Charlie Stross: June 2015 Archives

2014 saw the publication of two long format Laundry Files stories—the novella "Equoid" and the novel "The Rhesus Chart", the fifth book in the series. I wrote them at different times and for different reasons, but they share a common theme. (It was also around this time that I got the memo from editorial at Ace—all series of three or more books must have a series title—and was handed "The Laundry Files"by default.)

So let me tackle "Equoid" first. "Equoid" has an origin story all of its own, which I've described at length (and I don't have the energy to repeat myself). What I didn't explain in that essay was why I went with unicorns.

hardback book

Yes, I've got a new book coming out real soon now: "The Annihilation Score" (US kindle edition) (UK kindle edition) comes out on July 2nd in the UK and July 7th in the USA (yes, different publishers release books on different dates: who knew?).

Amazon and the big bookstore chains won't sell you a copy ahead of schedule, but if you happen to be in Edinburgh on Wednesday July 1st I'm going to be reading from (and signing copies of) "The Annihilation Score" at Blackwell's Bookshop on South Bridge at 6:30pm. The event is ticketed but free; tickets available from Blackwell's, more event information here.

If you really, truly can't wait to get a taste of the book, will be running an extract on June 30th (and I'll be mirroring it here)!

In addition, I'm going to be doing an AmA—Ask Me Anything—on Reddit's /r/Books subreddit on Wednesday July 8th at 2:30pm ET (7:30pm here in the UK), and (needless to say) talking a lot about the Laundry Files and "The Annihilation Score" for a couple of weeks. Including, if I remember, writing the Crib Notes to "The Rhesus Chart" (now that it's out in paperback) and trying not to give too much away about the overall trajectory of the series (hint: book 7 is mostly written, and I know where book 8 and 9 go in considerable detail—yes there's a series story arc).

What if you want your very own signed hardcover book and can't make it to Edinburgh on July 1st?

Well, Blackwell's will have signed stock to hand after that session, and are happy to sell via mail order: their contact details are here. In addition, Transreal Fiction, Edinburgh's specialist SF/F bookshop, will also have stock and are happy to ship signed copies of the Annihilation Score anywhere on the planet: ordering details here.

Finally, I'm going to be in the United States for Sasquan, the 2015 worldcon, so by late August there are likely to be signed copies available in Seattle and Spokane, if not further afield—and I hope to be able to announce a reading, signing, or other meet-ups in Seattle and Spokane nearer the time.

I grew up reading comics; but unless you're British and of a certain age, they almost certainly weren't the comics you grew up reading.

I'm British, ~50 years old. The weekly printed-on-crap-newsprint kids' comics market was dominated by D. C. Thompson & Co., rigidly gender-segregated, and on the boys' side of the counter contained plenty of short strips heavy on two-fisted derring-do and schoolboy humour, but not so much on superheroes: comics like The Beano and The Hotspur set the tone. For the more militarily-minded there were Commando comics. And, like a bolt from the blue, 2000 AD arrived in 1977, when I was twelve and just about growing out of the whole comics thing; that probably kept me hooked for an extra year, and I have fond memories of the early tales of Judge Dredd. But then I discovered D&D and that was that.

It's a truisim in fiction publishing (as well as movies) that nobody knows anything about what the next big thing will be. The best we can get is some vague entrail-reading on the part of editors, who see far more hopeful monsters cross the transom (or arrive in their submissions email queue) than you or I can ever expect, and who therefore may have a slightly tighter grasp on the zeitgeist than those of us who form our judgements on the basis of new arrivals in the bookshops—arrivals which were commissioned or bought 2-3 years ago.

But what if we could make testable predictions about trends?

A product testimonial of sorts:

I've now had my new retina Macbook for about two weeks, and completed my first multi-day trip from home with it. Verdict: it's not perfect but it's a keeper. On the other hand, it raises some disturbing questions about the future ...

(Updated December 2017)

I get asked this question a lot, so I'm going to answer it once, definitively, here on the blog: where are the UK audiobooks?

(More specifically: "The Atrocity Archives" and "The Jennifer Morgue" were released as audiobooks in 2013, and from "The Rhesus Chart" onwards, the Laundry Files novels have been released as UK audiobooks, but there's no sign of "The Fuller Memorandum", "The Apocalypse Codex", or my earlier novels. So: why aren't any of my other novels available as audiobooks outside North America?)

I'm going to tackle this in two stages: first with a bit of background, then with an FAQ.



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