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

Upcoming: ANNEX by Rich Larson (Orbit)

LarsonR-AnnexRich Larson is a prolific author of short SFFH fiction. Today, I read my first of his, Our King and His Court which was first published by Tor.com. I really liked the way he writes, and the atmosphere and characters he brings to life on the page. This made me investigate what else of his might be available. First, I realized I already own a collection of his (Tomorrow Factory — published next month by Skyhorse). Then I learned that Orbit are due to publish his debut novel, the first book in his Violet Wars sci-fi series, Annex, in July 2018. Here’s the synopsis:

Only outsiders can fight off the true aliens.

At first it is a nightmare. When the invaders arrive, the world as they know it is destroyed. Their friends are kidnapped. Their families are changed.

Then it is a dream. With no adults left to run things, Violet and the others who have escaped capture are truly free for the first time. They can do whatever they want to do. They can be whoever they want to be.

But the invaders won’t leave them alone for long…

This thrilling debut by one of the most acclaimed short form writers in science fiction tells the story of two young outsiders who must find a way to fight back against the aliens who have taken over her city.

Rich Larson’s Annex will be published by Orbit Books in North America and in the UK in late July 2018.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review: BLOOD OF ASSASSINS by RJ Barker (Orbit)

BarkerRJ-WK2-BloodOfAssassinsGirton Club-Foot returns

In a desperate bid to escape the bounty on his head, assassin Girton Club-Foot has returned to Maniyadoc, but the kingdom he knew no longer exists.

Three kings battle for supremacy in a land ravaged by war-and one of them is his old friend Rufra. With threats inside and outside the war encampment, Girton races to find the traitor behind an assassination plot. But his magic can no longer be contained and Girton may not be able to save even himself.

It’s assassin versus assassin for the life of a king.

RJ Barker’s Age of Assassins is one of the best debut fantasies I’ve read in some time. At a time when I’ve been struggling with the genre, Barker’s debut caught my attention from the opening scenes — it was amusing, the characters were very well-drawn, and the story was far more focused than many fantasies I’ve tried recently. In Blood of Assassins, Barker returns readers to Maniyadoc, five years after the events of the first novel. I enjoyed this novel a great deal. Continue reading

Interview with STEPHEN ARYAN

AryanS-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Stephen Aryan?

Stephen Aryan is a really tall Englishman. He writes epic fantasy novels for Orbit that feature lots of wizards and magic, wars, warriors and non-human races. He reads a lot of books and comics, spends a lot of time outdoors in the forest, loves chocolate, genre TV and films.

Your latest book is a prequel novella to your Age of Dread series, Of Gods and Men, which I really enjoyed. How would you introduce it to a new reader, and what can fans of the trilogy expect from the prequel?

Of Gods and Men works in two ways. If you’ve never read any of my books before it acts as an introduction to my style of writing, pacing, my focus on characters and it still tells a complete story. And, if you liked it then you’ve got a good idea of what to expect in the novels that follow. Continue reading