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Cover reveal: UK mass paperback edition of The House of Shattered Wings

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Quite pleased to reveal the cover of the UK mass market paperback for The House of Shattered Wings–it’s a rather different approach to the trade paperback cover, but hopefully should stand out on shelves (I’m told a liberal amount of gold foil will be applied on the wings 🙂 )

Will you look at that pretty PW quote °_°

You can preorder below (or get an existing edition):

Buy Now

And if you want a sample:
Download First Three Chapters (MOBI/Kindle)
Other formats: EPUB | PDF

Also, you can win a copy of The House of Shattered Wings by entering the contest here.

“Lullaby for a Lost World now up at Tor.com”

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“Lullaby for a Lost World now up at Tor.com”

My dark fantasy short story “Lullaby for a Lost World” is now up at Tor.com.

This is why you should never, ever suggest I write stories with unicorns.

They bury you at the bottom of the gardens–what’s left of you, pathetic and small and twisted so out of shape it hardly seems human anymore. The river, dark and oily, licks at the ruin of your flesh–at your broken bones–and sings you to sleep, in a soft, gentle language like a mother’s lullabies; whispering of rest and forgiveness; of a place where it is forever light, forever safe.

You do not rest. You cannot forgive. You are not safe– you never were.

Read for free at Tor.com.

Sale: “A Hundred and Seventy Storms” to Uncanny Magazine

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Pleased to announce my Xuya short story “A Hundred and Seventy Storms” will be published in Uncanny Magazine. Mindship and perihelial storms on a particularly unpleasant planet. This is the story for which I brainstormed important life milestones on Facebook–many thanks to everyone who answered, and especially Kari Sperring for coming up with the “huge climatic event” that inspired this story. Thanks as well to Stephanie Burgis who helped me fix the ending.

Also, I hadn’t actually thought I’d ever dust off Kepler’s Laws for short fiction :p (as in actually jotting down numbers and doing calculations. I’ve used them for rough estimates but never actually done proper maths with them)

Snippet:

This is the room where The Snow like a Dancer dies, year by year and piece by piece.

When they wheel in the cradle where she rests, she always thinks–for a bare, suspended moment–that it will be all right, that it will all end well–and then nausea tightens around her, and the white and stark walls seem to press down on her, unbearably sharp, a faint memory of Third Aunt and Cousin Lua asleep, and the incessant noise of machinery monitoring her, drips and feeds hooked into her broken, disconnected limbs.

 

Con or Bust auction and House of Binding Thorns tuckerisation

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The Con or Bust auction ends tomorrow at 4 p.m. EDT. There’s a lot of fabulous items on offering, and I have one that might interest you: you can name/be a character in my forthcoming Dominion of the Fallen novel The House of Binding Thorns (the sequel to The House of Shattered Wings that’s focused on House Hawthorn)!

You will, in all likelihood, have a short lifespan (post-magical-war Paris not being a really friendly place *grin*). More details here.

Two stories

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Two new Xuya stories (no, I’m not chain-writing them! Just haven’t had a chance to blog about writing lately).

“A Game of Three Generals” (to be published in a forthcoming thing)

Every day is the same: Song Ha gets down to the refectory and spoons rice porridge into her mouth, feeling the salty taste of fish sauce against her palate–there used to be something subtly wrong with it, wasn’t there? But now it’s a familiar beat like a syllable in a poem–a daily counting out–she’s not sure exactly what, but it’s important that she doesn’t lose count.

“A Hundred and Seventy Storms”

This is the room where The Snow like a Dancer dies, year by year and piece by piece.
When they wheel in the cradle where she rests, she always thinks–for a bare, suspended moment–that it will be all right, that it will all end well–and then nausea tightens around her, and the white and stark walls seem to press down on her, unbearably sharp, a faint memory of Third Aunt and Cousin Lua asleep, and the incessant noise of machinery monitoring her, drips and feeds hooked into her broken, disconnected limbs.

And my brain has also decided that what I really need is a dark thriller story featuring Asmodeus and Samariel from The House of Shattered Wings/The House of Binding Thorns. I’m 1200 words into it and wondering why the heck I signed up for it (but the words are cool though! Small mercies…)

Well, there’s that…

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Well, there’s that…

Safe delivery of Librarian into the world: check. All went well and we’re now back home while I try to keep my eyes open °_°

And, a bit before Librarian was actually delivered: safe delivery of manuscript of The House of Binding Thorns, the sequel to The House of Shattered Wings, to both my editors at Roc/Gollancz. Good thing I did that first…

Also, was rather chuffed to see that The House of Shattered Wings is on the longlist for a Legend Award, and the cover is on the longlist for a Ravenheart Award. Voting is open to anyone, and there’s a lot of other cool books and art on that list (Black Wolves!)–if you’re so minded to drop by, it’s here.

(I’m really pleased at that, because part of the reason I’m writing epic fantasy is because I found David Gemmell’s books as a teenager: The King Beyond the Gate and Tenaka Khan made a profound impression on me, and I subsequently devoured all the other Gemmell books I could find in libraries. I was really sorry I came into the UK SFF scene too late to meet him and tell him how much his books meant, and still mean, to me).

House of Shattered Wings (and, er, a few other things) up for a Locus Award

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House of Shattered Wings (and, er, a few other things) up for a Locus Award

Rather psyched (and more than a bit shocked) to see the finalists for the Locus Awards.

My deepest thanks to everyone who thought my work worthy.

The complete list of finalists is here–it’s got some great stuff/people on it so why don’t you check it out if you haven’t already?

To Shape the Dark now available

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Just a heads-up that Athena Andreadis’s fabulous anthology of female scientists, To Shape the Dark, is now available from Candlemark and Gleam.

Contains my Xuya short story “Crossing the Midday Gate”, about intergalactic plagues, vaccine developments, and the cost of pride and principles…

Buy Now

A very belated Mancunicon report

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A very belated Mancunicon report

So… didn’t get around to this earlier because fatigue hit me pretty badly, but I had a great time at Mancunicon. It was my first time as a Guest of Honour (and, in time honoured fashion, I was 7 months pregnant, just like Finncon 2013 ^-^).

I arrived in the UK on Wednesday and had a great night out with the BSFA–many thanks to the BSFA, Andrea Dietrich, Chad Dixon, and especially to Ed Cox for the great interview!

Then met up with Zen Cho, who was travelling with me, and we got into Manchester easily (I love trains. So much easier than planes), and we chilled out until the con got into gear Friday midday.

The cooking demo

Things I learnt, in no particular order:

  • Got to visit the kitchens of the Hilton Deansgate–my first time in a professional kitchen. Wow, had no idea, that was very cool
  • Deliveroo is really awesome for takeaway food (eating in the room is really neat when fatigue levels are close to crashing). And many many thanks to Zen Cho for keeping my sugar levels up and my anxiety levels down.
  • Kari Sperring is an awesome interviewer–engaging and effortlessly keeping me talking (which is no mean feat when the room is full)
  • Apparently there’s a strong correlation between my having failed to prepare a speech (was too busy worrying about the cooking demo and completely failed to realise the awards were the same day) and my actually winning said awards. Kind of still flabbergasted at this one
  • Programming was very strong, only regret I didn’t make it to more panels. Also, Kari Sperring and I shouldn’t be on a panel about history together, we kind of encourage each other ^-^
  • The Saturday cooking demo was great–I was a bit worried because I’d never done that before, but it was well attended and we made a beautiful salad! Also, Zen Cho and I have a future as a comedy cooking duo if all else fails us
  • Mancunian weather apparently includes hail and horizontal rain. Which, even on the 23rd floor of a hotel, is something quite striking (and makes you glad you’re not under it. I’m given to understand Ian McDonald and a few others were, er, in the wrong place at the wrong time and got the brunt of it in their faces  °_°)
  • Manchester doesn’t seem to have good Vietnamese restaurants (makes sense, there isn’t a big community there), but it does have awesome dim sum, yummmmm
  •  1847 makes great vegetarian food

To everyone whom I hoped to run into/who hoped to see me–I hope I managed to be at enough of the con that I could be grabbed/chatted with/listened to.  I was always more tired than I expected, and being able to rest in the room made a big difference to levels of fatigue (yes, I know. Anyone could have told me I would be more tired than on a normal day. I’m possibly the only optimist who thought the, er, incubating would make little difference).

Going back took me most of Tuesday, but that was because I paced myself and allowed three hours’ changeover at St Pancras where I could sit and relax between trains.

My deepest thanks to the Con Committee, the con organisers/volunteers and the hotel staff for a great con; and to Gollancz for taking good care of me (and shipping my awards home, didn’t know what I’d have done otherwise!). Thanks as well to everyone who attended (and everyone who voted in the BSFA awards). It was a super experience. And now I get to sleep for the next two months before sleep becomes a thing of the long-ago past…