Upcoming: A BIG SHIP AT THE EDGE OF THE UNIVERSE by Alex White (Orbit)

WhiteA-ABigShipAtTheEdgeOfTheUniverseUSStumbled across Alex White’s A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe on Hachette’s website, and thought it sounded quite interesting. Possibly something for fans of Becky Chambers’s series (what came to mind almost immediately), K.B. Wagers and other science fiction series. Here’s the synopsis…

Furious and fun, the first book in this bold, new science fiction adventure series follows a ragtag group of adventurers as they try to find a legendary ship that just might be the key to clearing their name and saving the universe.

Boots Elsworth was a famous treasure hunter in another life, but now she’s washed up. She makes her meager living faking salvage legends and selling them to the highest bidder, but this time she got something real–the story of the Harrow, a famous warship, capable of untold destruction.

Nilah Brio is the top driver in the Pan Galactic Racing Federation and the darling of the racing world–until she witnesses Mother murder a fellow racer. Framed for the murder and on the hunt to clear her name, Nilah has only one lead: the killer also hunts Boots.

On the wrong side of the law, the two women board a smuggler’s ship that will take them on a quest for fame, for riches, and for justice.

A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe, the first in the Salvagers series, is due out in June 2018 in the US and UK, published by Orbit Books. Alex White is also the author of, most recently, Every Mountain Made Low.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

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Interview with CATHERINE CERVENY

CervenyC-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Catherine Cerveny?

I am a total nerd fan-girl on the inside, but seem like a straight-laced conservative on the outside. I have degrees in English and History, and a Master of Library and Information Science — a professional shusher — but currently work in logistics and transportation, where I use math and science every day. I didn’t see that one coming. I love to read and have a “To Be Read” mountain of books large enough to ski down and potentially hurt myself if I fell at the bottom. I love traveling and try to go on at least one amazing trip a year, if possible. I am also married to someone who generally tolerates and indulges my quirkiness fairly well. Continue reading

Upcoming: WRATH OF EMPIRE by Brian McClellan (Orbit)

McClellanB-GoB&P2-WrathOfEmpireUSThis week, Brian McClellan unveiled the cover for his next novel: Wrath of Empire. The second novel in his Gods of Blood & Powder fantasy series, and follow-up to Sins of Empire, I’m really looking forward to reading it. (I’ll need to get caught up, first, of course — I’ve still got to read The Autumn Republic and Sins of Empire before diving into this one.) Due to be published by Orbit Books in March 2018 in the US and UK, here’s the synopsis:

The country is in turmoil. With the capital city occupied, half a million refugees are on the march, looking for safety on the frontier, accompanied by Lady Flint’s soldiers. But escaping war is never easy, and soon the battle may find them, whether they are prepared or not.

Back in the capital, Michel Bravis smuggles even more refugees out of the city. But internal forces are working against him. With enemies on all sides, Michael may be forced to find help with the very occupiers he’s trying to undermine.

Meanwhile, Ben Styke is building his own army. He and his mad lancers are gathering every able body they can find and searching for an ancient artifact that may have the power to turn the tides of war in their favor. But what they find may not be what they’re looking for.

Also on CR: Interview with Brian McClellan (2013); Guest Posts on “My Favourite Novel” and “Protagonist Ages in Epic Fantasy”; Excerpt from The Autumn Republic; Reviews of Promise of Blood and The Crimson Campaign

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Interview with VIVIAN SHAW

Let’s start with an introduction: Who is Vivian Shaw?

At the moment, an expat Brit living in Baltimore with her wife, the author Arkady Martine. I was born in Kenya to a couple of scientists, and my family moved a bunch of times when I was very young, following the trail of postdoc positions, but I’ve been in Maryland most of my life.

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

The easiest way to explain it is probably, “Dr. Greta Helsing sees dead people, every day from ten to four and by appointment, at her Harley Street clinic.” Strange Practice is set in a world quite like our own, but with one crucial difference: monsters exist, and magic is real. Greta has inherited her father’s extremely specialized medical practice, catering solely to the supernatural, and gets a lot of satisfaction out of the job – she enjoys performing reconstructive surgery on mummies in particular. Continue reading

Upcoming: THE TWO OF SWORDS, Vols.1-3 by K.J. Parker (Orbit)

ParkerKJ-TwoOfSwords-Vols.1to3

The Two of Swords has already been serialized over the past couple of years (not sure if it’s finished?). I’ve tried the first part, but I decided I wanted to wait for more of it to be available before diving in properly. I’ve often had mixed feelings about Parker’s work, but after reading the superb The Devil You Know and also The Last Witness, I want to read more of his stuff. Anyway, here’s the synopsis for Volume 1:

“Why are we fighting this war? Because evil must be resisted, and sooner or later there comes a time when men of principle have to make a stand. Because war is good for business and it’s better to die on our feet than live on our knees. Because they started it. But at this stage in the proceedings,” he added, with a slightly lop-sided grin, “mostly from force of habit.”

A soldier with a gift for archery. A woman who kills without care. Two brothers, both unbeatable generals, now fighting for opposing armies. No-one in the vast and once glorious United Empire remains untouched by the rift between East and West, and the war has been fought for as long as anyone can remember. Some still survive who know how it was started, but no-one knows how it will end.

The Two of Swords is the story of a war on a grand scale, told through the eyes of its soldiers, politicians, victims and heroes.

The series is published by Orbit Books in the US and UK, in October, November and December.

Also on CR: Reviews of The Devil You Know and The Last Witness

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads

Interview with DALE LUCAS

LucasD-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Dale Lucas?

Since ‘International Man of Mystery’ is taken, I guess I’ll settle for Connoisseur of All Things Geek and globe-trotting bon vivant. I’m a pretty typical nerd who grew up skinny and pale, subsisting on a steady diet of genre films, Ace paperbacks, comic books and brain-rotting cartoons. These days, I write stories between 9 to 5 shifts at a day job, gobble books, enable my foodie impulses and, when able, travel. I can also mix a pretty mean Old Fashioned.

Your new novel, The Fifth Ward: First Watch, will be published by Orbit in July. It looks rather fun: How would you introduce it to a potential reader? Is it part of a series?

It’s most definitely the starting point for a series! My standard pitch is: it’s Lord of the Rings meets Lethal Weapon. Or, if you prefer, The Wire in Middle Earth. Basically, I just took all of the buddy cop movies I grew up watching — Lethal Weapon, 48 Hours, Running Scared — and even hard-edged police procedurals like NYPD Blue, and set one of those stories about combative partners out for justice in a teeming urban jungle in a classic, pre-industrial fantasy city full of humans, dwarves, elves and orcs. Continue reading

Guest Post: “Inspiration for Fantasy Authors” by Anthony Ryan

RyanA-AuthorPicWhilst I don’t like to stereotype, I’m going to assume that if you’re reading this then there’s a fair chance you’re familiar with the sitcom The Big Bang Theory. In one of the earlier episodes Penny asks Leonard “What did you do today?”, to which he responds, “Well, I’m a physicist, so I, y’know… thought about stuff.” Although I wouldn’t want to imply that the complexities of writing fiction are of a similar order to particle physics, writers, like physicists, do spend a considerable amount time thinking about stuff. When it comes to inspiration thinking time is crucial. When I count all the stories I actually wrote, compared to those I thought about writing, I come up with a ratio of approximately one in ten, i.e. only about 10% of my ideas actually turn into stories and then only after a lengthy period percolating in the confused teapot of my imagination. Continue reading