Category Archives: Del Rey UK

Music and Suffolk fields

This weekend saw an expedition to Suffolk for Latitude Festival, where I was speaking as part of the Ebury Does… programme. It was my first time at Latitude and as glorious as the music was the chance to get out of London for a few days and switch off the phone.

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My talk was on the Friday. I tracked down the Ebury tent in the morning (located in the suitably whimsical Faraway Forest) and found the team setting up after a hellish 9-hour drive from London the previous day. A couple of hours later I returned for my talk and found the tent full of cushions, beanbags, deckchairs, and of course books, including a very shiny array of Del Rey UK titles. I was truly delighted when people turned up for the talk as the tent was a little off the beaten track and I had no idea how it might go. I read the prologue from Osiris and spoke about my influences, how I got into SF, and my inspiration for the trilogy. However, SF readers are everywhere, as I later ended up talking to a group of French electro swing musicians from Toulouse, one of whom recommended some French SF for me after a conversation in Franglais about George Orwell, and my housemate helpfully describing Osiris in his (far better than mine) French.

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The rest of the weekend I was free to relax and enjoy the music. Highlights were Beth Orton, who had the crowd mesmerised and was just a joy to hear; Josephine singing with guitar in a small tent away in the forest – her voice was even more stunning live than on her album; the Mark Lanegan Band being generally cool; Laura Mvula; and Everything Everything. I’m always interested in how some artists are far better recorded and others live, and I’d see all of these again. I caught a few songs of Daughter, who I hadn’t heard before, and bought her album as soon as I got home (in fact I’m listening to it as I write this). I also saw the Ballet Boyz on the waterfront stage performing a piece by Russell Maliphant, I think called ‘Falling’, which was spectacular, and reminded me once again just how powerful contemporary ballet can be.

This week it’s back to digital screens and reality. Cataveiro is almost signed off on the edits front and I’ll be getting stuck into Book 3 in the next few weeks. Onward…

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Latitude with Ebury

A very quick note to say this weekend I will be at Latitude Festival courtesy of the marvellous folk at Ebury Publishing to fly the flag for Del Rey UK (or at least, to brandish a Del Rey book). The Ebury Library has a full line up of authors and I’ll be speaking on Friday 19 July at 2pm, on how I came to write in the genre of Science Fiction and Fantasy, how I got published, and discussing the inspiration for the Osiris Project trilogy.

Here’s a link to the full Ebury Does… schedule: http://www.latitudefestival.com/line-up/artist/ebury-library-does

Do come say hello!

Now it’s off to pack as much mosquito repellent as my bag can hold and of course, a hula hoop.

 

Best British Fantasy 2013

THE BEST BRITISH FANTASY 2013 is now out! The collection includes my story The Complex, first printed in Interzone last year.

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Salt Publishing describes the collection: “From the post-apocalyptic American West to the rural terror in New Zealand, this major anthology has evil spirits, bin-Laden style assassinations, steampunk, sexual dysfunction, a twisted version of Peter Pan, the folklore of standing stones, mermaids, alien tour guides, zombies, gruesome beasts, voice-controlled police states, environmental disasters and off world penal colonies.”

You can get a copy via Salt Publishing here.

In other news: Zeno Agency posted a cover reveal for CATAVEIRO, Book 2 of The Osiris Project, which I’m just delighted with. CATAVEIRO is scheduled for publication in the UK in February 2014.

OSIRIS launch – Forbidden Planet

It’s been a week of great excitement with the UK release of OSIRIS on Thursday 7 February. Fittingly, I arrived home on Thursday night to discover that with perfect timing, Del Rey had sent a box full of OSIRIS books, which I greeted, as appropriate, with manic dancing, and just about managed to save from Velma’s muddy paws and claws.

Forbidden Planet launch 1Friday was the big day: a joint launch at Forbidden Planet with Liesel Schwarz, author of A CONSPIRACY OF ALCHEMISTS. I was thrilled to be sharing the day with Liesel, who looked beyond awesome in full steampunk garb, including corset and a hat of which I professed great envy (Camden, apparently, is the place to go). The lovely people at Forbidden Planet had a stack of books for us to sign after which we were whisked out in Madonna-style headsets. We each read our prologues and had a few questions from the audience, then it was off to the Phoenix Artist’s Club, a very cool bar which I must frequent more often, for celebratory drinks and general huzzahs.

Many many thank yous are owed to the team at Del Rey UK who organized such a fabulous event and have worked so hard on the book, and to the friends, family and Twitter pals who showed up to support me – you are wonderful! I had the usual dilemma of wanting to talk to everyone and never quite managing to have a full conversation with anyone, but suffice to say it was a wonderful night, and I went home feeling deeply proud and privileged to be part of the new Del Rey UK imprint.

A few photos from the event:

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Today it has been very much back to reality and hard work as I continue editing CATAVEIRO. But the weekend has been capped off by a 4* review of OSIRIS in SFX magazine, which concludes with: ‘it’s the characters, and what their lives show us of the fascinating, stratified world of Osiris, that are the heart of this promising debut novel.’ Happy days!

A Conspiracy of Authors

Halfway through January and it’s just a few weeks to go until the UK release of OSIRIS. Last week I received a copy of the final version of the book – the marvellous folk at Del Rey UK have done me proud, it’s a beautiful production, embossed title and all.

To celebrate the release, I’ll be reading/signing at Forbidden Planet on Friday 8 February with the brilliant Liesel Schwarz, whose steampunk novel A CONSPIRACY OF ALCHEMISTS is released on the same date. Do come along and say hello – we’d love to see you there!

OSIRIS CONSPIRACY

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Conspiracy of Authors

Friday 08 February 2013 18:00 – 19:00
London Megastore, 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8JR

Forbidden Planet are delighted to bring you a double signing with two of this year’s most exciting new talents! Liesel Schwarz and E. J. Swift will be at the London Megastore, 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, WC2H 8JR, on Friday 8th February 2013.

Liesel’s ‘Conspiracy of Alchemists’ brings us a Golden Age where spark reactors power the airways, and creatures of Light and Shadow walk openly – and a deadly game of Alchemists and Warlocks has begun. When an unusual cargo drags airship-pilot Elle Chance into the affairs of the mysterious Mr Marsh, she must confront her destiny and do everything in her power to stop the Alchemists from unleashing a magical apocalypse.

In ‘Osiris’, E. J. Swift brings us Adelaide Rechnov, wealthy socialite and granddaughter of the Architect, who spends her spends time in pointless luxury, rebelling against her family. In the impoverished Western Quarter lives Vikram Bai, poor descendant of storm refugees and effectively quarantined from the wealthy elite. His people live with cold and starvation, but the coming brutal winter promises civil unrest, and a return to the riots of previous years. As tensions rise in the city, can Adelaide and Vikram bridge the divide at the heart of Osiris before conspiracies bring them to the edge of disaster?

The Next Big Thing

The Next Big Thing is here! Or the next thing, or, the something. Last week Guy Adams tagged me in his next big thing blog. So here’s how it works: an author answers the ten questions below on her blog and then tags five authors/unfortunate victims to do so the week after. Answers on a postcard please…

1. What is the working title of your next book?

OSIRIS. (I’m cheating slightly because it’s already out in the US, but is forthcoming in the UK.)

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

I wrote a novella called The Last Balloon Flight, a kind of fairy tale about a journey across a flooded world. I read Six Degrees: Our Future On A Hotter Planet, by Mark Lynas. Somewhere between the two came the idea for an ocean city in a drastically altered world, and the characters just came out of that

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Science fiction or speculative fiction.

4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Adelaide is very beautiful and slightly evil in the beginning, but mellows as the book progresses. I have to cite the gorgeous Alexa Brown for Adelaide (who, for the record, is about as far from evil as you can imagine but here she is looking suitably epic in a trailer we made for the book:

 

Or, someone like Emily Blunt. Susan Sarandon would have to be Adelaide’s mother, because everyone needs Susan Sarandon in a film. And I can see Matt Smith working well for her brother Linus.

Vikram, my hero, is quite young but, as all central protagonists must be tortured, he has been through a lot. Shazad Latif, who was in the later series of the BBC’s series Spooks could work very well

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

In a divided ocean city cut off from the rest of the world, miscreant socialite Adelaide meets revolutionary activist Vikram – and consequences ensue

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

It’s published by Night Shade Books in the US and is forthcoming from Del Rey UK in February 2013.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

About 12 months.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I always hate this question – people have (very kindly) told me it has echoes of China Miéville’s The City and The City and Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Wind-up Girl, but I’m not sure either of those is quite apt. It might make more sense to cite my influences – writers like Philip Pullman, David Mitchell, Margaret Atwood, to name a few.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I had a very cinematic vision of the ocean city and I knew it wouldn’t go away until I found out who lived there.

10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

My friend Katy has just instructed me to say that it is a bodice ripper.

[This is a lie.]

[But there are shiny pyramid towers and waterbikes and underwater cells and coral tea and other things.]

And the authors I hereby tag for next week’s posting are:

Elizabeth Amisu. Writer, reviewer of film and fiction, and a lecturer in Film and English, Elizabeth was a winner in the Southend Literary Festival in 2010 and the MigMag.co.uk Short Story competition in January 2012. The first installment in her fantasy series The Sarcerdos Mysteries tells the story of Caelara, a young girl whose difficult existence with her alcoholic father is turned upside down when she discovers she has the power to manipulate the elements. But all will change when Caelara discovers the mysterious Sarcerdos Institute…

Bradley P Beaulieu. Brad is the author of The Winds of Khalakovo and The Straits of Galahesh, the first two volumes in his fantasy series The Lays of Anuskaya, published by Night Shade Books, and if you go to his website you can view funky interactive maps of the Lays world and other shiny things. In addition to being an L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Award winner, Brad’s stories have appeared in various other publications, including Realms of Fantasy Magazine, Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show and Writers of the Future 20.

Betsy Dornbusch. Betsy’s epic fantasy novel Exile is forthcoming from Night Shade Books in February 2013. Betsy also launched her urban fantasy series Sentinel this year and has edited ezine Electric Spec for the last six years. Her short fiction has appeared in numerous print and online venues and in anthologies Tasty Little Tales and Deadly by the Dozen. She also does cool things like snowboarding, a fact of which I am immensely jealous.

Kameron Hurley. Kameron probably needs no introduction for lovers of genre fiction: her Bel Dame Apocrypha series has been published by Night Shade Books to widespread acclaim and she’s been nominated for a fair few awards along the way (and is the winner of a much coveted Golden Tentacle Kitschies Award for debut novel). Good news if you’re in the UK: Del Rey UK will be publishing the first in the series, God’s War, in 2013. Huzzah!

Colin Tucker. Writer and screen-writing coach Colin Tucker worked on award-winning television productions in the 70’s including PORTRAIT OF A MARRIAGE and AMONGST WOMEN. After retiring from producing, he switched to teaching at the London Film School while continuing to work as a script advisor. His short story THE GOAT won a Global Short Story competition earlier this year. His novel DOUGLAS BROWN RUNNING DOWN, is, in Colin’s words, ‘a freewheeling journey in the company of a chaotic mind’. (I’ve read some of it, and it’s awesome, and not quite like anything else I’ve read.)

A few updates

Somewhat belatedly, evidence of me, Liesel Schwarz and Mark Hodder at the Del Rey UK launch at FantasyCon in Brighton. This was a lovely day. I met up with Liesel beforehand at London Victoria. Thanks to the vagaries of Southern Rail cancellations, we spent the journey down to Brighton sitting in the luggage rack (never say there’s no glamour in publishing), but all was worth it when we arrived and got to see proofs of our books for the first time. The OSIRIS cover artwork was still being tweaked, so Del Rey had produced a short run of this cool black and white cover. Needless to say I nabbed copies of Liesel’s and Mark’s books (A Conspiracy of Alchemists, and A Red Sun Also Rises respectively), both of which look fantastic – I can’t wait to read them.

This week, I was sent a new proof of the UK OSIRIS with the actual cover. Isn’t it pretty! It’s released in the UK on 7 February 2013, and you can pre-order from Amazon here.

Lastly, here’s a link to an interview with fellow Night Shade author Paul Tobin as part of his author-to-author series. This was a really fun one and he’s also interviewed Jeff Salyards, Adam Christopher, Chris Roberson and others as part of the series, which you’ll find on the blog.