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It’s out!


For centuries a faerie court has lain hidden beneath London: a place of shadows and intrigue, where the city’s immortal inhabitants can watch and manipulate the mortals above. Through two royal dynasties, through rebellions and plots, through war and plague and fire, the Onyx Court endures.

Now the court’s first two centuries are collected in a single book. This omnibus contains the novels Midnight Never Come and In Ashes Lie, as well as the novella Deeds of Men, the novelette “And Blow Them at the Moon,” and the short story “Two Pretenders.”

You can buy this from fine e-tailers all over the internet, chief among them Book View Cafe, but also Amazon US or UK, Barnes and Noble/Nook, Google Play, iTunes, Kobo, or (for the Canadians among you) Indigo.

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

swan_tower: (*writing)

Jim Hines has been doing a thing on his blog where he genderswaps character descriptions to look at how women and men get depicted. He did it first with classic SF/F novels, then with more recent titles — including his own.

It’s an interesting enough exercise that I decided to go through my own books and see what happens when I genderswap the descriptions. Results are below. I skipped over the Doppelganger books because quite frankly, describing people has never been a thing I do a lot of, and back then I did basically none of it, so this starts with Midnight Never Come.


Read the rest of this entry � )

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

swan_tower: (Default)

Many thanks to everyone who has picked up items from the Great Swan Tower Moving Day Sale! It has been a great benefit to me, cleaning out the various boxes I keep my author copies in.

In the course of packing up, I found a stash of the US trade paperbacks of Voyage of the Basilisk squirreled away in a corner. (I’d been wondering where they’d gone.) So here’s an updated list of what’s available. Same drill applies: all you have to do is email me or leave a message here calling dibs on something and giving me your mailing address; I’ll respond to let you know whether it’s still available, and we’ll arrange payment. Shipping is included for orders within the U.S. Inscriptions on request.

You have one more week to order anything that strikes your fancy!

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

swan_tower: (Default)

Following on last week’s release of Midnight Never Come, this week we have In Ashes Lie out from Book View Cafe and various other retailers. So if you’re looking to complete your Onyx Court ebook collection, now you can!

. . . and that’s from me for a while. I’m leaving on a jet plane, for Imaginales and Forbidden Planet.

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

swan_tower: (Default)

I’ve been holding off on a whole lot of news while I waited for the new site to go live; now that it has, you should expect a number of things in quick succession. 🙂

Since Midnight Never Come and In Ashes Lie have reverted to me in the U.S., I’m putting out ebook editions of them through Book View Cafe. If you click on those title links, you’ll find you can pre-order the ebooks at a number of sites, including Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, and Kobo; or if you would prefer to buy from Book View Cafe, Barnes and Noble, or Waterstones, those will be available soon. Midnight will be out on the 17th (that is, next Tuesday), and Ashes the week after.

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

swan_tower: (*writing)

I’m delighted to announce that Titan Books, publishers of the Memoirs of Lady Trent in the UK, will also be bringing the Onyx Court to its homeland!

Long-time readers may recall that the first two books of the series were published there by Orbit UK back in the day, but the mid-series publisher shift meant the latter two never saw UK shelves. Titan have picked up the entire series and, as you can see from the above, are reissuing them with splendid new covers — not to mention UK spelling and date formatting, like God and the Queen intended. ;-) My understanding is that they’ll be coming out in rapid succession, on a three-month cycle, so by early 2017 you’ll have the whole set. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to hold ’em in my hands!

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

swan_tower: (*writing)
Some of you may recall that years ago, just before In Ashes Lie came out, I released a novella called Deeds of Men, which took place before that novel and after Midnight Never Come. It was originally a promotional freebie, but after a while I took down the free version and put it on sale at Amazon, mostly as a random experiment -- I knew zip about ebooks at the time. Despite that ignorance (which included things like me not bothering to give it a proper cover), it's sold some copies over the years, though not a huge number.

Now that I'm a member of Book View Cafe, I decided to do it over again, this time the right way. It has a spiffy-looking cover, courtesy of Chris Rawlins and Leah Cutter, and some revisions (most of them minor; one correcting a narrative choice I've regretted ever since I released the novella), and this time it got formatted by somebody who knows what he's doing (the inestimable Chris Dolley). That link will take you to the BVC site, where you can buy it in epub and mobi formats, good for most e-reading devices, Kindle included. It's also up on Amazon, and should be live on the B&N and Kobo sites in the next day or so.

A special note about Kindles: if you already bought the novella from Amazon, I think, though I'm not certain, that you should be able to download the new version as an update, without having to pay for it again. I'd love to have that confirmed, so if you're in that camp, please let me know.

For those who are wondering, the story does contain some spoilers for Midnight Never Come, though only of an aftermath-y sort -- it doesn't say what happened, just shows the characters where they are as a result. Otherwise it's only really full of spoilers for early seventeenth-century European politics. :-P

And stay tuned for more news in the next few days, about what I'm doing next with BVC . . . .
swan_tower: (Default)
The Carl Brandon Society is fundraising for the Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship, which helps send writers of color to the Clarion workshops. It's a prize drawing; you can purchase tickets for the chance to win an e-reader (one of two Nooks, one of two Kobos, or an Alex eReader). This goes through midnight Eastern on November 22nd, so you've got just a few days left to enter.

Also, Pat Rothfuss is again running his Worldbuilders event, raising money for Heifer International. Among the items on offer are a whole lot of signed books, including a pair of In Ashes Lie and A Star Shall Fall, signed by yours truly. There are so many prizes, though, that Pat's still in the process of posting them all; check out that first link for a list, and for information on how to participate.
swan_tower: (A Star Shall Fall)
If you've looked at the Onyx Court charity auction, you've seen my note about how I may end up writing a short story from the historical prompt the winner chooses. That was, in fact, the outcome of the original auction, for the Haitian earthquake relief; in writing a summary for the winner, I thought of a way to frame it as a short story. So I wrote it, and I sent it out, and now Beneath Ceaseless Skies has bought it! The story is "Two Pretenders," and I count it as Onyx Court continuity, though it's a bit different in period and tone from the rest of the series. The winner got to read it a while ago, long before the rest of you, so if you want a backstage pass like that (and the pleasure of knowing you were a part of the process), head over there and put your bid in.

Along with that, the last round of book discussion is up over on [livejournal.com profile] sirenscon, asking about urban fantasy in a historical context. Previous questions about mortal and faerie love, pov and non-linear time, and the interrelationship of the Onyx Hall with London are still open.

And y'know, yesterday I got this big honkin' box of author copies of A Star Shall Fall, which need to go to good homes. So I'm thinking I might select a random commenter from the [livejournal.com profile] sirenscon discussion posts to receive a copy. Add your two cents' worth on one of those four posts (or more, if you feel so inspired), and you might be the lucky winner!
swan_tower: (Midnight Never Come)
The third question in the Onyx Court dicussion series has been posted; this time, it's about mortal and faerie love.

Previous questions (time and pov and the role of London) are still open on the [livejournal.com profile] sirenscon LJ.
swan_tower: (A Star Shall Fall)
Marissa Lingen on A Star Shall Fall.

I've already admitted to her in private, and don't mind repeating here, how relieved her review made me. Why? Because she's a scientist, and I've been biting my fingernails over how the way I handle science in this book will be received. I've got at least two major factors complicating it, one being that I'm actively trying to grapple with the issue of how magic and science interrelate (or don't), and the other being that I'm doing it in the context of eighteenth-century science, which is fascinatingly wacky all on its own. And right now I'm trying to deal with the nineteenth-century ramifications of the ideas I set up in Star, which means it's a relief to know it's worked for at least one reader of that sort.

I knew I was setting myself up for this challenge. Back when I decided Midnight Never Come would be the first in a series, and that the books would take place in different centuries, I knew I had a chance to do something you don't often see in faerie fiction: not to show fae as totally stuck in the past, nor as completely modernized, but going through the process of change. Science & technology is a big part of that, though not the only one, so I knew I'd have to deal with these questions, and that it wouldn't be easy . . . just as Ashes taught me why you don't see more English Civil War-era fiction out there (because it's bloody COMPLICATED, is why), I know why more authors don't try to mash these ideas together.

On the other hand, if I succeed, I'll have done something that hasn't been done in a thousand other novels. And that's worth a few headaches, I suppose.
swan_tower: (A Star Shall Fall)
Today has not started off terribly well, but it's at least partially ameliorated by the fact that I got author copies for A Star Shall Fall! They are so very shiny. (Okay, they're actually not shiny at all; the cover is matte, not glossy. But you know what I mean.)

In celebration of this, and of the A Star Shall Fall contest, and of the discussion for Midnight Never Come and In Ashes Lie, I'm giving away some more copies on GoodReads -- three this time, actually. Plus you still have one day to put your name in for a copy of In Ashes Lie. So it's Yay Book Day here at Swan Tower, and you're all invited!
swan_tower: (Midnight Never Come)
Over on the [livejournal.com profile] sirenscon community, they're doing GoH book discussions leading up to the conference in October. In an excellent bit of timing, this is month my books are up to bat: Midnight Never Come and In Ashes Lie are on the table, and the first questions have been asked.

I don't think you need an LJ account to comment over there (though it would probably be helpful to put some name on your posts). And I doubt they'd object to input from non-Sirens attendees -- not everybody can make it to the conference that wants to. So if you want to jump in, feel free!
swan_tower: (In Ashes Lie)
It occurs to me A Star Shall Fall isn't the only book I could do a giveaway for. If you don't already have a copy of In Ashes Lie (or want one that's signed), you can now try to get one over on GoodReads. (That one goes until August 7th; you have until this Friday to put your name in for the offered copy of Star.)
swan_tower: (victorian)
I've gotten a number of reviews of both Midnight Never Come and In Ashes Lie that say some variant on, "this takes a while to get going, but once it does, it's pretty awesome." (Or sometimes, "this takes forever to get going, and I gave up.") I fully expect that as more reviews come in for A Star Shall Fall, I'll get a few that say the same thing.

And I've finally figured out how to characterize it in my head: these books are arrangements of dominoes.

That is to say, the opening stages of each book are about lining up the stones, creating patterns that will -- once set in motion -- crash into each other in (hopefully) interesting ways. And the important part of this epiphany is, I'm not sure I could write these books any other way. Not so long as they are both (1) historical and (2) full of intrigue. I have to set the scene (in terms of both time and place), and I have to set up the political board (to steal from the metaphor I had Walsingham use in the first book). If I skip either of those steps, the dominoes will not fall as they should, because the reader will have no idea who these people are and why they're doing what I just said they did.

So I don't feel like this is a flaw, per se. Just a "mileage may vary" kind of thing. There are better and worse ways of doing the setup, and my success with it has probably been uneven; I'll certainly be looking at the opening parts of this fourth book with an eye toward making the setup as engaging as it can be. But my feeling that the current scenes for both Dead Rick and Eliza kick them into a higher degree of motion than they were before? That's just how these books go. The dominoes have begun to fall, and pretty soon the various lines I've laid out will begin to collide with one another, revealing the pattern of the whole. It's like Lune's Act III conversation with Tiresias in Midnight, or Vidar's appearance at the end of Part II in Ashes, or [redacted on account of spoilers for Star].

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go knock down some more dominoes.
swan_tower: (web)
[livejournal.com profile] arielstarshadow, a while ago -- where "a while" is "about six months" -- you mentioned you'd be interested in seeing my playlists for the Onyx Court books, the stuff I had on shuffle while writing, that the soundtracks got built out of. Well, since I recently found myself with occasion to mail those playlists to someone, I figured I might as well go ahead and put them up on my website. The Midnight playlists are here, and the Ashes playlists are here.

They're just .txt files, and moderately illegible; when iTunes exports a playlist, it includes all the file information, and it was already enough work just cleaning out the chaff so you could see what the titles, composers, and albums were. I didn't feel like doing even more work to make it pretty. Also, most of it is film scores. But if that's the kind of thing you're interested in -- especially the dark-and-atmospheric end of film scores -- you can scan through and see what I've been listening to.
swan_tower: (Midnight Never Come)
The Carl Brandon Society is sponsoring a fundraiser to help people of color attend Wiscon, a well-respected feminist SF convention. I'm auctioning off a signed set of the first two Onyx Court novels. There are a lot more goodies on offer; details about how to offer, browse, bid, donate, or request assistance here.
swan_tower: (Default)
If you're eligible to nominate for the Nebulas, you might be interested in an offer from Mike Allen, editor of Clockwork Phoenix 2: he'll provide a PDF review copy to any SFWA member who wants to give the anthology a look. (Details about halfway through that entry.)

That antho, of course, has my story "Once a Goddess," which has been getting some very pleasing attention in reviews. Other stories of mine out this year are:

Those first two and "Waking" are free to read in their entirety online; click through to find the links on their respective pages. Also, of course, I had a novel on the shelves this year.

Here endeth the obligatory Nebula-eligibility post.
swan_tower: (comet)
Unless I end up cutting more than five hundred words from this in the copy-edits -- which, I will grant, is possible -- A Star Shall Fall has now squeaked out In Ashes Lie for the title of Longest Novel I've Ever Written.

By about five hundred words.

It's been kind of amusing, watching the count inch upward as I add in bits here and there. I had a bet on with myself as to whether it would break that boundary, only I kept changing my wager. :-) Anyway, I may or may not be truly done with revisions; I'll be looking back over it when I come home from India, before I send it off to my editor, to see if anything else has occurred to me in the interim. But for now, I declare it Done.

Time to go reward myself with a candy bar and some fun reading.
swan_tower: (In Ashes Lie)
First: Podcastle will be doing a reading of "The Twa Corbies." Yay!

Second: I hear tell there's a review of Ashes in Interzone #224. Can anybody hook me up with a copy of that?


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