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A little bird tells me that my latest novel, The Jennifer Morgue, should be on its way to bookshops this week. It's a sequel to "The Atrocity Archives", and continues the adventures of Bob Howard, network administrator and computational demonologist. You can find copies either in your local specialist bookstore, or via Golden Gryphon (the publisher) at the link above, or (if you insist) at (US) or (UK). Note that this is the amazing, high quality first edition printed on real paper; if you want a year you'll be able to get it in paperback from Ace and Orbit, but that won't be the same.

Please consider buying a copy. My widow and all sixteen orphans, not to mention the livestock, will be eternally grateful.



Yaay!! It's been a couple of months since I finished reading Glasshouse, and I'm starting to go into withdrawal! My jones thanks you.


My copy was ordered last week.Buy some hay.


About time. I've had mine on order for a couple of months.


I am buying a copy as soon as it hits Dundee. I just read the first, and thought to myself "this would make a really good series". Then, weirdly, I come across your site and this entry.


It's *already* made a really good series: _The Atrocity Archives_ was serialized in three parts in _Spectrum_ shortly before it ceased publication (probably because the length and detail of its book reviews was driving the editor potty). Even at six months or so between thirds, it was more than worth the wait.

Now it's making *another* really good series. :)


Preordered; I'll see how long it takes the rat bastards at Amazon to get it here.


Absolutely. Provided that it fits in the pocket of my cargo pants just like a mass-market.

Or, if you cannot promise that, if you hunt down and kill the entity responsible for trade-paperback novels, I will by _two_ copies.



That just made my day.


Hardback? Eeh. Maybe for my birthday in April. (I really DON'T have tnat much to spend on books...)

I'll make the point to your publisher about deacent epublishing again, Charlie.


How much difference does it make if we buy it via Golden Gryphon rather than


Already on order. Buy the kitties and the missus something nice.


Adrian: if you buy from Amazon, Amazon gets 50% of the loot. I get 10%. My publisher gets about 40%, but only trousers about 10% -- the rest goes on paper, printing, and little things like that.

If you buy from Golden Gryphon, I still get 10%, but the publisher gets their own 10% plus Amazon's 50%. One book sale direct is worth five via Amazon, to the small publisher. Which is, very literally, two guys, only one of whom is doing it full-time. I have the luxury of waiting a year and getting the additional money from the UK and US paperbacks; but they don't see a bean from those.

Do you want to encourage small independent craft publishers to find new and interesting work and publish it in high quality editions, or do you want to give Jeff Bezos a charitable donation?


Unfortunately, it also costs about $9 more from Golden Gryphon than from a place like :(

And if you get $2.50 either way, I'd go with the option that's cheaper for me...


Waterstones have JM listed for £22.50. How much of that will go to you?
(Psst - Waterstones now have their own affliate scheme, via You might want to consider dumping the Amazon affliate scheme...)


I'll check the local bookstore in a few days. If they've failed, then I'll order it online. Hope to have it in my greedy little hands soon!


So what is the paperback printed on? leaves?


Val: Unless I'm misreading the small print, I get exactly the same from a copy of JM sold via Waterstones for £22.50, or for £14.50, or Golden Gryphon for US $24, or for US $16.

Waterstones, as a sock-puppet for HMV (aka one of those Evil Music Conglomerates) is even less my favourite company than (Especially since they gobbled up Ottakars and are now trying to dumb them down to the same depths they've been plumbing ever since HMV took over from W. H. Smith's.)



Thanks for clarifying the point of buying direct. I should have thought of that myself. Next time... or maybe when I buy a copy for a gift.

Related question: How do you fare on book club editions? I've bought a couple of your books via the SF Book Club, where I can get a decent hardback edition for much less than the standard hardback edition and barely more than the mass market paperback. However, if you get less royalties out of book club editions, that'd skew my decision.


Most awesome!

BTW - just picked up the Ace Trade edition of Atrocity Archives here in the US for $14 at Hastings in Flagstaff AZ. Their only copy. Hope you get a good cut of that action too.

I read the online version of Concrete Jungle several years ago and loved it. Especially since I spend a fair amount of time on FPGA designs. The thought of turning someone to stone with one just tickled the right way. Thanks for that!


Clifton: I get considerably less money from book club editions. (But bear in mind that most book club buyers aren't buying books retail anyhow; it's a different market segment, and folks who'd but both from a book club or from a shop are the exception rather than the rule.) Mind you, a single non-book club hardcover edition is worth five mass-market paperbacks to me.

It's a bit premature to mention this in public, but I'm hoping to sell more books in this series. If plans come to fruition, there might be another as early as 2008 ... and possibly every other year thereafter. But this isn't definite yet, and depends on ongoing negotiations with publishers, so don't count on it!


hey, Chris Beck what's wrong with trade paperback editions? I love 'em: same print size as a hardcover, lighter on the wrist. Mass Market paperbacks tend to use microscopic print and end up being thicker and therefore harder to hold in one hand than the trade editions.
And Charlie, if a publisher will give you a good shake, I'll keep reading Bob Howard's adventures as long as you want to write them!


Oh, and a more general question: how much input do you get when it comes to cover art?
Because the cover of the Ace trade paperback of Atrocity Archives/Concrete Jungle is poor, and not likely to inspire people who've never heard of you to give it a go...
I mention this because the Golden Gryphon editions of The Jennifer Morgue, too, has a really uninspiring cover...

I used to work in a major bookstore chain in Canada. One of the most disheartening things about the job (after the crap wages and slim discount on books) was having to look at really crap book covers all day...seeing books I knew to be good camouflaged in horrible, horrible artwork really got me down.
Most of my personal website is devoted to displaying book cover-like art that I've been making since that job, trying to combat the lousy work I saw with something that would appeal to me.


Any approach from the beeb on turning it into a mini series yes? You might need to add more sex though, judging from the recent Torchwood episode.


Bud: I get more for a trade paperback than for an MMPB, but far less than for a novel. In general the ratio of moneys an author receives for a given edition is something like: 2.5:5:2:1 (limited edition/regular hardcover/trade paperback/mass market paperback). Yes, limited edition hardcovers pay less as a rule -- because your publisher is sub-licensing the hardcover rights to the specialist press and pockets a large cut. (If you get the chance to sell a limited edition directly, it pays at least as much per copy as the hardcover, but not necessarily all that much more.)

I happen to like the Ace cover for "The Atrocity Archives". It works pretty well at what it's designed for, which is a hook for readers who've already heard a word of mouth buzz.

In general authors have between very little and zero input into their cover art; the publishers are under no obligation to consult them. The cover of "The Jennifer Morgue" is by Steve Montiglio, and I did have some input into it -- but at the small press level, the artist sets the tone and agenda (in this case for consistency with the previous Golden Gryphon hardcover edition of "The Atrocity Archives"). Among major publishers it's usually just an emailed PDF and a "do you like it?" -- if you're lucky. As likely as not, your publisher's priority lies in enforcing an identifiable house style (in the hope that readers will identify good reads with the publisher in question) rather than providing a cover that's in keeping with the thematic content of the book.

I notice from your personal website that you tend to like design-led rather than art-led covers. Trouble is, this decade that's out of fashion in the SF/F publishing field (although it's showing signs of creeping back in).

Serraphin: that'll be the day.


Alright Charlie, I'll buy it. But only for the livestock, okay?


That traditional BBC "Whoosh!" was the sound of me ordering it from GG. It saves me a trip to London, as nowhere else is likely to stock it other than Forbidden Planet. (And Spamazon have just strted sending spam again after I carefully set all the options that said "DON'T".)


Chris. (putting the beartrap out for the postman)


Woo hoo! I ordered it from Amazon way back in June...glad to hear it's finally on its way.

P.S. I also ordered Missile Gap from Subterranean Press back in May. Any chance that one will come out a little early?


CCB: alas, there is zero chance that Missile Gap will come out early. It was commissioned for an anthology published by SFBC, with a 12-month exclusive lock-in period; that period expires in mid-December. If Missile Gap came out early, I'd be in breach of contract and potentially liable for damages(!).


There. Done. Now when you expire from moving stress Feorag
won't have to feed the orphans to the livestock (hey, it's suppsed to be horror, right???)


Mental Note: Stay away from local bookshop until I have enough money. Dammit, books are expensive in Australia and...

Oh, who am I kidding?

And somebody should start making custom slip-on bookcovers to sell on eBay or something. Surely there's a market.


About unfortunate cover art: I agree wholeheartedly. It's embarrassing to read SF books in public; the design and illo work is only slightly less cheesy than Harlequin romances.

I think most of your books, at least the editions I've bought, have been blessed with nicely-done, non-silly covers so far. The HC of "Glasshouse" has a very attractive cover, in fact.


This series is _really good stuff_. Gonzo but rigorous, and displaying (non-obtrusively) a really encyclopedic knowledge of the field.

When the moon has been carved into Hitler's face, you can assume this is not the Good Place... 8-).

Charlie deserves prizes for these, and I hope they sell like hotcakes. This and the "Family Trade" books are my favorite Stross.

The cover... eh. Not great, not bad.

We authors generally have zero input. Either you luck out, or you don't. Lately I've had great cover karma from Penguin/ROC.

But my first book (NAL/Signet, back in '84) got a Wisconsin Dairy Board view of my heroine -- armor with 34-D breast cups. And a NAVEL. And greenish-blue everything. It's a crapshoot.


Well if we're adding up notes, I like TJM cover; Although I've not read the actual story - its take on the flemming books right? It looks just like a Bond cover of some kind!

You've got the gun, the slinky girl (fair, she appears to have fins) and the watery background. All you need is some No 1 wailer to produce the backing track...


Come on COOP, what's there to be embarrassed about?

Say it loud, say it proud: I'm COOP, and I read Science Fiction!

BTW, Charlie, got mine on pre-order. Let's see how long it takes to travel to this part of the globe.


Soon-Lee: this is what's wrong with many SF covers!
City is an absolute classic of the genre, and yet it gets wrapped up in crap covers like this. Unfortunately, this was the only example of this cover I could find on the web, and it is a bit small to appreciate all of its horribleness. Suffice to say the artist has poor brush skills, little understanding of real perspective, and they were likely hampered by a creative brief that probably read, "the book's about dogs and robots. and the kids just love that C3PO...")


<slaps head for not seeing the Ian Fleming angle of the The Jennifer Morgue cover before>
okay, I get the design of it, now...
but the actual rendering is still sucky, IMO: the individual elements are poorly integrated with each other: it looks like cut-and-paste collage, but also like a it was painted to look like a cut-and-paste collage.
I have this same problem with much of the work I saw on the artist's own web site.


I look forward to the eventual Lovecraftian take on Le Carré. Sadly, it's been so long since I read any Len Deighton that I missed that whole component of the first volume.


bud, I guess I'm (mostly) inured to the suckyness of covers; I buy books to read, not to admire the covers.

Granted, there are many examples of egregious covers out there, covers that flat-out contradict the contents, but normally it's just not something I feel strongly enough about to get upset over. Mostly, I'm just thankful that books by writers I *want* to read are actually available.

Now if only Ted Chiang were more prolific.


Clifton: I look forward to the eventual Lovecraftian take on Le Carré.

You're not getting it -- Tim Powers poisoned Le Carré for me with Declare. Next on the block is Anthony Price ...


Dang! (I liked Declare, but oh well...)


Soon Lee- I am most definitely NOT embarrassed to read the books themselves- I just wish they didn't have covers meant to appeal to a brain-damaged half-blind 12-year-old Star Wars fan!


OMFG! I just saw the cover for The Jennifer Morgue on GG's website.

I'll buy it from them, for you, Charles, but I might have a girlfriend or two e-mailing you, about that cover.


We will note, however, that Charlie waited until the "Casino Royale" trailors hit the theatres before getting his unoriginal derivative rip-off out.

The man has no shame.


Tony: what "Casino Royale" trailers? Is there a new film in production?

(I go to the cinema about once every two years, and I don't track current releases ...)


The remake of _Casino Royale_ is due out in about two weeks:


Quick question for Charlie and my fellow readers:

Is there some way I can set up alerts, in Amazon or any other bookseller, so that I will be notified when one of my favorite authors puts up a new book?


Two copies ordered, for you to deface appropriately in due course.

Mr. Stirling, apropos of inappropriate book covers, may I direct you to the UK publication of Diane Duane's 'The Door into Fire'?


I must admit that Daniel Craig is much more my idea of Bond from the books (except for the ears).

Fleming describes Bond as being handsome, but also a cruel, vicious bastard whose nature shows on his face. Craig does that cold-eyed 'shall-I-kill-you-or-perhaps-it's-not-worth-the-bother' look well.

Connery was far too rough-hewn and Scottish for Bond, who was the public-school southern-English smoothie variety of thug; the sort who'll discuss the wine list at dinner and then cut your throat outside.

And Bond isn't really a spy; he's a wetwork specialist. They send him out when they need to... ah... make people redundant.


Harry Payne: Mr. Stirling, apropos of inappropriate book covers, may I direct you to the UK publication of Diane Duane's 'The Door into Fire'?

-- the one with the naked babe and the giant phallic sword? Glyph of covering eyes and wincing.


Bond was, according to Fleming, a thug of Scottish-Swiss parentage with a thin veneer of civilisation. The films are another matter.

As for wet-work, have you ever seen the Callan TV series, with Edward Woodward as the "real" Bond, a killer pure and simple for the British government? No spying, no glamorous girls, no gadgets. Hell, he doesn't even get a bus pass. He's just a badly-paid civil servant with a meagre pension to look forward to if he lives to collect it, but he's the best they've got.


Tony: what "Casino Royale" trailers? Is there a new film in production?

Judging from the trailer (a foolish exercise, I admit), this looks like it could be pretty good - less of the special effects fest and more of the meaty spy-work.

Of course, it won't have any voodoo spells or possessing demons in it.


Ordered TJM from GG. Was I imagining it but did you once say you were planning on the next book being an Adam Hall homage?
Yes I remember Callan - created by James Mitchell who went on to do the When the Boat Comes in series. An excellent series. Remember Toby Meres?
Jim Braiden


Jim: I was originally planning Adam Hall, but Anthony Price currently seems like a better choice. On the other hand, I won't have time to start writing it for at least 18 months ...


Jim -- poor old Toby. All that upper-crust education and natural social superiority and sadism and having to play second-fiddle to the enlisted-man oik Callan who was just naturally better at killing than he could ever be.

I've got the movie "Red File for Callan"; it's interesting to note that Callan was the one who killed Darth Vader with his bare hands.


Any chance of an electronic edition hitting Fictionwise anytime soon, like you did with Glasshouse?


Re: Callan. Beware of the DVD boxed set claiming to be the first series - it's the *third* series (with Cross instead of Meres) which was rather a letdown. Admittedly it's in colour (which the first two were not), but I have a soft spot for the "Etonian Capone"....

Chris (wondering if they've any plans to release the other series on DVD).


I had to think about that for a moment- Callan killing Darth Vader.
I never liked Cross- like you I had a soft spot for old Meres.
The character that always struck me as the most sinister was Snell- only appeared in a few episodes but as played by Clifford Rose he made quite an impression.


bitmage: Glasshouse is on Fictionwise already? The mind, she boggles -- someone at Ace is taking their ebook rights seriously for once!

On the subject of Callan: why do I keep getting his face confused (in my memory) with a certain Russian President (and former KGB colonel)?


It's been on Fictionwise since July. How much do you see of those sales?


bitmage: sweet FA. (I probably get a 6-10% royalty on them, but DRM-locked ebooks sell sod-all copies -- as often as not, they don't even cover the cost of converting the Quark files into something Fictionwise can sell!)

Also, DRM offends me. (I wanted to release "Glasshouse" under a CC license, as with "Accelerando", but alas contractual disconnects among multiple publishers with rights to the book prevented me from doing so.)


Any chance of that (CC release) with The Jennifer Morgue?

I've taken to reading just about everything on my Treo. I can take 10 books along with no space or weight. They don't contribute to my already overstuffed bookshelves. And they're always with me.

But it's hard to get them. If Fictionwise doesn't have it, then I end up buying the dead-tree edition and then searching wretched hives of scum and villainy for a pirate ebook copy. The dead-tree gets wedged into the overstuffed bookshelf unopened.

So, I'm glad Fictiowise is there. The DRM is annoying, but publishers seem unwilling to do it any other way. And the Palm Reader version isn't too bad. (The Mobipocket DRM, OTOH, is unacceptable).

And sometimes I just can't find an ebook version period. So I've been risking back injury lugging Ian McDonald's River of Gods around.


As far as cover art goes, I generally find it useful when attempting to distinguish between fantasy and science fiction. At our local bookshops (and I guess this is true overseas) the two are lumped together, and if it weren't for the cover art (raygun = science fiction, sword = fantasy) it would require a lot of blurb reading just to find the decent ones (science fiction, obviously). The most important part of the cover art, to me, is the author's name. Neal Asher seems to have been lucky with his cover art (which is design rather than art) and Iain Banks, too, has had some pretty nice covers. I've only got Accelerando in dead-tree paperback format to judge by, but the cover's okay.


bitmage: "Any chance of that (CC release) with The Jennifer Morgue?"

None whatsoever, for the same reason it didn't happen with "Glasshouse": the publishers own the ebook rights, there are different publishers on both sides of the Atlantic, and if one of 'em isn't publishing at the same time as the other, they'll veto an early promotional CC ebook for fear of it cannibalizing their market.

I had high hopes for an at-least-moderately-sane ebook situation with the Merchant Princes series, but it was up on WebScription for about 72 hours before internal publishing politics skewered it.


I have ordered this from (since Golden Gryphon had some brain-dead faff involving PayPal for overseas orders), it may interest you (or the readers here) to know that Amazon have just sent me an email putting the shipping date back to "Shipping estimate: November 6, 2006 - November 10, 2006"


Harvey Pengwyn: I'm told there was a fuck-up at the printers. The books were printed and bound. Then the dust-jackets were printed. DJs are printed in colour, using a different process, and then they have to be laminated and applied to the books. Something in the lamination process went wrong and ruined the roughly 6000 dust jackets (which at about $1 apiece is a bit of an owie for the printer). So the schedule got put back a week while the DJs are re-printed.

Shit happens ...


Spammers live in vain ...

(Meanwhile, in other news, the print run of TJM shipped to the distribution warehouse last Friday. Phew!)



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This page contains a single entry by Charlie Stross published on October 23, 2006 6:40 PM.

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