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  (*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* )
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).
There will also be preorder freebies like the last time, but I’m still working on what these should be!
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…
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).
So we’re having a good holiday, albeit one that turns out to have no internet connection (I’m typing this on someone else’s very limited 3G allowance)… But you know, there’s sea, sand, sun (not a lot), wind (lots), and entirely too many buckwheat pancakes. And edits (which are nearing their end) on The House of Binding Thorns, the sequel to The House of Shattered Wings.
And, also, the UK cover for The House of Binding Thorns! (involves more foil :p)
The House of Binding Thorns continues the epic story of the fallout of the war in heaven that saw the angelic Great Houses of Paris assaulted and torn apart by mistrust and betrayal in The House of Shattered Wings. Among the ruins of Paris the Great Houses, shaken to their foundations, now struggle to put themselves back together, as powerful forces, gods and angels, men and demons, begin to circle the once unassailable Houses.
So… backstabbing, diplomacy and ancestral magic in a decayed and dangerous Paris — you know you want this!
If you’ve read The House of Shattered Wings: yes, this will be focused on the House of Hawthorn, and will have a bunch of returning characters, notably angel essence addict Madeleine — and a bunch new ones too, a Houseless Annamite with a link to powerful, unusual angel magic and a kick-ass dragon prince with a talent for getting into major trouble.
The House of Binding Thorns will be out in April 2017 (we’re on track for finishing revisions soon, when I can finally be convinced to pry my hands from this manuscript and declare it done!): stay turned for more info (I don’t have the UK buy links yet, at least not firmly enough for me to feel confident to send you to them!)
Praise for the previous volume in the series, the award-winning The House of Shattered Wings:
A fantastical spy thriller that reads like a hybrid of le Carré and Milton, all tinged with the melancholy of golden ages lost.
THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS is a Gothic masterpiece of supernatural intrigues, loves and betrayals in a ruined and decadent future Paris — wildly imaginative and completely convincing, this novel will haunt you long after you’ve put it down.
An intense, beautiful, brutal journey written with an eye for the stunning, vivid detail and the cruel demands of duty, loyalty, and leadership. Its portrait of a ruined Paris ruled by fallen angels is one I won’t soon forget.
This is the UK paperback edition of The House of Shattered Wings, which includes “The House, in Winter”, an exclusive short story set twenty years before the book, during Asmodeus’s coup in House Hawthorn (yes, that’s the first paragraphs of said short story in the last picture). And will you look at all this shiny foil 🙂
To celebrate, I’m giving away 5 (signed) copies: all you have to do is enter below. Open worldwide, I’ll pick a winner in a week’s time. If you win I would obviously love it if you left a review on amazon/goodreads (which do help a lot), but that’s not an obligation, I know this is a large time investment!
Paris in the aftermath of the Great Magicians War. Its streets are lined with haunted ruins, Notre-Dame is a burnt-out shell, and the Seine runs black, thick with ashes and rubble. Yet life continues among the wreckage. The citizens retain their irrepressible appetite for novelty and distraction, and The Great Houses still vie for dominion over France’s once grand capital.
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).
I’m told by Farah Mendlesohn that this is the first time anyone has walked away with the two fiction awards in the same year (previously Keith Roberts won both art and short fiction in 1986). The Guardian has a lovely piece here, courtesy of David Barnett (and yeah this is me going “OMG I’m in the Guardian” in case you had any doubts).
My thanks to everyone who read and voted in the awards and to everyone involved from the BSFA. I was also honoured to be part of two very strong shortlists and highly suggest you check out the other finalists.
Me with Gillian Redfearn and John Berlyne in the bar shortly afterwards.
And here’s some quotes from the Locus summation of 2015:
“[a novel] which featured some of the most striking and memorable fantasy settings of the year, Aliette de Bodard’s House of Shattered Wings, with its ruined Paris haunted by fallen angels” Gary K Wolfe
“Aliette de Bodard delivered her best novel to date, with The House of Shattered Wings. I’m not usually one for tales of fallen angels, but this story of Europe in ruins, where Lucifer and his cohort have taken up residence in Paris was a page-turner and deserves to stand among the fantasies of the year.” Jonathan Strahan
“I (…) had fun spotting Parisian landmarks and learning about Vietnamese dragon lore in Aliette de Bodard’s The House of Shattered Wings.” Cheryl Morgan
“Aliette de Bodard’s The House of Shattered Wings (Roc) reimagined Paris after a devastating war, as seen from several different vantage points in society. It’s not de Bodard’s first novel, but it is surely the one that will propel her to the recognition she deserves.” Graham Sleight
“The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard is a novel I’d like to call epic, though its particular subgenre is impossible to pin down. Set in a Paris that never was – decayed from the aftermath of a great and terrible war, possessed of a baroque, fin-de-siècle air – ruled by fallen angels and magicians, it’s a novel of secrets and murder, outsiders and alchemists, power and change. Difficult to describe, but fantastic to read. Although a sequel is alleged to be forthcoming, it stands alone – which always makes for a pleasant change.” Liz Bourke
The Locus Poll and Survey for 2015 is also open–come and check it out and vote for your favourite fiction of the year (I’m going to be on auto-repeat, but don’t hesitate to vote in that kind of poll even if you don’t think you’ve read enough in the field this year: everybody’s votes count, and “I’m not voting because I’m not well-read enough” is a very common way people, especially those from non-dominant cultures, exclude themselves)
He, what would you know, it’s January again (aka, wow, where did all the time go, and arggggggg I am so late on things!). The main thing I published in 2015 was my novel (I know, kind of hard to miss :p), The House of Shattered Wings, aka magical intrigues, deadly creatures and elusive wonders in a decadent turn-of-the-century Paris ravaged by a magical war.
It won a British Science Fiction Association Award for Best Novel, as well as being on the Locus Recommended Reading List for 2015. It also got starred reviews from Publishers’ Weekly and Library Journal. It’s eligible for the Hugos.
I can’t provide a copy of the complete text, but I have put together a short sampler of the first three chapters: bits and pieces of this have appeared online, but this is the first time that you can actually read all of it (I think? The kindle sampler is shorter than this, ending mid-chapter two). You can download it here in EPUB, MOBI, or PDF (if you need DOC or RTF, drop me a line via the contact form, and I’ll be quite happy to provide a copy. I just am not a big fan of putting Word formats online–too easy to modify them by mistake…).
If you came here wanting whole stories (which I can understand!), I do have a Xuya short story online, “Three Cups of Grief, by Starlight”, which won a British Science Fiction Association Award for Best Short Fiction, and is at Clarkesworld (and is getting reprinted in Dozois’s Year’s Best). You can also downloadEPUB or MOBI.
And if anyone is interested and a Hugo or Nebula voter, contact me and I’d be quite happy to email you a copy of my novella “The Citadel of Weeping Pearls”, which appeared in Asimov’s Oct/Nov and is now a tad hard to find.
And now for the bulk of this, aka, the stuff that I read from 2015 and want to recommend. (this list is a slightly modified and expanded version of one I wrote for the Book Smugglers. I would urge you to go read it: these recs for 2015 are more up to date, but the Book Smugglers post also has my 2016 TBR pile, and it really looks awesome. I made a slight headstart on said TBR pile thanks to friends, and so far I haven’t been disappointed!).
Short stories “Variations on an Apple”, Yoon Ha Lee (Tor.com, October). It’s no secret that I love Yoon Ha Lee’s stuff, and this clever retelling of the Trojan war is no exception. Tackles mathematics, desire, and the consequences of decisions that aren’t always wisely made. Also, Illium and Helen are both awesome in different ways.
“Milagroso”, Isabel Yap (Tor.com, August). In a future where food is grown in labs and always perfect, there is still room for the miracles of saints… By turns exuberant and heartbreaking, this is a story of what we take for granted, how we seek to protect our children, and the price we pay.
“The Star Maiden”, Rokshani Chokshi. Tala’s grandmother used to be a star maiden, annd tells her granddaughter stories of longing for the sky. But Tala grows up and starts questioning the veracity of the story–and becomes ashamed of her grandmother’s oddness. There’s nothing really surprising in this one, but it’s very very well done (as in I broke down and cried at the end), and encapsulates the heartache of growing up.
“The Monkey House”, Tade Thompson (Omenana, March). The narrator returns to work after a breakdown–and finds that everything is *almost* normal. I love the sense of creeping unease of this one, the feeling that everything looks almost quite right (and that 1% “not right” that is downright unsettling). I’m not usually much of a reader for horror or dark, but this is perfect.
“If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler”, by Xia Jia (Clarkesworld, Nov). I love Xia Jia’s stuff, and this short story about a poet and her legacy–and how people handle it in the age of the internet and social media–is lovely and sharp.
“City of Salt”, Arkady Martine, (Strange Horizons, March). This one has stuck around in my head since I read it: the story of a man who comes back to a deserted city, to face the woman he once knew and what she has become… Poetic and elegiac in all the best ways.