Interview with MARIE BRENNAN

BrennanM-AuthorPicWelcome back to CR! It’s been a little while, so let’s start with an introduction for new readers: Who is Marie Brennan?

Well, at one point I wound up calling myself “an anthropological compost heap from which stories sprout,” which might be as good a description of my writing as any. I’m a fantasy novelist and short story writer (and occasional game writer, too), with an academic background in anthropology, archaeology, and folklore, which leaves its fingerprints all over my work.

Your new novel, Driftwood, will be published soon by Tachyon. It looks really interesting: How would you introduce it to a potential reader?

The tagline is “where worlds go to die,” but that sounds a little grim, doesn’t it? Driftwood is a setting composed of the fragments of broken worlds, brought together by some unknown force. Driftwood the novel is a fix-up of short stories previously written in that setting, with a new novelette and a frame story to link all the pieces together. If you feel like there might be a thematic connection between the setting and the form of the novel, well, you’re not wrong! Continue reading

Interview with JACKSON FORD

FordJ-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Jackson Ford?

A gigantic flaming sh*thead who thought it would be fun to write paranormal action thriller novels set in Los Angeles, despite never having been there, and is frankly amazed that anything ever came of it. Fortunately, he also happens to be the alter ego of Rob Boffard, who has been to LA and is a much better writer.

Your new novel, Random Sh*t Flying Through the Air, will be published by Orbit in July. It looks rather fabulous: How would you introduce it to a potential reader? Is it part of a series?

While it is part of a series, each book can also be read as a stand-alone. You definitely don’t have to start with the first one! Jump in wherever.

The books document the adventures of Teagan Frost, a government agent with psychokinetic abilities who dreams of living a normal life and running her own restaurant. I’d introduce it to the reader by saying: it’s the best book you’ll ever read, and if you disagree, then f*ck you. Continue reading

Interview with DEVIN MADSON

MadsonD-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Devin Madson?

Devin Madson is an Australian fantasy author who doesn’t usually talk about herself in the third person, but here we are. I started in self-publishing in 2013, and was picked up by Orbit in 2019 in what has been a strange six to seven years of my career. I live in the middle of nowhere surrounded by alternately cute and deadly Australian animals, I’ve abandoned three university degrees, killed dozens of house plants, and rewatch the same handful of movies over and over again.

Your first novel with Orbit Books, We Ride the Storm, is due to be published tomorrow. It looks really interesting: How would you introduce it to a potential reader? Is it part of a series?

It is part of a four-book series, which will be released on a six-month schedule! We Ride the Storm is the story of an empire built by war being brought down by war, crushed beneath its history of division and inherited hurts. We follow a snarky assassin with a voice in her head she can’t escape, an honourable warrior trying to hold on to his tenets while being forced to fight in a foreign war, and an ambitious princess who wants to rule the empire in her own right whatever the cost. There’s lot of intrigue, tense battles, trippy necromancy, respectful head severing and tea. Continue reading

Annotated Excerpt: THE BONE SHIPS by RJ Barker (Orbit)

BarkerRJ-TC1-BoneShipsUSToday, we have the honour of sharing an annotated excerpt from RJ Barker‘s highly-anticipated novel, The Bone Ships! The novel is due to be published by Orbit Books this week in both the UK and North America. First, though, here’s the synopsis:

A brilliantly imagined saga of honour, glory, and warfare…

Two nations at war. A prize beyond compare.

For generations, the fleets of the Hundred Isles have built their ships from the bones of ancient dragons to fight an endless war.

Then the dragons disappeared. But the battle for supremacy on the high seas persisted.

When the first dragon in centuries is spotted in far-off waters, both sides see a chance to shift the balance of power in their favour. Because whoever catches it will win not only glory, but the war.

Now, I’ll turn it over to RJ…

Continue reading

Interview with EVAN WINTER

WinterE-AuthorPic-VivianHuiLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Evan Winter?

Hi Stefan!

Evan Winter is the son of Guyanese parents, Guyana being a country in South America that is often associated more closely with the Caribbean islands than its continental neighbors. My parents were an engineer/teacher and a teacher. I was born in London, England, where my father was completing his Masters in Chemical Engineering and then it was off to Zambia, in Central Africa, where I spent my youth. So, who am I: I’m an immigrant several times over who hails from one continent, was born on another, grew up in a third, and now lives on a fourth. I feel very much a person of the world and firmly believe that we are all far more alike than we are different. Continue reading

Quick Catch-Up with DAVID DALGLISH

DalglishD-AuthorPicWelcome back to Civilian Reader! Let’s kick things off with your latest novel, Soulkeeper, which is published by Orbit. It sounds really cool: How would you introduce it to a potential reader? Is it part of a series?

It’s part of a brand new series, The Keepers, and it’s focused on a world where magical creatures, monsters, and the dragons who created them reawaken after centuries of imprisonment to discover humanity having spread across the entire continent. Some are eager to get along. Most are not. And a few are just hungry. Continue reading

Interview with GARETH HANRAHAN

HanrahanG-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Gareth Hanrahan?

I’m still pretty vague on that question, to be honest. I appear to be a writer and game designer living in Ireland. A preponderance of evidence suggests I’m married with twin sons, and I have it on good authority that I’m tall with somewhat absurd legs. I hope to have a more final answer to the question “who is Gareth Hanrahan” at some point, but ideally not for another forty or fifty years.

Your new novel, The Gutter Prayer, will be published by Orbit early next year. How would you introduce it to a potential reader? Is it part of a series?

It’s a fantasy thriller set in a quasi-Victorian city, a mostly godless city of thieves and alchemists. Three such thieves are betrayed by their former boss and seek revenge using newfound occult powers; along the way, they discover the secret history of the city and their importance in a much larger play for power. It’s full of alchemy, monstrous weirdness, intrigue, architecture and stabbings.

It’s part of a series called The Black Iron Legacy, but the story’s very self-contained. Continue reading

Upcoming: CYPHER by Rich Larson (Orbit)

LarsonR-VW2-CypherI’ve only read some of Rich Larson‘s short fiction, but so far it has all been superb. Last year, Orbit published his debut full-length novel, and first in the Violet Wars series, the critically-acclaimed Annex, which is rapidly climbing my TBR mountain (which I fell behind on during 2018). Luckily, I have some time before the sequel is published: Cypher is due to published in December 2019 by Orbit in North America and in the UK.

The stunning cover was unveiled relatively recently. I’m really looking forward to it. Here’s the skinny:

The gripping sequel to Rich Larson’s beautiful and gut-wrenching debut Annex about two outsiders surviving, fighting back, and finding family at the end of the world.

The invasion is over, but not all the aliens are gone. As the outside world learns what happened to the city, Violet and Bo struggle to keep their ally Gloom hidden from prying eyes.

Those in power believe he is the key to unlocking the invaders’ technology, and will stop at nothing to capture him.

All the while, the invasion’s survivors are being drawn to a mysterious anomaly that might be their destruction — or their salvation from an even greater threat.

Also on CR: Interview with Rich Larson (2018)

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Upcoming: CHILDREN OF TIME and CHILDREN OF RUIN by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Orbit/Tor)

Tchaikovsky-CoT1-ChildrenOfTimeUSWait, what? Didn’t Adrian Tchaikovsky‘s Children of Time come out back in 2015? Why yes, yes it did… in the UK, published by Tor Books. This December, though, Orbit Books are due to publish a North American edition! Great news for sci-fi fans who maybe haven’t had the chance to read this spectacular novel! I read it a couple of years ago and, inexplicably, never reviewed it… (I am convinced that I did write a review, however, which means I managed to lose the review.) It was one of my favourite novels of the year, and I was hooked from very early on. Tchaikovsky’s prose is superb, and his world-building was exceptional, brilliantly realized on the page, and both fascinating and original. It is no surprise to me that it won the Arthur C. Clarke Award. Here’s the synopsis, in case you haven’t clocked it yet:

The epic story of humanity’s battle for survival on a terraformed planet.

Who will inherit this new Earth?

The last remnants of the human race left a dying Earth, desperate to find a new home among the stars. Following in the footsteps of their ancestors, they discover the greatest treasure of the past age – a world terraformed and prepared for human life.

But all is not right in this new Eden. In the long years since the planet was abandoned, the work of its architects has borne disastrous fruit. The planet is not waiting for them, pristine and unoccupied. New masters have turned it from a refuge into mankind’s worst nightmare.

Now two civilizations are on a collision course, both testing the boundaries of what they will do to survive. As the fate of humanity hangs in the balance, who are the true heirs of this new Earth?

Also on the way is Children of Ruin, the eagerly-anticipated sequel! Due to be published by Orbit in North America (May 2019) and Tor in the UK (May 2019), there’s no cover just yet, but here’s the synopsis:

Long ago, Earth’s terraforming program sent ships out to build new homes for humanity among the stars and made an unexpected discovery: a planet with life. But the scientists were unaware that the alien ecosystem was more developed than the primitive life forms originally discovered.

Now, thousands of years later, the Portiids and their humans have sent an exploration vessel following fragmentary radio signals. They discover a system in crisis, warring factions trying to recover from an apocalyptic catastrophe arising from what the early terraformers awoke all those years before.

One of my favourite authors of SFF, Tchaikovsky has so many other excellent books to read while you wait for Children of Ruin. His backlist includes: the excellent Shadows of the Apt 10-novel fantasy epic (Tor UK); the Echoes of the Fall fantasy trilogy (Tor UK); the superb stand-alone novels Guns of the Dawn (Tor UK), Spiderlight (Tor.com), and Dogs of War (Head of Zeus); the novella Ironclads (Solaris) and The Expert System’s Brother (Tor.com); and the first novel in the After the War series, Redemption’s Blade (Solaris).

Also on CR: Interview with Adrian Tchaikovsky (2012); Guest Posts on “Nine Books, Six Years, One Stenwold Maker”, “The Art of Gunsmithing”, “Looking for God in Melnibone Places” and “Eye of the Spider”; Excerpt from Guns of the Dawn; Reviews of Empire in Black & Gold, Guns of the Dawn, Spiderlight, and Ironclads

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Interview with RICH LARSON

LarsonR-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Rich Larson?

I’m just a boy, standing in front of a girl–

No, wait. I’m the author of over a hundred short stories, most of them speculative fiction sold to magazines like Asimov’s, Analog, Clarkesworld, F&SF, Lightspeed and Tor.com. My work has been translated into Chinese, Vietnamese, Polish, Czech, French and Italian. I was born in Galmi, Niger, to an American father and a Canadian mother. I like to travel and am obsessed by languages.

Your debut novel, Annex, will be published by Orbit. It looks really interesting: How would you introduce it to a potential reader? Is it part of a series?

Annex is about kids fighting aliens — think Animorphs, but darker. It has complex characters but also terrific action set pieces. It’s the first book of The Violet Wars trilogy. Continue reading