monster (for controlling cookies left by third parties), HTTPS-everywhere (for a more secure browsing experience -- not recommended on low-powered/older machines), Share-me-not (stops sites tracking you via embedded sharing graphics -- e.g. Facebook), and Beef TACO (Targeted Advertising Cookie Opt-out).

That's just about my minimum web browser plugin load-out. Aims: get rid of annoying ads, stop advertising networks tracking me, provide fine-grained control over Javascript executed by sites I visit.

36:

And I was just flicking down the page past my comment and the word "Flash" caught my eye, and I was immediately seized by the thought of Harry Flashman in the Laundryverse.

37:

Have I mentioned how much I hate Harry Flashman?

But yes, that idea belongs in some deep back-story archive files in a novella I have not yet thought of ...

38:

CHarlie @ 37
You have to remeber that G M-Fraser's novels were a gigantic piss-take.
And that, if you've red "Quartered safe out here", or better yet: "The General Danced at Dawn" & subsequebt ... he really knew what he was talking about.
Unfortunately .....

39:

Oh bum, sorry, tried to edit & hit "Submit" by mistake ... typos strike again!

40:

What you want is to install the NoScript add-on for Firefox. Does exactly what you want, and a bunch more.

Huzzah. Yes, that's what I had in mind! I'm already using Ad-Aware and limited HTTPS (some of my machines are of the old & slow type).

It does remind us how little encryption was thought of when laying down the original internet protocols. To be sure, often just getting them to work at all was plenty of challenge - but we are now faced with a much more populous network, with more bad actors.

41:

As an imaginary human being, he's utterly vile. But as a fictional character, he has his good interesting points. Although he's placed in the protagonist's role, he's not a good guy, and if he does good, it's usually by accident.

You could do worse than writing a Laundry story from the antagonist's point of view someday.

42:

@ 41
IIRC, G M Fraser said that he felt all of Flashman's emotions, especially the cowardly ones ( the leching not quite so much, apparently ) but just that he never, you know, gave way to them.
Especially in the unpleasantness in NW Burma fighting the IJA ......

43:

An 'American accent'? Do you mean the 'This is Audible' announcer at the beginning?---Gideon Emery is English....

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This page contains a single entry by Charlie Stross published on July 11, 2013 1:29 PM.

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