Harbinger of the Storm, my Mexica imperial succession novel with star-demons and priestly intrigues, is available on Kobo for $1.99 for today only!
The year is Two House, and the Emperor of the Mexica has just died. The protections he afforded the Empire are crumbling, and the way lies wide open to the flesh-eating star-demons–and to the return of their creator, a malevolent goddess only held in check by the War God’s power.
The council should convene to choose a new Emperor, but they are too busy plotting against each other. And then someone starts summoning star-demons within the palace, to kill councilmen…
Acatl, High Priest of the Dead, must find the culprit before everything is torn apart.
Want a copy? Go here (offer should also be valid at other Kobo websites!).
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.
(cover design and art: Melanie Ujimori/Jonathon Dalton. Art direction: Rhiannon Rasmussen-Silverstein)
Just a quick extra word: on Kobo (and on a bunch of other retailers), the Obsidian and Blood omnibus and the other Angry Robot editions (with the old covers) still show up for sale. I’d be all in favour if there hadn’t been a snafu: these editions are officially out of print. We’re still sorting that out, but in the meantime I’d be really grateful if you would take a look at the new editions? Thanks!
Been remiss in posting these, but very happy to reveal the new look for Obsidian and Blood. The ebooks will be sold through JABberwocky: they’re currently trickling their way through the system (I spotted them at Amazon and Kobo, but other retailers don’t yet have them). Will update when I have more info!
Aren’t these gorgeous? The design is by Rhiannon Rasmussen-Silverstein (art direction), Melanie Ujimori & Jonathon Dalton (art and cover design). Also, creepy owls FTW!
Just a quick update because people have asked: as you may know, the Obsidian and Blood rights have reverted to me. Have been busy with lots of things, but the plan is to release them as ebook soon-ish (it doesn’t all go through me so precise timeline to be confirmed later ^-^)
Yup, that’s right, you can buy Obsidian and Blood, the massive omnibus containing the series of Acatl’s adventures, plus all the short stories (they’re all in the ebook edition but not in the print one due to space constraints; if you buy the print edition, you’ll get a link to download the ebook supplement). Get your complete trilogy now!
More info, including buy links, here. I’ll be guest posting at various places over the Internet, though it’s going to be a very short blog tour…
Now if you excuse me, I have a synopsis to polish the heck out of…
-International Science Fiction reprints my Xuya novelette “Butterfly, Falling at Dawn”. Check out the rest of their fiction, too: they focus on non-Western-Anglophone authors, and they’ve got pretty cool stuff up already, including nice non-fiction articles.
requireshate: I want to respond to a few things Joyce brought up–the expectations for people like us to be exotic. I’m often questioned as to the authenticity of my identity, because to westerners I appear to be writing “just like them,” steeped in “North American culture” (when in truth I know almost nothing about North America!). This assumption comes about because the hegemony is so huge and pervasive that it becomes, itself, an invisible mass and the default assumption. Mostly, if you write in English and aren’t breaking into malapropisms or broken syntax constantly, you’re immediately assumed to be “one of them,” part of the western paradigm.
(also, because I know this is going to come up at some point, and it’d be hypocritical of me not to mention it: I’m well aware that I’m committing outsider narrative in Obsidian and Blood. I’m doing it for what I believe are good motives–out of interest for the Mexica, to rehabilitate a culture that got the really short end of the stick, and show a mindset that is radically different without descending into Barbaric cliché; I’m doing it in reasonably good conscience of the issues involved in cultural appropriation  ; but it doesn’t change the fact that my books are not insider depictions of 15th-Century Tenochtitlan. It doesn’t make them worthless or bad; but yes, you can totally argue that, as an outsider writing about that culture, in both time and space, I’m to some extent perpetuating an exoticism problem, and I won’t disagree! I did try my best, but I most probably stumbled in places.
Also, I most certainly do not advocate people should stop writing about other cultures. Just pointing out it’s a fraught subject)
 Complicated by the fact that this is a historical culture and not a present-day one–makes some issues simpler, makes other issues harder…
 To be fair, my conscience of those issues kind of improved over the trilogy, so I can see the cringy bits in Servant of the Underworld that I tried to smooth out by Master of the House of Darts
Still brainstorming the %% urban fantasy. Gotta figure out how to tie together a violent break-in and a fire at a middle school into the same plot… (preferably without having the same vilainous figure involved in both, because it’s such a cliché). On the plus side, I now have my romantic options for the MC figured, except there’s a pesky husband in the way… (I’m tempted to inflict random grievous bodily harm, but it feels like a copout).
I sent off everything for the Obsidian and Blood omnibus as well: all being well (haven’t heard back yet), the volume will contain all three Acatl short stories in addition to all three novels, a new Introduction by the author aka me, and a character index that was sadly missing from Master of the House of Darts. And I’m hoping we’ll be able to fix various egregious mistakes that were around in the text (as pointed out to me by translator extraordinaire Laurent Philibert-Caillat). So definitely worth investing if you’re a fan 😀
Misc other Obsidian and Blood news: Master of the House of Darts has been entered into Book Spot Central’s annual tournament, where books face off against each other. It’s in the same bracket as Patrick Rothfuss, Mira Grant, N.K. Jemisin and other powerhouses, so very much doubting it’ll get past the first round. But just in case… voting is March 13th-March 15th, I’ll try to post a reminder when it actually happens.
And Servant of the Underworld is book of the month over at Absolute Write Water Cooler’s Book study, so if you feel like discussing its merits (or lack thereof), feel free to hop on over to the thread and speak at length.
Meanwhile, we’re having stuffed zucchini with soy sauce, and I’m once again amused by the fact that, whenever we’re given a choice, the H uses the French/Western-shaped knives, whereas I feel much better when I have the santoku in my hands (I hate French knives, they feel all wrong, balance-wise).