On Wednesday I'm heading off on the long road trek to Heathrow (what, you think I'd fly into that sucking vortex of despair?) for Dysprosium, the 66th British eastercon.
March 2015 Archives
A new app that allows readers to swap swear words in their novels with sanitised versions is facing a backlash from furious authors, who have accused it of setting a dangerous precedent of censorship.The app, entitled Clean Reader, has been designed to take explicit words out of any book printed in electronic format - with or without permission from its author - to swap them with child-friendly versions.
(I'm not linking to Clean Reader directly—don't want to give them any free inbound Google mojo.)
The US (not UK, alas) ebook edition of "The Atrocity Archives", Laundry Files book 1, is on a special promotion. It's $1.99 for the rest of March! you can find the Amazon.com Kindle edition here, or the Barnes and Noble Nook edition here, Google Play store version here, and Apple iBooks store version here.
If you're reading this on my blog you're probably already aware of my Laundry Files series; in case you came here from elsewhere, "The Atrocity Archives" is book #1 in the sequence, and the latest novel, "The Annihilation Score" (book 6) comes out in the first week of July. In fact, I just finished checking the page proofs now, so it's heading back to the typesetter agency and then on to the printers next month ...
I've been quiet due to (a) recovering from delivering the hopefully-final draft of "Dark State" (the first book in the "Empire Games" trilogy, due from Tor next April), (b) visiting relatives, (c) having a nasty head-cold, and (d) having the page proofs of "The Annihilation Score" (July's Laundry Files novel) land on my desk. Normal service will, as they say, resume as soon as possible.
My current plan is to tackle the aforementioned page proofs, work on the next book, then head for Dysprosium, the British eastercon, over the Easter bank holiday weekend. And before I go I really ought to fit in time to catch up with the last Jim Butcher book that I haven't read yet, because he's one of the two guests of honour at Dysprosium and I'm on program to interview him. (If you've been reading the Laundry Files you might have noticed a tip of the hat in his general direction.)
Finally, here is an extremely dangerous toy (probably illegal in all sane jurisdictions).
Friendship is context-sensitive.
I wouldn't describe Terry as a friend, but as someone I'd been on a first-name acquaintanceship with since the mid-1980s. If you go to SF conventions (or partake of any subculture which has regular gatherings) you'll know the way it works: there are these people who don't really see outside of this particular social context, but you're never surprised to see them in it, and you know each other's names, and when you meet you chat about stuff and maybe sink a pint together.
I haven't seen Terry since the Glasgow worldcon in 2005. The diagnosis of his illness came in 2007; I'd been spending a chunk of 05-07 out of the country, and after the bad news hit I didn't feel like being part of the throng pestering him (for reasons I'll get to later on in this piece.)
Some of you may be aware that there's a tabletop role-playing game set in the Laundry Files universe, sold by Cubicle 7 Games.
It's available on paper, and as PDF downloads via the usual folks (such as DriveThruRPG).
Anyway, there's a special promo for the next couple of weeks; Bundle of Holding, who do humble bundle style sales of RPG materials, are doing a special Bundle of Laundry offer. For $8.95 or more, you get the core rule book and the player's handbook as PDFs; if you pay more than their median price (currently $24.32) you get a whole bunch of extra supplements—basically the entire RPG for under $25 (or about £16.50 in real money). Oh, and this stuff? Is all DRM-free.
So if you've had a vague yen to dust off a tabletop RPG for an evening's fun with friends, why not see if you, too, can survive your training as a Laundry operative without losing your mind?
I have a new book coming out in the first week of July: it's The Annihilation Score (UK ebook link), and here's the cover Orbit have done for the British edition!
And in case that's not enough, because it's published on both sides of the pond, here's the US ebook edition, and the American cover art:
If you detect a certain violin-theme running through both covers, you'd be perfectly right. Because this may be the sixth Laundry Files novel, but there's a new twist: this one isn't about Bob, it's about Mo. And superheroes. And a certain bone-white instrument ...
I am still suspended head-down in a vat of boiling edits. The deadline is next Friday, so don't expect normal blogging to resume before then.
(The book in question, "Dark State", is tentatively due out from Tor in April 2016—assuming I can hit that deadline.)
Harry Connolly posting again, while Charlie hammers away at his work.
I'll confess that I was startled when I saw Elizabeth Bear's earlier Obligatory Author Shilling post. Sadly, my first thought was "Is that even allowed?"
As in: Are we allowed to confidently tell readers about our books? Are we allowed to talk about our books as though they're good things that readers would enjoy, without a whole shitload of fancy footwork first?
What can I say? The Imposter Syndrome is strong with me. But I'm going to follow Bear's excellent example and write a straight up post about my new book, which drops today.
It's an urban fantasy called A Key, an Egg, an Unfortunate Remark and it's the last fiction stretch goal for my Kickstarter.
Here's the cover:
Readers familiar with my Twenty Palaces novels be warned: this isn't that. Key/Egg is a pacifist urban fantasy. In a genre where protagonists routinely behave as though they live in a lawless frontier where every problem must be solved with a bullet from an enchanted Glock, this is a book where problems are solved through diplomacy and trickery.
Also, in a genre filled with 20-something ass-kickers, the protagonist is a woman in her mid-sixties who's a cross between Auntie Mame and Gandalf. Why should older characters be constantly relegated to expository roles? Why not let them strut their stuff a little?
The story is set in modern-day Seattle, and involves one of those murders that Leads to a Larger Scheme. If you're a long time reader of James Nicoll's LiveJournal and you read to the end, you'll know why I thanked him in the acknowledgements.
Anyway, after the bleakness of the Twenty Palaces novels, I wanted something light and fun. This is it; a thriller without violence.
Check out some sample chapters here. Thanks.