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A blog about books and other things speculative

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The 33rd Arthur C. Clarke Award - Winner


The 33rd Arthur C. Clarke Award - Winner

Rosewater by Tade Thompson is the winner of the 33rd Arthur C. Clarke Award. The novel is published by Orbit in the UK and Orbit in the US.
The annual Arthur C. Clarke Award is given for the best science fiction novel first published in the United Kingdom during the previous year.


Rosewater
The Wormwood Trilogy 1
Orbit, September 18, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 432 pages

The 33rd Arthur C. Clarke Award - Winner
Tade Thompson’s Rosewater is the start of an award-winning, cutting edge trilogy set in Nigeria, by one of science fiction’s most engaging new voices.

*Nommo Award for Best Speculative Fiction Novel, winner
*Arthur C. Clarke Award for Best Science Fiction Novel, finalist

Rosewater is a town on the edge. A community formed around the edges of a mysterious alien biodome, its residents comprise the hopeful, the hungry and the helpless – people eager for a glimpse inside the dome or a taste of its rumored healing powers.

Kaaro is a government agent with a criminal past. He has seen inside the biodome, and doesn’t care to again — but when something begins killing off others like himself, Kaaro must defy his masters to search for an answer, facing his dark history and coming to a realization about a horrifying future.

The Wormwood Trilogy
Rosewater
The Rosewater Insurrection
The Rosewater Redemption


The 33rd Arthur C. Clarke Award - Winner
Book 2
March 12,2019
The 33rd Arthur C. Clarke Award - Winner
Book 3
October 15, 2019

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors


Here are some of the upcoming works by formerly featured Debut Author Challenge (DAC) Authors. The year in parentheses is the year the author was featured in the DAC.



Sebastien de Castell (2014)

Crownbreaker
Spellslinger 6
Orbit, December 10, 2019
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors
A failed mage learns that just because he’s not the chosen one it doesn’t mean he can’t be a hero in the sixth and final book of the adventure fantasy series that started with Spellslinger.


Spellslinger Series
Spellslinger
Shadowblack
Charmcaster
Soulbinder
Queenslayer
Crownbreaker

For more from Sebastien de Castell, check out:

The Greatcoats Quartet
Traitor’s Blade
Saint’s Blood
Knight’s Shadow
Tyrant’s Throne


Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors
Spellslinger 1
Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors
Spellslinger 2
Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors
Spellslinger 3
Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors
Spellslinger 4
Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors
Spellslinger 5





Linnea Hartsuyker (2017)

The Sea Queen
The Golden Wolf Saga 2
Harper Paperbacks, June 25, 2019
Trade Paperback, 480 pages
Hardcover and eBook, August 14, 2018

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors
An exhilarating Viking saga filled with the rich history, romantic adventure and political intrigue that have made Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander, George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones, as well as Phillippa Gregory’s historical fiction and Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology popular bestsellers. 

Six years after The Half-Drowned King, Ragnvald Eysteinsson is now king of Sogn, but fighting battles for King Harald keeps him away from home, as he confronts treachery and navigates a political landscape that grows more dangerous the higher he rises.

Ragnvald’s sister Svanhild has found the freedom and adventure she craves at the side of the rebel explorer Solvi Hunthiofsson, though not without a cost. She longs for a home where her quiet son can grow strong, and a place where she can put down roots, even as Solvi’s ambition draws him back to Norway’s battles again and keeps her divided from her brother.

As a growing rebellion unites King Harald’s enemies, Ragnvald suspects that some Norse nobles are not loyal to Harald’s dream of a unified Norway. He sets a plan in motion to defeat all of his enemies, and bring his sister back to his side, while Svanhild finds herself with no easy decisions, and no choices that will leave her truly free. Their actions will hold irrevocable repercussions for the fates of those they love and for Norway itself.

The Sea Queen returns to the fjords and halls of Viking-Age Scandinavia, a world of violence and prophecy, where honor is challenged by shifting alliances, and vengeance is always a threat to peace.



The Golden Wolf
The Golden Wolf Saga 3
Harper, August 13, 2019
Hardcover and eBook, 448 pages

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors
The fates of Ragnvald and his sister Svanhild unfold to their stunning conclusion in this riveting final volume in The Golden Wolf Saga, a trilogy that conjures the ancient world with the gripping detail, thrilling action, and vivid historical elements of Game of Thrones and Outlander.

Ragnvald has long held to his vision of King Harald as a golden wolf who will bring peace to Norway as its conqueror—even though he knows that Harald’s success will eventually mean his own doom. He is grateful to have his beloved sister, the fierce and independent Svanhild, once more at his side to help keep their kingdom secure. Free from the evil husband who used her, she is now one of Harald’s many wives.

While Svanhold is happy to be reunited with her beloved brother, and enjoys more freedom than ever before, she is restless and lonely. When an old enemy of Ragnvald’s kidnaps his niece, Freydis, his sister follows the daughter she has neglected to Iceland, where an old love awaits. This strange new land offers a life far different from what each has left behind, as well as unexpected challenges and choices.

Ragnvald, too, must contend with change. His sons—the gifted Einar, the princely Ivar, and the adventurous Rolli—are no longer children. Harald’s heirs have also grown up. Stepping back from his duties as king, he watches as his sons pursue their own ambitions. But Norway may no longer be large enough for so many would-be kings.

Now in their twilight years, these venerable men whose lives have been shaped by war must face another battle that awaits. A growing rebellion pits Ragnvald and his sons against enemies old and new, and a looming tragedy threatens to divide the hardened warrior from Harald and all who care for him. Across the sea, Svanhild, too, wrestles with a painful decision, risking the dissolution of her fragile new family as she desperately tries to save it.

Yet as old heroes fall, new heroes arise. For years, Ragnvald and Svanhild pursued the destinies bestowed by their ancient gods. Though the journey has cost them much, their sacrifices and dreams will be honored by the generations that follow, beginning with Freydis and Einar. Emerging from their parents’ long shadows, they have begun to carry on the family’s legacy while pursuing their own glorious fates.

This compelling conclusion to the Golden Wolf trilogy recreates Viking-age Scandinavia in all its danger, passion, power, and glory—a world of brutality and myth, loyalty and betrayal, where shifting alliances and vengeance can build kingdoms . . . and can tear them down.


Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors
The Golden Wolf Saga 1





Keith Thomas (2018)

Dahlia Black
Atria/Leopoldo & Co., August 13, 2019
Hardcover and eBook, 288 pages

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors
For fans of World War Z and the Southern Reach Trilogy, a suspenseful oral history commemorating the five-year anniversary of the Pulse—the alien code that hacked the DNA of Earth’s population—and the response team who faced the world-changing phenomenon.

Voyager 1 was a message in a bottle. Our way of letting the galaxy know we existed. That we were out here if anyone wanted to find us.

Over the next forty years, the probe flew past Jupiter and Saturn before it drifted into the void, swallowed up by a silent universe. Or so we thought…

Truth is, our message didn’t go unheard.

Discovered by Dr. Dahlia Black, the mysterious Pulse was sent by a highly intelligent intergalactic species that called themselves the Ascendants. It soon becomes clear this alien race isn’t just interested in communication—they are capable of rewriting human DNA, in an astonishing process they call the Elevation.

Five years after the Pulse, acclaimed journalist Keith Thomas sets out to make sense of the event that altered the world. Thomas travels across the country to interview members of the task force who grappled to decode the Pulse and later disseminated its exact nature to worried citizens. He interviews the astronomers who initially doubted Black’s discovery of the Pulse—an error that critics say led to the world’s quick demise. Thomas also hears from witnesses of the Elevation and people whose loved ones vanished in the Finality, an event that, to this day, continues to puzzle Pulse researchers, even though theories abound about the Ascendants’ motivation.

Including never-before-published transcripts from task force meetings, diary entries from Black, and candid interviews with Ballard, Thomas also shows in Dahlia Black how a select few led their country in its darkest hours, toward a new level of humanity.

2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Winner


The winner of the January 2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars is The Gutter Prayer by Gareth Hanrahan from Orbit with 63% of the votes. The cover art is by Richard Anderson.


The Gutter Prayer
The Black Iron Legacy 1
Orbit, January 22, 2019
Trade Paperback and eBook, 560 pages

2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Winner
A group of three young thieves are pulled into a centuries old magical war between ancient beings, mages, and humanity in this wildly original debut epic fantasy.

Enter a city of saints and thieves . . .

The city of Guerdon stands eternal. A refuge from the war that rages beyond its borders. But in the ancient tunnels deep beneath its streets, a malevolent power has begun to stir.

The fate of the city rests in the hands of three thieves. They alone stand against the coming darkness. As conspiracies unfold and secrets are revealed, their friendship will be tested to the limit. If they fail, all will be lost, and the streets of Guerdon will run with blood.

The Gutter Prayer is an epic tale of sorcerers and thieves, treachery and revenge, from a remarkable new voice in fantasy.





The Results

2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Winner





The January 2019 Debuts

2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January Winner

Interview with Anna Smith Spark, author of the Empires of Dust Trilogy


Please welcome Anna Smith Spark to The Qwillery. The Tower of Living and Dying, Empires of Dust 2, was published on August 7th by Orbit.



Interview with Anna Smith Spark, author of the Empires of Dust Trilogy




TQWelcome back to The Qwillery. Your new novel, The Tower of Living and Dying (Empire of Dust 2), was published on August 7th. Has your writing process changed (or not) from when you wrote The Court of Broken Knives (Empire of Dust 1) to now?

Anna:  Thank you so much for having me back!

Good question. The writing process for the two books was totally different. They were both incredibly interesting to write in very different ways.

The Court of Broken Knives was written in a mad blast over a year, with no thought of publication at all. It wasn’t even written as a novel, in fact – I sat down one day after not having written fiction for well over ten years, started writing and things came unstoppably vomited out. Men in a desert, heat, violence: I had no idea what was happening, who these people were, where they were, why. Then next thing I knew a dragon had turned up. It really wasn’t until I’d written maybe 50,000 words that I had any idea that I was writing a fantasy novel; I finally worked out what the book was about clearly in my mind, uh, when I came to edit it for final publication. It was a journey of discovery for me, a world to explore and a group of people revealing more of themselves as I travelled with them.

The Tower of Living and Dying was written after I had an agent and a book deal. So I was writing ‘book two of a big new fantasy trilogy’ with a plot synopsis I vaguely needed to follow, characters I knew inside out (virtually literally, in some cases), a world who’s geography I could follow on a beautiful map. There were far more limitations in some ways, I’d be cursing Sophie my amazing map artist for putting a river just here rather than a smidge more over there, suddenly things like a character’s family background, life goals, chances of surviving the next twenty pages with a head and at least one working limb, were rather more fixed. And I had my editors’ voices whispering in my ears: ‘that’s not a commercial move to do that’, ‘that’s not persuasive motivation’, ‘no no no no no we’ve literally just discussed this as a problem in book one’.

But – the confidence! The joyous pleasure of feeling ‘I’m a writer! A writer! Me! So ... I can write!’ After a lifetime of not having much confidence in myself, mental health problems, a depressing day job stretching on into eternity as my one purpose in life, suddenly I was a writer with people saying very nice things about my writing. The confidence to really explore how far I can go with it, push my prose to the limits. I knew I could do it. The Tower of Living and Dying was a sculpture in a block of marble, in there waiting for me to hack it out. Perhaps it wasn’t as exhilarating as a whole as writing The Court of Broken Knives, finding out that I could write every day as I wrote. Certainly it was more exhausting. But it felt more stable. In the end I think it produced a stronger result.

Book three, however, is bloody killing me. The one thing about the kind of reviews I’m getting is the amount of pressure they pile on for book three.

What’s that sound I can hear? Is it your heart bleeding for me as you read this? Please don’t feel you need to cry for me either, it’s getting your computer all wet. But you have no idea how tough it is. It’s right up there with ‘I’m struggling to find ways to spend my money’, ‘the thing about being this beautiful is how difficult it is to get my PhD supervisor to take me seriously’ and ‘I have a metabolic condition where I lose more weight the more chocolate I eat’ as a tragic but often misunderstood life problem. It’s hard but I’m heroically trying to cope.

Seriously, I am humbled and awed and wonderstruck by the response to The Court of Broken Knives and The Tower of Living and Dying. It’s difficult to put into words how it feels when I get a good review, how grateful I am when people say they’ve bought my book. I regularly cry when I hear from people who enjoyed it, then phone my dad to tell him and he cries too. But the pressure I feel not to disappoint people is pretty intense now. Book three is the end of the story, the summation of the ideas I’ve explored in the first two books, the culmination of my and my readers’ hopes, potentially the last book of mine people buy and the last book I write for HarperVoyager and Orbit. So … no pressure there.



TQWhat do you wish that you knew about book publishing when The Court of Broken Knives came out that you know now?

Anna:  Hmmm… I know a lot about the publishing industry anyway, to be honest, my father is a writer and small-press publisher, as are many of his friends, I have several old family friends who work in publishing, journalism, arts administration and so on. Also I did a PhD, so the process of structural editing, the polite comment that asks you to entirely recast the structure of the book, was nothing new to me. I rather enjoy being edited, actually, it’s familiar, and nice to have someone telling you what to write for a bit. Also if everyone hates that bit I can feel vindicated at my editor.



TQDescribe The Tower of Living and Dying using only 5 words.

Anna:  War sorrow landscapes beauty death.



TQWhich character in the Empires of Dust series (so far) surprised you the most? Who has been the hardest character to write and why?

Anna:  Another good question. One I think about a lot.

Marith is always the hardest character to write because he is both the depths of my soul and the one great love of my life. He gets out of control and has to be reined in to make him readable, I have to check myself to try to understand him in the way we have to try to understand ourselves sometimes. It can feel very raw writing something that intensely about parts of myself and feelings I’ve had. He is toxic and vile, I’ve fallen into the fucked up romantic trap so many times myself and it’s important to make clear that he’s poison. But the lure of what he offers, him as something attractive despite or because of it, a leader, a dreamer, why people might follow him … that has to be important too. So many times, over and over, people have followed to the bitter end. Some blithely, some pitifully, some out of their own evil, some horribly aware of how fucked up it is. Trying to embody any of that in a character is emotionally draining.

I have to rein him in for other reasons too, reminding myself I’m writing grimdark fantasy not, uh, the other kind of fantasy. Although several people have said they’d love to read some of the other kind of fantasy about him and Carin, so…

Raeta was one of those delightful surprise characters that hit you from nowhere, more like the experience of writing The Court of Broken Knives had been. She really came out of nowhere at me, and I fell deeply in love with her. She was originally introduced as a very minor cameo role for a friend of mine in Broken Knives and blossomed from there.

Also, the increasing depth of heart and humanity I find in Bil Emmereth as she opens herself up to me as Orhan more is delighting me.



TQPlease give us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from The Tower of Living and Dying.

Anna:

Out of the chaos an army forming, eight thousand men armed and ready, horses, ships, supplies. Tearing its way to life like a child birthing. Coalescing like bronze in the forge.


We worship the sky and the trees and the earth and the sea and the rocks we walk on. We dream of light and shadows and the glory of something far greater, the old wild powers of the world. Gods and demons parading. The secret things we cannot see that fly somewhere far beyond our human eyes.


Salt-soaked pitch-soaked well-seasoned damp wood is … astonishing when it explodes.



TQThe Empires of Dust series is grimdark fantasy. Are there any other genres / subgenres in which you'd like to write? If not, why not?

Anna:  At the moment, I can’t see myself writing anything other than high fantasy in one form or another. I love reading and writing fantasy, writing wonders and magic and epic war is so much damned fun. And there’s so much of Irlast I still need to explore.

There’s a lot of the stupid snobbery around ‘literary writing’ doesn’t apply in the same way it does in fantasy. It makes me so incredibly angry that literary fantasy is dismissed as a non-sequitur. Literary science fiction is a given, as is literary historical fiction. But literary fantasy is ignored. In as much as I have any goal in my writing now beyond writing for the joy of it, I want to treat the rarefied path of literary fantasy and see just how far I can take it. Explore the horrors of the human soul, the heights of love, the depths of grief, the riches of mundane life, push the language of modernism and archaicism, play delicious language games … with magic swords and chainmail bikinis and dragons.



TQWhat is the best piece of writing advice you've been given?

Anna:  My father has a postcard on his desk that says ‘You must write as if your life depended on it’. I grew up looking at it. All it really means, in the end, is WRITE. Don’t wait for the right time and place, or think you’re not good enough. Don’t write for others. Don’t think about ‘will this sell? Is this good?’. Just write without restrictions on yourself.



TQWhat advice would you give to a debut author?

Anna:  Honestly? You’re nothing special. You’ve written one book. Unless you’re J K Rowling or E L James, your life is not going to be forever changed. All that’s changed is that you’ve got the pressure of having a deadline for your next book.

Even more honestly? You’re really nothing special. No matter how many books you go on to write. If I ever find myself approaching book bloggers and review sites like this one with anything other than humility awe and gratitude, if I ever stop pinching myself in wonder every time anyone asks me what I do and I can say ‘author’, if I ever stop feeling like I’m going to weep for joy when someone says they liked my book, I need to stop writing for publication immediately.



TQWhat's next?

Anna:  Killing myself wrestling book three into submission. It’s either the book or me. Indeed, by the time this is published, it may well have been me. Ave, Imperator, morituri te salutant. Then …. who knows? I would love to write more novels set in Irlast, exploring other voices and perspectives on things. There’s a whole world there to explore, the landscapes, the people; Irlast is ultimately a map of my subconscious so I don’t see myself abandoning it any time soon. I’ve written several short stories set in Irlast, for the forthcoming Rogues, Legends III and Unbound II anthologies. Beyond that, it’s with the gods. I’ve been pouring libations to Apollo and Calliope daily.


TQThank you for joining us again at The Qwillery.





The Tower of Living and Dying
Empires of Dust 2
Orbit, July 24, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 480 pages

Interview with Anna Smith Spark, author of the Empires of Dust Trilogy
A powerhouse story of bloodshed, ambition, and fate, The Tower of Living and Dying is a continuation of Anna Smith Spark’s brilliant Empires of Dust trilogy, which began with The Court of Broken Knives.

Marith has been a sellsword, a prince, a murderer, a demon, and dead. But something keeps bringing him back to life, and now there is nothing stopping him from taking back the throne that is rightfully his.

Thalia, the former high priestess, remains Marith’s only tenuous grasp to whatever goodness he has left. His left hand and his last source of light, Thalia still believes that the power that lies within him can be used for better ends. But as more forces gather beneath Marith’s banner, she can feel her influence slipping.

Read the second book in this “gritty and glorious!” (Miles Cameron) epic fantasy series reminiscent of Joe Abercrombie and Mark Lawrence where the exiled son of a king fights to reclaim his throne no matter the cost.

Empires of Dust
The Court of Broken Knives
The Tower of Living and Dying





Previously

The Court of Broken Knives
Empires of Dust 1
Orbit, August 15, 2017
    Trade Paperback, 512 pages
Orbit, June 27, 2017
    eBook, 512 pages

Interview with Anna Smith Spark, author of the Empires of Dust Trilogy
Perfect for fans of Mark Lawrence and R Scott Bakker, The Court of Broken Knives is the explosive debut by one of grimdark fantasy’s most exciting new voices.

Shortlisted for the British Fantasy Award for Best Novel
Shortlisted for the David Gemmell Morningstar Award


It is the richest empire the world has ever known, and it is also doomed–but only one man can see it.

Haunted by prophetic dreams, Orhan has hired a company of soldiers to cross the desert to reach the capital city. Once they enter the palace, they have one mission: kill the emperor, then all those who remain. Only from the ashes can a new empire be built.

The company is a group of good, ordinary soldiers for whom this is a mission like any other. But the strange boy Marith who walks among them is no ordinary soldier. Though he is young, ambitious, and impossibly charming, something dark hides in Marith’s past–and in his blood.

Dive into this new fantasy series for readers looking for epic battle scenes, gritty heroes, and blood-soaked revenge.





About Anna

Interview with Anna Smith Spark, author of the Empires of Dust Trilogy
Anna Smith Spark is the author of the critically acclaimed grimdark epic fantast trilogy Empires of Dust. The David Gemmell Awards shortlisted The Court of Broken Knives is out now with HarperVoyager/Orbit; The Tower of Living and Dying will be published August 2018.

Anna lives in London, UK. She loves grimdark and epic fantasy and historical military fiction. Anna has a BA in Classics, an MA in history and a PhD in English Literature. She has previously been published in the Fortean Times and the poetry website www.greatworks.org. Previous jobs include petty bureaucrat, English teacher and fetish model.

Anna’s favourite authors and key influences are R. Scott Bakker, Steve Erikson, M. John Harrison, Ursula Le Guin, Mary Stewart and Mary Renault.  She spent several years as an obsessive D&D player. She can often be spotted at sff conventions wearing very unusual shoes.

Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter @queenofgrimdark

Interview with Rich Larson, author of Annex



Please welcome Rich Larson to The Qwillery as part of the 2018 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Annex was published on July 24th by Orbit.



Interview with Rich Larson, author of Annex




TQWelcome to The Qwillery. What is the first piece you remember writing?

Rich:  Glad to be here. Before I could actually read or write, I would sometimes get my older sisters to transcribe the stories I liked to tell them. The earliest one I can remember involved pyramids, hot air balloons, sword fights, gun fights, King Tut and Spider-Man.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Rich:  I write by the seat of my pants, which is fine for short stories but potentially disastrous for novels.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Rich:  I think the most challenging thing for me is actually sitting down and getting the words out. It's very easy to procrastinate without a boss or an office. I'm procrastinating right now, actually, by answering these interview questions.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Rich:  Lots of stuff. A few authors include Kenneth Oppel, Megan Whalen Turner, K.A. Applegate and William Nicholson. A few specific works include Til We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis and Feed by M.T. Anderson.



TQDescribe Annex with only 5 words.

Rich:  Kids fighting aliens -- darker Animorphs.



TQTell us something about Annex that is not found in the book description.

Rich:  It's actually pretty good.



TQWhat inspired you to write Annex? What appeals to you about writing Science Fiction?

Rich:  The aesthetic of the ruined city and floating biomechanical pods was something that came to me while I was high around Christmas time several years ago. The character of Violet was from an old unfinished post-apocalyptic short story with parasitic zombies. Those two elements both went into a short story called "Mother Mother," which never saw publication and eventually spun out into Annex, which is more or less a love letter to the books I loved as a kid, including Animorphs, The Thief Lord, Shade's Children, Coraline and A Series of Unfortunate Events.

I write science fiction because it lets me be extremely creative and because I've always liked wondering about the future. I feel like it can do anything literary fiction can do, but also do it on the Moon, which is much better.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for Annex?

Rich:  Not a whole lot of research was required for the setting, since it's a fictional amalgamation of a couple different cities I've lived in. For the characters, details about Violet's transition came from reading people's personal stories and anecdotes on Reddit, whereas Bo's memories of Niger were basically my own. I did have to get my dad to check my Hausa spelling.



TQPlease tell us about the cover for Annex.

Rich:  Gregory Manchess did the cover, and it looks good as hell. The texture really pops in real life.



TQIn Annex who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Rich:  I'd say Bo was easiest, because his motivation is very simple: he wants to rescue his sister. Hardest was Violet, and I already know there are some things I'll do better in the next book.



TQDoes Annex touch on any social issues?

RichAnnex touches on issues that to me are personal -- outsiderhood, family, loneliness -- but might bleed into the social as well.



TQWhich question about Annex do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Rich:  I wish someone would ask me to autograph it. I will. I'll totally autograph it.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from Annex.

Rich:  This is from a conversation between Violet and one of the invaders in their virtual reality:

"If you were adrift in the ocean with no home to return to, and you found the only island in that ocean that you could make into a home, what would you do?" her not-mom asked, voice grating. "If there were animals on the island, simple apes with simple tools, what would you do? Would you keep sailing and sailing until you were dead?"

Violet paused. Thought about it. "No," she said. "But when an ape bashed my head in with a rock, I'd know I had it coming."



TQWhat's next?

Rich:  I'm supposed to turn in the sequel to Annex this October -- it's going very slowly and painfully right now -- and at the end of October my debut short story collection Tomorrow Factory will be coming out from Talos Press. Before then, in terms of short stories, I'll have a near-future tragedy in Analog and a West African military cyberpunk type story in Tor.com.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Rich:  Thanks for having me! If anyone is interested in finding free stories / supporting my work, drop by patreon.com/richlarson.





Annex
The Violet Wars 1
Orbit, July 24, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

Interview with Rich Larson, author of Annex
In Rich Larson’s astonishing debut Annex, two young kids are the only ones who can fight off the alien invasion.

“A thrilling and imaginative entry into the alien invasion genre with two fierce and desperate young protagonists you won’t be able to stop rooting for.”–Fonda Lee, Nebula-nominated author of Jade City

When the aliens invade, all seems lost. The world as they know it is destroyed. Their friends are kidnapped. Their families are changed.

But with no adults left to run things, young trans-girl Violet and her new friend Bo realize that they are free to do whatever they want to to do and be whoever they want to be.

Except the invaders won’t leave them alone for long…

This thrilling debut by one of the most acclaimed short form writers in science fiction tells the story of two young outsiders who must find a way to fight back against the aliens who have taken over their city.





About Rich

Rich Larson was born in Galmi, Niger, has studied in Rhode Island and worked in the south of Spain, and now lives in Ottawa, Canada. Since he began writing in 2011, he’s sold over a hundred stories, the majority of them speculative fiction published in magazines like Asimov’s, Analog, Clarkesworld, F&SF, Lightspeed, and Tor.com. His work appears in numerous Year’s Best anthologies and has been translated into Chinese, Vietnamese, Polish, French and Italian.

Annex, his debut novel and first book of The Violet Wars trilogy, comes out in July 2018 from Orbit Books. Tomorrow Factory, his debut collection, follows in October 2018 from Talos Press. Besides writing, he enjoys travelling, learning languages, playing soccer, watching basketball, shooting pool, and dancing salsa and kizomba.

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Coming in October

The Tomorrow Factory: Collected Fiction
Talos, October 16, 2018
Hardcover, Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

Interview with Rich Larson, author of Annex
Twenty-three stories from one of speculative fiction’s up-and-coming stars, Pushcart and Journey Prize-nominated author Rich Larson.

Welcome to the Tomorrow Factory.

On your left, post-human hedonists on a distant space station bring diseases back in fashion, two scavengers find a super-powered parasite under the waves of Sunk Seattle, and a terminally-ill chemist orchestrates an asteroid prison break.

On your right, an alien optometrist spins illusions for irradiated survivors of the apocalypse, a high-tech grifter meets his match in near-future Thailand, and two teens use a blackmarket personality mod to get into the year’s wickedest, wildest party.

This collection of published and original fiction by award-winning writer Rich Larson will bring you from a Bujumbura cyberpunk junkyard to the icy depths of Europa, from the slick streets of future-noir Chicago to a tropical island of sapient robots. You'll explore a mysterious ghost ship in deep space, meet an android learning to dream, and fend off predatory alien fungi on a combat mission gone wrong.

Twenty-three futures, ranging from grimy cyberpunk to far-flung space opera, are waiting to blow you away.

So step inside the Tomorrow Factory, and mind your head.

Review: Torn by Rowena Miller


Torn
Author:  Rowenna Miller
Series:  The Unraveled Kingdom 1
Publisher:  Orbit, March 20, 2018
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 480 pages
List Price:  US$15.99 (print);  US$12.99 (eBook)
ISBN:   9780316478625 (print); 9780316478618 (eBook)

Review: Torn by Rowena Miller
TORN is the first book in an enchanting debut fantasy series featuring a seamstress who stitches magic into clothing, and the mounting political uprising that forces her to choose between her family and her ambitions, for fans of The Queen of the Tearling.

In a time of revolution, everyone must take a side.

Sophie, a dressmaker and charm caster, has lifted her family out of poverty with a hard-won reputation for beautiful ball gowns and discreetly embroidered spells. A commission from the royal family could secure her future — and thrust her into a dangerous new world.

Revolution is brewing. As Sophie’s brother, Kristos, rises to prominence in the growing anti-monarchist movement, it is only a matter of time before their fortunes collide.

When the unrest erupts into violence, she and Kristos are drawn into a deadly magical plot. Sophie is torn — between her family and her future.



Doreen’s Thoughts

Rowenna Miller does an excellent job portraying the balancing act that her protagonist, Sophie, performs between the haves and the have-nots. Seemingly based on the French Revolution, Torn focuses on a young dressmaker who also can cast spells into the clothing that she sews. As a shopkeeper, Sophie deals with the upper class and the aristocracy and employs two other shopgirls. However, her brother, Kristos, is one of the leaders of the growing disenfranchised who wish to overthrow a government that fosters such great inequities as currently exist between the rich and the poor.

Viewed as an artist for her charm skills, Sophie is invited by a member of the aristocracy to join an intellectual and artistic salon. Sophie is intrigued by the intelligent discourse and the artistic works they celebrate. She meets Theodor, who happens to be in line as an heir to the throne. She also learns more about the aristocratic world and why/how they happen to think, making her more convinced than ever to remain neutral.

To force Sophie to utilize her spell-casting skills on behalf of the revolution, the group kidnaps and threatens her brother’s life. She is forced to support a cause that she understands but does not embrace, twisting her gift to cast curses rather than positive spells. As revolutionary talk sparks into violence, Sophe is trapped with Theodor and her salon friends as the palace itself is attacked. She is forced once again to choose between continuing to help the revolutionaries or confessing to her new love and endangering her brother’s life.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story, especially the touch of magic added by the spell-casting through sewing. Miller does a terrific job of making each side in the conflict equally compelling and sympathetic, leading the reader to understand Sophie’s reluctance to take a position. The characters were well written, and the twist at the end is perfectly believable. Torn is a strong beginning to The Unraveled Kingdom Trilogy.

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors


Here are some of the upcoming works by formerly featured DAC Authors. The year in parentheses is the year the author was featured in the DAC.


Sebastien de Castell (2014)

Spellslinger
Spellslinger 1
Orbit, July 17, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 432 pages

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors
A would-be mage with no magic of his own has to defeat powerful enemies with only cunning and deception in the first book of an exciting adventure fantasy series from Sebastien de Castell.

Kellen is moments away from facing his first duel and proving his worth as a spellcaster. There’s just one problem: his magic is fading.

Facing exile unless he can pass the mage trials, Kellen is willing to risk everything – even his own life – in search of a way to restore his magic. But when the enigmatic Ferius Parfax arrives in town, she challenges him to take a different path.

One of the elusive Argosi, Ferius is a traveller who lives by her wits and the cards she carries. Daring, unpredictable, and wielding magic Kellen has never seen before, she may be his only hope.

The first novel in a compelling six-book series, bursting with tricks, humor, and a whole new way to look at magic.



Shadowblack
Spellsplinger 2
Orbit, August 21, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors
A failed mage turned outlaw must use guile and a handful of spells to challenge a dangerous rival in the second book of an exciting adventure fantasy series from Sebastien de Castell.

With a death sentence hanging over his head, Kellen is forced to abandon his clan and his home. Living as an outlaw, he relies on his wits and allies, the mysterious wanderer Ferius and thieving squirrel cat Reiches, to survive the unforgiving borderlands.

Then he meets Seneira, a young woman cursed with a deadly plague by a ruthless mage. Similarly afflicted Kellen is compelled to help, and it’s not long before he’s entangled in a conspiracy of magic, blackmail and murder. Loyalties are tested as Kellen races to find the mage responsible before he can claim any more victims

The second novel in a compelling six-book series, bursting with tricks, humor, and a whole new way to look at magic.



Charmcaster
Spellslinger 3
Orbit, September 18, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 448 pages

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors
A failed mage learns that just because he’s not the chosen one it doesn’t mean he can’t be a hero in the third book of a new adventure fantasy series from Sebastien de Castell.



Soulbinder
Spellslinger 4
Orbit, October 23, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors
A failed mage learns that just because he’s not the chosen one it doesn’t mean he can’t be a hero in the fourth book of a new adventure fantasy series from Sebastien de Castell.





Sean Grigsby (2018)

Daughters of Forgotten Light
Angry Robot Books, September 4, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors
A floating prison is home to Earth’s unwanted people, where they are forgotten… but not yet dead, in this wild science fiction adventure.

Deep space penal colony Oubliette, population: scum. Lena “Horror” Horowitz leads the Daughters of Forgotten Light, one of three vicious gangs fighting for survival on Oubliette. Their fragile truce is shaken when a new shipment arrives from Earth carrying a fresh batch of prisoners and supplies to squabble over. But the delivery includes two new surprises: a drone, and a baby. Earth Senator Linda Dolfuse wants evidence of the bloodthirsty gangs to justify the government finally eradicating the wasters dumped on Oubliette. There’s only one problem: the baby in the drone’s video may be hers.

File Under: Science Fiction [ Banged Up |Out of Mind |Girls Gone Bad | Moppet in Space ]





Tristan Palmgren (2018)

Terminus
Angry Robot Books, November 6, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors
Operatives from an advanced alien culture struggle to survive in medieval Italy, in the SF sequel to the astonishing Quietus.

The transdimensional empire, the Unity, has dissolved. Its rulers and agents have been exiled, stranded across a thousand planes of existence. Empires don’t die gladly. The living planarship Ways and Means has ended the Black Death ravaging medieval Europe, but it has bigger plans for Earth. Someone is trying to kill former Unity agent Osia. Spy-turned-anthropologist Meloku becomes a target, too, when she catches the planarship hiding the extent of its meddling. While they fight to survive, Fiametta – Italian soldier, mercenary, and heretical preacher – raises an army and a religious revolt, aiming to split her world in half.

File Under: Science Fiction [ Last Throes | The Saviour | Let It Burn | Crisis of Faith ]

Interview with Leo Carew, author of The Wolf


Please welcome Leo Carew to The Qwillery as part of the 2018 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Wolf was published on April 3rd by Orbit Books.



Interview with Leo Carew, author of The Wolf




TQWelcome to The Qwillery. What is the first piece you remember writing?

Leo:  Thank you for having me!

I first remember writing a piece of school creative writing homework when I was about 10. It was about an alien escaping from a lab which ends up being captured by an heroic policeman. My teacher was very pleased, and ended up reading it out to the class. As someone who’d not done very well at school up until that point, it was a big moment for me, and pretty much the day I decided I wanted to be a writer.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Leo:  I’m a big plotter. I know exactly what the end of my story is going to be, and have a very clear idea of where I’m going when I sit down to write every day. But very often when I get where I planned to, I realise that there was a better route there, or another twist, or an idea I hadn’t thought of, and go back and change it. I’m not sure I’d ever have been able to write before word-processors. Apart from the fact I’m dyspraxic (so nobody could read it) my whole style is based on quick progress, and then painstaking revision!



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Leo:  Trying to muster the energy for it. I get very emotionally involved in my writing. When I can’t do that (most days, realistically) it doesn’t feel good. That’s been a big part of the transition from writing as an amateur, to writing for a contract. As an amateur, I only needed to do it when I was really compelled to. Doing it on demand requires producing the words even when you don’t want to, and I always have a suspicion that they’re less good.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing? How does having a degree in Biological Anthropology influence your writing?

Leo:  My main literary influences are historical fiction, like Bernard Cornwell and Hillary Mantel. I love their ability to submerge you in an alternate world you can feel and smell, and very much wanted that for The Wolf. Philip Pullman is also a literary touchstone – I love his work, especially his characters.

Biological Anthropology was another huge inspiration. The book features several different kinds of human, and I leant quite heavily on analogous species like the Neanderthals in trying to imagine how they might have behaved differently from us. For example, it’s been thought for ages (incorrectly, in my view) that Neanderthals had an inferior ability to understand symbols. I gave that to the Anakim because it had some interesting consequences. It would mean that they’d be unlikely to develop writing, and their art would be very different (if not non-existent). And the consequences of that might make for quite a unique society.



TQDescribe The Wolf in 140 characters or less.

Leo:  Several species of human have survived the Ice Age, and coexist in an uneasy peace, shattered by an ambitious upstart.



TQTell us something about The Wolf that is not found in the book description.

Leo:  The protagonist, Roper, is inspired by the explorer Ernest Shackleton. His right-hand man, Gray, is inspired by another explorer named Bill Wilson.



TQWhat inspired you to write The Wolf? What appeals to you about writing Epic Fantasy?

Leo:  I really loved my studies in biological anthropology, and the thought of all these alien cultures which once coexisted. I very much wanted to explore what that might have been like, and there were a lot of themes I wanted to look at too. What it means to be human, the importance of identity, self-transcendence, leadership, responsibility and what pressure does to people and groups.

In general, I think about things in quite broad terms, and am most interested in the consequences for a society, rather than an individual. Change to a society creates all kinds of ripples and unforeseen consequences, and epic fantasy lets me play with those big themes.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Wolf?

Leo:  My biggest piece of research was probably related to names. I hate making up names, and also think it can make a story pretty impenetrable if you fill it with completely made-up words. I also wasn’t writing a full fantasy – I think of it more as an alternate history. Lots of the names therefore come from real places or cultures in our world, but an earlier or slightly different version of them, because the survival of the Anakim has modified the way history played out. Some kingdoms which were lost ended up surviving, or fracturing or unifying differently to the timeline we inhabit.

Otherwise, I was already quite well versed on the broad points of human species and the Ice Age from my degree. I’ve also been working on this series for so long, that I’ve picked up bits and pieces of history (largely from a lot of wonderfully-researched historical fiction) and integrated them along the way.



TQPlease tell us about the cover for The Wolf.

Leo:  Isn’t it wonderful? It’s the work of Patrick Insole and Lee Gibbons. It’s a splendidly striking image, and depicts the Silver Wolf’s Head, which is the banner of our protagonist, Roper. I particularly like it because the Anakim have a very abstract attitude to art, and I think it captures some of that.



TQIn The Wolf who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Leo:  The easiest character to write is a sprinter named Pryce. He lives entirely in the moment and couldn’t care less about the opinions of others. His behavior is quite close to how my worst instincts tempt me to act, so he came very naturally!

The hardest is probably a queen called Aramilla. She is very subtle and manipulative, and I have to put a lot of thought into her lines to avoid making them too obvious and caricatured. Genuinely manipulative people can be very skillful and that’s a hard thing to replicate.



TQWhich question about The Wolf do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

LeoWhy does the map of Albion look so different to modern Britain? Well thank you for asking… The entire book starts from the premise that the climate stayed a bit cooler after the last Ice Age. This meant sea-levels didn’t rise to the same extent, and created favourable conditions for multiple species of human to survive the Ice Age, and also a lot of fun Ice Age megafauna. The different outline of Albion is because the lower sea levels reveal more of the coastline, and the likes of Doggerland (Yawland in the book) are still exposed. I did so much research for this, I just had to tell somebody!



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from The Wolf.

Leo:  I like this one, which is a description of how it felt for one of the main characters to visit the land of the Anakim, beyond the river Abus:

‘I cannot rest from that place. It is haunting me. Since I came back, I have felt like I am in a dream. It is as though I am living in a faint reflection of the world beyond the Abus. Everything is so soft, so easy. So flat. Up there, I felt awake for the first time in my life. Every tree; every hill and stream and word and footstep seemed more significant. I have to go back.’



TQWhat's next?

Leo:  I’ve just finished the first draft of the sequel to The Wolf. I’m going to Greenland to get some fairly serious distance from the manuscript, which I hope we’ll have ready for this time next year.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Leo:  My pleasure, thanks so much for having me!





The Wolf
Under the Northern Sky 1
Orbit, April 3, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook,400 pages

Interview with Leo Carew, author of The Wolf
Violence and death come to the land under the Northern Sky when two fierce races break their age-old fragile peace and start an all-out war in this thrilling and savagely visceral epic fantasy.

Ready or not, Roper has been thrust into a position of leadership that he's woefully ill prepared for. Now, a massive army approaches from the south, old allies turn against him, and new rivals seek to undermine his rule. Facing attack from within and without, Roper must forge reckless alliances, no matter the cost, to save his kingdom.

Bellamus is a brash but capable southern general, a commoner with the rare honor of having the discreet support of the Queen. Rising quickly from the minor ranks he was born into, Bellamus leads the march on the North. Victory means glory, power, and the favor of the king, but defeat promises much worse than disgrace.

A tale of war, rivalry, and honor, The Wolf creates a world that is both familiar and uncanny - one where the fiercest enemies are always closer than they seem.

Under the Northern Sky
The Wolf





About Leo

Leo Carew is a 26-year-old Cambridge graduate of Biological Anthropology, currently studying medicine. Apart from writing, his real passion is exploration, which led him to spend a year living in a tent in the High Arctic, where he trained and worked as an Arctic guide. The Wolf is his first novel.


Website  ~  Twitter @leocarew1

Interview with Rowenna Miller, author of Torn


Please welcome Rowenna Miller to The Qwillery as part of the 2018 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Torn was published on March 20th by Orbit.



Interview with Rowenna Miller, author of Torn




TQWelcome to The Qwillery. What is the first fiction piece you remember writing?

Rowenna:  I was probably about four or five and couldn’t actually write on my own yet, so I dictated a story to my mom and then illustrated it. I think it was about ponies. I’m sorry, Mom.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Rowenna:  Somewhere in between. I know where the story is heading, the basic plot points, and, probably most importantly for me, the major conflicts, themes, and character developments. I usually write a couple of guiding documents for myself—a short summary (like a book jacket blurb) that distills the main arc of the novel (who wants what, what’s in their way, what complicates their plans) and a longer synopsis that hits the major plot points and how the characters intersect and develop. If I can write both of those, I know I have a dynamic and productive enough idea that there’s a book there, but I’m pretty open to surprises.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Rowenna:  Right now, just carving out enough time! I have two small children and, just in case anyone hasn’t told you, kids keep you kinda busy, especially when one is a baby. I don’t say “finding time,” because if you wait to find it, you never will, but scheduling enough time while still staying flexible and able to drop everything for a writing sprint if I do happen to discover a free half hour is a challenge. At the same time, writing is my happy place, so it’s worth it.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Rowenna:  As a kid, I read a ton—the Prydain Chronicles, Tamora Pierce, The Chronicles of Narnia—but I also explored a lot. I was lucky to grow up in the country with trees and hills and permissive parents who didn’t limit my exploration of our little slice of forest…or the neighbors’. I also was (and remain) fascinated by history, and love digging into the history of more ordinary people—women’s history, the lives of marginalized people, military history (not the generals or the campaigns but the average soldier). Between being encouraged to explore and then exploring history with the eye of a bibliophile—there are stories everywhere, and that is probably the strongest guide in my writing.



TQDescribe Torn in 140 characters or less.

Rowenna:  As revolution threatens her city, a magic-wielding seamstress must choose between family and ambition.



TQTell us something about Torn that is not found in the book description.

Rowenna:  Sophie has a lot to lose, as revolution threatens her business just as it’s begun to take off. As the story opens, she develops a professional relationship that grows into friendship with a very influential noble, who (along with giving her business some nice commissions) invites her to take part in her exclusive salon. The concept of a gathering place to discuss ideas was based on the historical practice from the Enlightenment. It’s like book club on steroids meets those late night talks in your college dorm’s common room, and the most interesting part (to me) is that the development of salons in eighteenth century France was heavily influenced by women, who hosted and guided conversation at these gatherings.



TQYou've created an innovative magic system. Please tell us about it.

Rowenna:  The magical system in Torn is not widely practiced in the culture it occupies, and what’s more, isn’t widely respected, partially because, in the nation Sophie lives, it’s a practice imported by immigrants. In it, practitioners can imbue physical items with charms for good fortune (or, as Sophie is adamant about avoiding, curses for bad luck). However, it’s not terribly powerful magic as practiced by most casters, and it’s considered by the majority of the people to be a superstition. (It’s very loosely inspired by ancient Roman curse tablets.)



TQWhat inspired you to write Torn? What appeals to you about writing Fantasy?

Rowenna:  I am a historical costumer and living history nerd, and was researching late eighteenth century jackets called “caraco.” It’s a really interesting time, sartorially speaking, and we have many fashion plates and extant garments that survive to study and learn from. As I was digging into a set of fashion plates, I realized that they were produced in the years leading up to and during the French Revolution—and found myself wondering, if a seamstress could influence the outcome of major world events, how would she? I think that’s what appeals to me about writing fantasy—that “what if?” question, and the ability to think about the “real world” through a different lens.



TQIn Torn who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Rowenna:  Sophie and Kristos (sister and brother), especially the two of them together, were probably the easiest to write. Creating their characters and their interpersonal conflict happened in tandem and developed very organically. Quite a few central character traits emerged and were refined by writing their arguments! Oddly, one of the hardest things for me with this project was managing the “background characters”—the other charmcasters Sophie knows, her shop assistants, the nobles she meets. Secondary and tertiary characters are important, and it was important to me that they feel like real people, which is difficult to do when they only appear for short sections of text!



TQWhy have you chosen to include or not chosen to include social issues in Torn?

Rowenna:  The major conflict in the novel is a proletariat revolt, so social issues were a given! The system that Kristos and his peers are fighting against is clearly unjust, placing economic and legal power solely in the hands of the nobility. However, it was important to me to write a story with more nuance than the good guys fighting the evil empire. The nobles aren’t entirely blind to their privileged place in the system, but many honestly believe that they are using their wealth and power to benefit everyone. Even Sophie benefits from this system in many ways. The concept of “good” people still benefiting from and contributing to an unjust system felt very relevant to me right now. It’s uncomfortable, but I wanted to write something a little uncomfortable.



TQPlease tell us about the cover for Torn.

Rowenna:  I was totally surprised and blown away by the cover! The artists at Orbit created a gorgeous and evocative image—a silhouette in sewing needles that suggests mounting danger. Love it.



TQWhich question about Torn do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Rowenna:  Though “historical accuracy” in sewing arts is central to the book, are there inaccuracies?

YES! There are several small liberties taken, particularly that styles of gowns overlap one anther here in ways they didn’t historically, at least not fashionably so. The biggest deliberate inaccuracy for me was that I didn’t want this world to have a whaling industry. Whalebone (baleen) was widely used to build corsets in the eighteenth century (and whale oil and ambergris were major commodities, too), but hey, it’s my world, I got to create it, and whaling just makes me sad, so nope. So any place whalebone might be used, I imagined a lightweight metal (not accurate) substitute. This barely shows up in the text—a court gown is described as having metal in the foundation garments—but it was important to me.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from Torn.

Rowenna:

“There was a feeling, too, that welled within me when the process was working just right. A kind of deep-seated happiness, simple but complete, like the feeling that came with seeing a baby laugh or smelling fresh-baked apple pie or hearing soft rainfall on the roof. And though I was tired—and hungry—after working on a charm for a few hours, I was calmly content.”

“A single crow worries no one, but a flock can strip a field. Revolution must take wing under an entire flock, not one or two voices alone.”



TQWhat's next?

Rowenna:  I’m hard at work on Torn’s sequel! More political intrigue, charmed silk, and difficult decisions on the way!



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Rowenna:  Thanks so much for having me!





Torn
The Unraveled Kingdom 1
Orbit, March 20, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 480 pages

Interview with Rowenna Miller, author of Torn
TORN is the first book in an enchanting debut fantasy series featuring a seamstress who stitches magic into clothing, and the mounting political uprising that forces her to choose between her family and her ambitions, for fans of The Queen of the Tearling.

In a time of revolution, everyone must take a side.

Sophie, a dressmaker and charm caster, has lifted her family out of poverty with a hard-won reputation for beautiful ball gowns and discreetly embroidered spells. A commission from the royal family could secure her future — and thrust her into a dangerous new world.

Revolution is brewing. As Sophie’s brother, Kristos, rises to prominence in the growing anti-monarchist movement, it is only a matter of time before their fortunes collide.

When the unrest erupts into violence, she and Kristos are drawn into a deadly magical plot. Sophie is torn — between her family and her future.





About Rowenna

Interview with Rowenna Miller, author of Torn
Photo by Heidi Hauck
Rowenna Miller grew up in a log cabin in Indiana and still lives in the Midwest with her husband and daughter, where she teaches English composition, trespasses while hiking, and spends too much time researching and recreating historical textiles.











Website  ~  Twitter @RowennaM


Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks Being Adpated for TV by Amazon Studios


Amazon Studios to Adapt Consider Phlebas, First Novel of the Culture Series, for Television

Dennis Kelly set to write the series, Plan B to produce

The Culture, a fictional interstellar utopian society
from author Iain M. Banks is being adapted for television for the first
time, to come to life exclusively on Prime Video

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 21, 2018-- (NASDAQ: AMZN)--Amazon Studios today announced it has acquired the global television rights to the Culture's first novel Consider Phlebas. The famed space opera by Scottish writer Iain M. Banks features Banks' fictional interstellar utopian society, the Culture. The series will be adapted by Dennis Kelly (Utopia, Matilda) with Plan B Entertainment (World War Z, 12 Years a Slave, The Big Short, Moonlight, Feud) slated to produce and the Estate of Iain Banks attached as Executive Producer.

Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks Being Adpated for TV by Amazon Studios
Iain M. Banks (Photo: Business Wire)
A kinetic, action-packed adventure on a huge canvas, Consider Phlebas draws upon the extraordinary world and mythology Banks created in the Culture, in which a highly advanced and progressive society ends up at war with the Idirans, a deeply religious, warlike race intent on dominating the entire galaxy.

The story centers on Horza, a rogue agent tasked by the Idirans with the impossible mission of recovering a missing Culture 'Mind,' an artificial intelligence many thousands of times smarter than any human--something that could hold the key to wiping out the Culture altogether. What unfolds, with Banks' trademark irreverent humor, ultimately asks the poignant question of how we can use technology to preserve our humanity, not surrender it.

"The story of the Culture is so rich and captivating that for years Hollywood has been trying to bring this utopian society to life on the screen," said Sharon Tal Yguado, Head of Scripted Series at Amazon Studios. "We are honored that we have been chosen, along with Dennis Kelly and Plan B Entertainment, to make Consider Phlebas into a television series we think will be loved by fans for years to come."

"Iain Banks has long been a hero of mine, and his innate warmth, humor and humanism shines through these novels," said Dennis Kelly. "Far from being the dystopian nightmares that we are used to, Banks creates a kind of flawed paradise, a society truly worth fighting for--rather than a warning from the future, his books are a beckoning."

"We revere the work of Iain Banks and continue to be moved by his inimitable spirit and his commitment to imagining a better future even in the darkest of times," said Plan B. "Consider Phlebas, simultaneously explores the deepest questions concerning humanity and our future. We are so grateful to the Estate of Iain Banks for the opportunity to bring his work to life, and to Amazon for the scope of their ambition to building Iain's prescient world."

Prime Originals are available for Prime members to stream and enjoy using the Prime Video app for TVs, connected devices including Amazon Fire TV, and mobile devices, or online with other Prime Originals online at Amazon.com/originals, at no additional cost to their membership. Eligible customers who are not already Prime members can sign up for a free trial at www.amazon.com/prime. For a list of all Prime Video compatible devices, visit www.amazon.com/howtostream. Content is available through the Prime Video app and PrimeVideo.com in more than 200 countries and territories.

Customers who are not already Prime members can sign up for a free trial at www.amazon.com/prime. For a list of all Amazon Video compatible devices, visit www.amazon.com/howtostream.

About Prime Video

Prime Video is a premium on-demand entertainment service that offers customers the greatest choice in what to watch, and how to watch it. Prime Video is the only service that provides all of the following:
  • Prime Video: Thousands of movies and TV shows, including popular licensed and self-published content plus critically-acclaimed and award-winning Prime Originals like The Grand Tour, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Sneaky Pete, Amazon Original Movies such as Academy Award-winning Manchester by the Sea and The Salesman, and Academy Award-nominated The Big Sick and kids series, Tumble Leaf, available for unlimited streaming as part of an Amazon Prime membership. Prime Video is also now available to customers in more than 200 countries and territories around the globe at www.primevideo.com.
  • Live Sports: Sporting events, including AVP volleyball and ATP tennis, are available to watch live on Prime Video in more than 200 countries and territories around the globe.
  • Amazon Channels: Over 140 channel subscriptions that Prime members can add to their membership, including HBO, SHOWTIME, STARZ, Cinemax, PBS KIDS, Acorn TV and more. To view the full list of channels available, visit www.amazon.com/channels
  • Rent or Own: Hundreds of thousands of titles, including new-release movies and current TV shows available for on-demand rental or purchase for all Amazon customers
  • Instant Access: Instantly watch anytime, anywhere through the Amazon Video app on TVs, mobile devices, Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, and Fire tablets, or online. For a list of all compatible devices visit www.amazon.com/howtostream
  • Premium Features: Top features like 4K Ultra HD, High Dynamic Range (HDR), X-Ray and mobile downloads for offline viewing of select content
In addition to Prime Video, the Prime membership includes unlimited fast free shipping options across all categories available on Amazon, more than two million songs and thousands of playlists and stations with Prime Music, secure photo storage with Prime Photos, unlimited reading with Prime Reading, unlimited access to a digital audiobook catalogue with Audible Channels for Prime, a rotating selection of free digital games and in-game loot with Twitch Prime, early access to select Lightning Deals, exclusive access and discounts to select items, and more. To sign-up for Prime or to find out more visit: www.amazon.com/prime.

About Amazon

Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit www.amazon.com/about and follow @AmazonNews.





Consider Phlebas
A Culture Novel 1
Orbit, March 26, 2008
   Trade Paperback, 544 pages
Orbit, December 1, 2009
   eBook, 544 pages

Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks Being Adpated for TV by Amazon Studios
"Dazzlingly original." -- Daily Mail
"Gripping, touching and funny." -- TLS

The war raged across the galaxy. Billions had died, billions more were doomed. Moons, planets, the very stars themselves, faced destruction, cold-blooded, brutal, and worse, random. The Idirans fought for their Faith; the Culture for its moral right to exist. Principles were at stake. There could be no surrender.

Within the cosmic conflict, an individual crusade. Deep within a fabled labyrinth on a barren world, a Planet of the Dead proscribed to mortals, lay a fugitive Mind. Both the Culture and the Idirans sought it. It was the fate of Horza, the Changer, and his motley crew of unpredictable mercenaries, human and machine, actually to find it, and with it their own destruction.
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