Fantasycon this year was in Peterborough, a city I’d never previously visited and a venue – The Bull hotel – that I was particularly keen to spend time in as it was the site of Chris’s very first Eastercon, back in 1964.
A great weekend, and with just a couple of days’ turnaround – scarcely time to repack my luggage – I’m about to head out again, this time to Paris!
I’m on a month’s writing residency – a unique window of time in which to read, research, come to know a fantastic city a little better and most of all, to get into gear for writing my next book. I shall also be doing a bit of promotion for the French edition of The Race, which was published last month. If you happen to be in Paris on October 10th, why not come along to Librairie Charybde, where I’ll be taking part in an evening event with Carola Dibbell, whose extraordinary near-future novel of a post-pandemic America, The Only Ones, I’ve just finished reading. (Yet another example, if any were needed, of why the Clarke Award should be opened to US-published novels…)
I’m intending to blog as usual while I’m away, so watch this space. In the meantime, it’s back to the packing, and huge thanks to my wonderful French publishers, Editions Tristram, and La Maison de la Poesie for arranging such a marvellous opportunity.
The brand new Titan edition of The Race is published today!
And just in case you didn’t know, this definitive edition of The Race contains an 18,000-word appendix that was written specially for the reissue and that did not appear in the original 2014 release by NewCon. This appendix, entitled ‘Brock Island’, will hopefully bring pleasure (and a measure of closure) to anyone who might have been wondering what happened to Maree after she stepped ashore in Thalia.
I am utterly delighted by the finished book, and I want to extend enormous thanks to the brilliant team at Titan, and in particular my editor Cath Trechman, for making it happen.
There will be a number of interviews and reviews appearing online to mark the launch over the next week or so, so keep a lookout for those. To start us off, here’s an interview I did for The Qwillery, a pleasing review from Gary K. Wolfe in the Chicago Tribune, and here’s The Race appearing as part of Brooklyn magazine’s list of 100 Books to Read for the Rest of 2016. This genuinely eclectic and noteworthy list is well worth checking out, and with writers such as Indra Das, Teju Cole, Nell Zink and Claire Louise Bennett to keep me company I’m honoured, not to say daunted, to be included.
With the new year rapidly approaching, it’s lovely to see that the new and expanded Titan edition of The Race has made the Barnes & Noble SFF blog’s list of the 42 Most Anticipated novels of 2016!
While in B&N’s follow-up article detailing the 2016 Books SFF Editors Want You to Read, the wonderful Cath Trechman has this to say:
“As soon as I finished reading The Race I wanted to press it into the hands of everyone I know. Much like Emily St John Mandel’s Station Eleven, it’s science fiction that packs an emotional punch—subtle and layered but at the same time compelling and very readable. It is set partly in a future scarred by fracking and ecological collapse, and partly in modern times, and tells the story of four damaged people whose lives are inextricably linked—and a child’s kidnaping with consequences that reach across worlds. The Race has already been nominated for several awards and the Titan edition features a brand-new chapter, which I think completes the book even more effectively than before. I love this book, it still haunts my dreams.”
What a beautiful accolade – thanks, Cath! With ARCs of The Race currently in preparation, it truly feels as if the book is almost here.
In the meantime, it’s well worth checking out both of the above lists. There are some fascinating novels on the way.
Firstly, I’m delighted to announce that Nevsky Prospects will be publishing a Spanish edition of The Race, currently scheduled for spring 2017. Huge thanks to Marian and James Womack for their continuing commitment to my work. I’m thrilled that this is happening.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I’m currently hard at work on the third draft of The Rift. I’m very excited about the book now. It’s now just over a year since I first began writing it, although the basic idea (and some of the characters) had been floating around inside my head for quite a bit longer. At this stage, the novel feels fully formed and really here.
Immediately prior to starting in on this third draft, I had a lot of fun first-drafting a horror story – quite a long and involved one – which I’ve been commissioned to write as part of a project that should be seeing the light of day sometime next year. It’s been quite a while since I wrote any horror – the story I wrote for Aickman’s Heirs in the summer of 2014, in fact – and I don’t mind admitting it felt great to be back in that territory. In fact, it’s inspired me to read, write and blog more horror next year. Plans are already afoot, so watch this space!
I’m delighted to be able to reveal the brand new cover for the brand new Titan edition of The Race, which will see its official launch date next July.
I am so thrilled with this! Julia Lloyd has created a beautiful design, strongly contemporary and yet also timeless, an image I could never have imagined beforehand, and yet one that felt perfectly right from the instant I saw it.
You can read the official press announcement – as well as an excerpt from Chapter One – over at Tor.com.
Well, this is all very exciting.
I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve recently signed a 2-book deal with Titan Books. Titan have acquired rights to my novel The Race, which they will be publishing in a new and expanded edition in both the UK and the US next summer. They will also be publishing my second novel, The Rift, in 2017.
Cath Trechman, Titan’s Senior Fiction Editor, has been incredibly enthusiastic and supportive, and I’m delighted to be working with her. She and her team are dedicated to building Titan’s fiction list by bringing in fresh and innovative work across the SFFH genres and I’m proud to be a part of that.
When Cath suggested that we should make the Titan edition of The Race truly new by including some extra material, I was only too happy to agree. The new edition of The Race will include a brand new novella-length appendix, ‘Brock Island’, which I’ve just finished writing. ‘Brock Island’ is not supposed to be read as a new ending, but it does expand our knowledge of the characters and their world, so anyone wanting ‘more’ will not be disappointed! Creating this extra material was a real challenge -‘Brock Island’ not only had to work as a story in its own right, it also had to complement the metafictional aspects of the main text – but it was also hugely rewarding to re-enter the book’s atmosphere and find new things there.
As for The Rift, I’ll have plenty more to say in due course. For now, I can tell you that it’s a science fiction mystery about a woman named Julie who believes she’s been abducted by aliens. The first draft is written – in fact I’ve begun work on the second draft just this afternoon. I don’t mind admitting that this is absolutely the most addictive story I have worked on to date and it’s wonderful to know that the book has found such a good home.
I’ll be telling you more about The Rift, and about the new edition of The Race here before too long. In the meantime I just want to say thank you to Cath and to Natalie and to the whole Titan team for bringing me on board and making me feel so welcome.
You can read Titan’s official announcement at booktrade.info here.
NewCon Press are currently running a special price promotion on both hardback and paperback editions of The Race and there are some substantial savings to be had. You can view the offer and order copies here.
For those who prefer eBook format, the Kindle edition can still be purchased for the special price of £1.99 here.
I’ve just learned that The Race has reached the finals of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. This is a wonderful surprise, all the more so because it’s a fascinating line-up all round. I’m particularly pleased to see Simon Ings’s Wolves, Adam Roberts’s Bete, and Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy make the finals alongside The Race, because all three are special books that have missed out on previous 2015 awards shortlistings and thoroughly deserve this recommendation. The full line-up is below, and if you follow this link to Locus Online you’ll also find a list of the finalists for the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for short fiction. A weird one, this, and there are a fair few names I’d have loved to see that aren’t there, but another fascinating selection nonetheless and some great stories.
Finalists for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award 2015:
- The Race by Nina Allan
- A Darkling Sea by James L. Cambias
- The Peripheral by William Gibson
- Afterparty by Daryl Gregory
- Europe in Autumn by Dave Hutchinson
- Wolves by Simon Ings
- The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu
- Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
- Defenders by Will McIntosh
- The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North
- The Bees by Laline Paull
- Bête by Adam Roberts
- Lock In by John Scalzi
- The Martian by Andy Weir
- Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer
- Echopraxia by Peter Watts
To celebrate the novel’s recent award nominations and in the run-up to Eastercon, NewCon Press has made The Race (ebook) available for the special bargain price of just £1.99! This offer will not last forever, so grab your copy now.
Kindle format here
Other formats here
I’m very proud and somewhat bemused to report that my novel The Race has today been shortlisted for the BSFA Award and the Kitschies (Red Tentacle).
This leaves me in an odd position. Regular readers of this blog will know that there are few things I enjoy more than a good discussion/argument over an awards shortlist, only that would be weird now, so that’s a pleasure I’ll be leaving to others this year, for these awards anyway. I would just mention that I’ve read the majority of titles on both shortlists, and could not hope to be in finer company.
I can’t slink back behind my desk without mentioning that I am also part of the roundtable of writers and critics shortlisted for the BSFA Award in the non-fiction category for the Strange Horizons Symposium on the State of British SF and Fantasy, published this summer in the run-up to LonCon. It was a pleasure and a privilege to be a part of this project, which provides a lasting snapshot of our genre in 2015 as well as some fantastic essays by wonderful people. I’d urge anyone with even a passing interest in British science fiction to get stuck into this at once, if you haven’t already.
In the meantime, you can find the full shortlists for the Kitschies here, and for the BSFA Awards here.