Interview with ZEN CHO

ChoZ-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Zen Cho?

I’m a lawyer and writer from Malaysia, living in the UK. My short story collection Spirits Abroad was published by Malaysian press Buku Fixi in 2014 and was a joint winner of the Crawford Fantasy Award. I’ve edited an anthology called Cyberpunk: Malaysia, also published by Fixi, which came out this year.

Your debut novel, Sorcerer to the Crown, will be published in September by Tor Books. How would you introduce the novel to a new reader, and is it part of a planned series?

Sorcerer to the Crown is a historical fantasy set in Regency London, about England’s first African Sorcerer Royal, Zacharias Wythe. Zacharias is trying to reverse the decline in England’s magic when his plans are hijacked by ambitious runaway orphan and female magical prodigy, Prunella Gentleman.

The book is the first in a trilogy, but while the books will be linked, the plan is for each book to focus on different characters. The hope is that people will be able to read them as standalones. Continue reading

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New Books! (August)

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Featuring: Matthew de Abaitua, Stephen Aryan, Bradley Beaulieu, Ben Bova, Lila Bowen, Zen Cho, Robert DeFranco, Seth Dickinson, Tom Doyle, Peter Facinelli, Charlie Fletcher, Vince Flynn, Ryan Gattis, Derek Haas, Sam Hawken, Andrew Michael Hurley, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Rajan Khanna, Andrew Klavan, Julia Knight, Mike Lawson, Alison Littlewood, Barry Lyga, Ian McDonald, Kyle Mills, Seth Patrick, T.R. Richmond, Adam Roberts, Lilith Saintcrow, Kieran Shea, Yrsa Sigurdardottir, David de Sola, Gav Thorpe, Ben Tripp, Anna Waterhouse, Andy Weir, Ian Winwood, Max Wirestone Continue reading

Upcoming from Tor UK…

A handful of titles forthcoming from Tor Books UK that I’m really interested in (and one published by Picador).

ChoZ-SorcerorToTheCrownUKZen Cho, SORCEROR TO THE CROWN (September 10th)

THE FATE OF ENGLISH MAGIC LIES IN THEIR HANDS…

In Regency London, Zacharias Wythe is England’s first African Sorcerer Royal. He leads the eminent Royal Society of Unnatural Philosophers, but a malicious faction seeks to remove him by fair means or foul. Meanwhile, the Society is failing its vital duty — to keep stable the levels of magic within His Majesty’s lands. The Fairy Court is blocking its supply, straining England’s dangerously declining magical stores. And now the government is demanding to use this scarce resource in its war with France.

Ambitious orphan Prunella Gentleman is desperate to escape the school where she’s drudged all her life, and a visit by the beleaguered Sorcerer Royal seems the perfect opportunity. For Prunella has just stumbled upon English magic’s greatest discovery in centuries — and she intends to make the most of it. At his wits’ end, the last thing Zachariah needs is a female magical prodigy! But together, they might just change the nature of sorcery, in Britain and beyond.

To be published in the US by Ace Books on September 1st, 2015.

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DickinsonS-TraitorUKSeth Dickinson, THE TRAITOR (September 24th)

A mask can hide a thousand lies…

Baru Cormorant believes any price is worth paying to liberate her people — even her soul. When the Empire of Masks conquers her island home, criminalizes her customs, and murders one of her fathers, Baru vows to mask her hate, join the Empire’s civil service, and claw her way high enough up the rungs of power to put a stop to the Emperor’s influence and set her people free –whatever the price. A natural savant she is sent as an Imperial agent to distant Aurdwynn — a post she worries will never get her the position and power she craves.

But Baru soon discovers Aurdwynn is a complex and secretive country, seemingly on the brink of rebellion. All it would need is a match to the tinder… Drawn by the intriguing duchess Tain Hu into a circle of seditious dukes, Baru may be able to use her position to help create a revolution that will threaten the Empire’s hold on the country; an outcome, which if successful, could threaten to bring the Empire to its knees.

As she pursues a precarious balance between the rebels and a shadowy cabal within the Empire, she orchestrates a do-or-die gambit with freedom as the prize. But winning the long game of saving her people may be far more costly than Baru imagines.

Published in the US by Tor Books, as The Traitor Baru Cormorant.

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PatrickS-2-LostSoulsUKSeth Patrick, LOST SOULS (August 13th)

JONAH MILLER, REVIVER.

Able to wake the recently dead for testimony that is accepted in courts worldwide, the use of revivers has long been a routine part of police investigation. But now those who consider it blasphemy are in resurgence — well-funded and gaining ground, they threaten the work of Jonah and his colleagues in the Forensic Revival Service. Jonah is still recovering from the injuries received after unearthing the existence of a creature bent on terrible destruction, a creature defeated at the cost of many lives.

Then the discovery of a bizarrely mutilated corpse makes Jonah suspect that the victory was not as complete as it seemed, and that not all the evil was destroyed. For in the darkness, shadows are waiting. And they are hungry…

The sequel to Reviver. Published in North America by Thomas Dunne Books in November 2015.

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YanagiharaH-ALittleLifeUKHanya Yanagihara, A LITTLE LIFE (August 13th, Picador)

A masterful depiction of heartbreak, and a dark and haunting examination of the tyranny of experience and memory.

An epic about love and friendship in the twenty-first century that goes into some of the darkest places fiction has ever travelled and yet somehow improbably breaks through into the light.

When four graduates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their centre of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome — but that will define his life forever.

Published in North America by Doubleday.

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