Category: fiction

Cover reveal: US edition of THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS

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So… cover time!

Tor.com has kindly agreed to reveal the cover for the US edition of The House of Binding Thorns. It’s still by the awesome Nekro, with art direction by Adam Auerbach, and it looks gorgeous.

Here’s a little teaser:

Head on over to Tor.com for the full cover, and the official cover copy aka “what this book is about in more detail”. Be warned, however, that if you haven’t read The House of Shattered Wings and intend to (though you don’t need to have read The House of Shattered Wings to enjoy this, it’s standalone), this contains major spoilers.

If you want a between-the-books snippet and a look at the Pinterest board, you can head on over to the official novel page on this website, here.

The book will be out April 4th in hardcover from Roc in the US, and April 20th from Gollancz in the UK and the Rest of the World, and you can pre-order the US edition right now [1] (*cough* pre orders are really important for authors because they’re an indicator of how much people are excited about the book, so if you happen to want this I’d be very grateful if you did preorder. Also, did I mention this is standalone? It is standalone, you don’t need to have read The House of Shattered Wings to enjoy it, and my admittedly biased opinion is that this is a better book because I definitely gained a level in novel-writing between both books.*cough* [2])

Pre-order now


[1]I put in the link for the preorder of the UK edition but I’m a little less sure about this: the Kindle link looks right, but the default amazon link is to a hardback edition that I’m pretty sure isn’t coming out (and last time people who did order the hardback edition never got their books, so I’m a little leery of the same thing happening again).

[2]There will also be preorder freebies like the last time, but I’m still working on what these should be!

HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS trade paperback out in the US today

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HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS trade paperback out in the US today

Just a quick note that if you’ve wanted to buy The House of Shattered Wings but thought the hardback was too expensivve, or if you just want to see what all the fuss is about… today is the release date of the US trade paperback edition (and the ebook prices have been lowered to match, too). In a turn-of-the-century Paris devastated by a magicians’ war, political and magical intrigues, Fallen angels, Vietnamese immortals, and rather too many dead bodies…

More info on the novel here.

Meanwhile, I’ll be off wrangling The House of Binding Thorns revisions…

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HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS paperback now out in the UK!

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Just a quick note that the UK paperback edition of The House of Shattered Wings is now out, and can be found in all good bookshops. This is the “gold foil” edition which also includes an exclusive short story, “The House in Winter”, set twenty years before the story and which, though standalone, sets up characters and situations for the standalone sequel The House of Binding Thorns (it’s in the manner of easter eggs: not compulsory to have read before reading book 2, but very nice to have!).

I’d obviously be really very grateful if you felt like checking it out/signal boosting/reviewing on amazon or goodreads, book sales having the importance they have, especially in the first few weeks after release… (I would normally have set up more promo stuff, but I have had literally zero energy for the past three months, for, er, obvious reasons *cough* newborn *cough* said newborn is doing fine but sleep remains an elusive thing, alas).


The first page of the exclusive short story

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Really embarrassing: calling for contributors to HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS

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Ok so this is going to be really really embarrassing…

I’m writing the acknowledgements to HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS and I would like to not forget anyone. The book, however, was written during my pregnancy and I, hum, kind of am not sure I’ve got everyone covered…

So if you had any input in it (brainstorming, beta reading, recommending research books etc.) could you let me know either here or privately via contact form?

Tade Thompson, D Franklin (& Zoe!), Dario Ciriello, Kate Elliott, Mia SN, Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, Vida Cruz, Alan Bellingham, Margo-Lea Hurwizc, John Hopkins, I’ve got you already 😀

New short story: “A Hundred and Seventy Storms” in Uncanny Magazine

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New short story: “A Hundred and Seventy Storms” in Uncanny Magazine

My Xuya short story “A Hundred and Seventy Storms” has been published online as part of Uncanny Magazine‘s July/August 2016 issue. Aka “wow I hadn’t actually used Kepler’s Laws in a long, long time” (I needed to do some quick and dirty planetary design. Was very proud I remembered most of 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.

You can read it here.
You can also buy the issue it’s part of (which has Cat Valence, Sabrina Vourvoulias and many other fine folk) here.

Many many thanks to Stephanie Burgis who read it in record time, as well as to everyone who suggested life changing events when I asked on Facebook (I needed something against which to set the story)–particularly Kari Sperring who came up with large weather events.

And yeah, this is based on my experience of giving birth to the Librarian, at least the bit where I was lying down, tethered to an IV and in pretty strong pain (epidural came too late so I essentially gave birth on a light dosage of painkillers. There were… a couple of really not fun moments).

Xuya novelette “Memorials” reprinted in Apex Magazine

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Xuya novelette “Memorials” reprinted in Apex Magazine

My novelette “Memorials”, originally published in Asimov’s,  has been reprinted in Apex Magazine‘s June 2016 issue, alongside fiction by Mary Pletsch, Douglas F. Warrick, and a novel excerpt from the awesome E. Catherine Tobler.

Virtual realities, powerful aunties, and trafficking in the dead. Also, three-colour chè. Because.

Snippet:

Cam finds Pham Thi Thanh Ha in her house, as she expected. By now, she doesn’t question the aunts’ knowledge or how they came by it. She does what she’s told to, an obedient daughter beholden to her elders, never raising a fuss or complaining– the shining example of filial piety extolled in the tales her girlfriend Thuy so painstakingly reconstitutes in her spare hours.

You can read it 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.

 

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…)

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?