Reading from Cataveiro
A big thank you to everyone who came down to Drink, Shop & Do in King’s Cross last week for the fantasy-themed Speakeasy, or, ‘That Night Where They Do Writing’, and to Nicci Cloke and Ian Ellard for asking me to participate. I had a lovely time listening to readings from fellow authors Alex Bell, Rosie Best, Charlie Fletcher, and Den Patrick (along with the obligatory flash fiction contest over the interval, which featured pandas).
Nicci and Ian run the night monthly with different authors taking part and it’s well worth checking out – you can reserve a table for free, listen to fiction and have a drink at your leisure.
You can read all about the night over at the Speakeasy blog here.
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.
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.
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…
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.
The Lowest Heaven anthology was released on 13 June and I was thrilled to be part of the launch at the National Maritime Museum. I’ve walked around the University of Greenwich campus before but had never seen the museum, and we couldn’t have had a lovelier setting (despite the slightly alarming figureheads…)
Jared Shurin introduced the anthology and I was one of the three authors reading. First up was SF maestro Alastair Reynolds reading from A Map of Mercury (no pressure, of course, none at all). I read the opening of Saga’s Children, and Matt Jones concluded with a deliciously dark and amusing extract from The Comet’s Tale.
Alastair Reynolds, myself and Matt Jones reading (photos by Veronica Swift)
The readings were followed by the mass signing, and general excitement as we got to see the beautiful hardback edition for the first time. Our editors Jared and Anne had been particularly sneaky and not only had none of the authors seen anyone else’s contributions, we hadn’t seen the photographs chosen to illustrate our stories either. So this was a lovely moment. (It must also be admitted that there may have been an element of authorial competitiveness in who could adorn their signature with the best spaceship/comet/random star formation. I was not winning this award.) I also seized the opportunity to ask Alastair Reynolds to sign my copy of House of Suns, a book I adore.
Reading, group photo, the book itself looking gorgeous, and the epic table of signing (photos by James Matthews-Paul)
Thank you to everyone who came along and bought a book and said lovely things; I hope you enjoy the anthology – I know I’m looking forward to reading the rest of it!
And as if one launch wasn’t enough, there will be a *second* launch for the paperback and e-book at Forbidden Planet on Wednesday 3 July. I’ll be there with David Bryher, Lavie Tidhar, Esther Saxey, and of course les éditeurs merveilleux Jared Shurin and Anne C Perry. Facebook for the event is here. Do come!
At last an update on the US front – it was confirmed earlier this week that Skyhorse Publishing and Start Publishing have acquired the Night Shade Books imprint. The full press release can be found here on i09.
As one of the authors who signed, this means The Osiris Project will now be a part of the new Night Shade/Skyhorse/Start. It’s been a long few months waiting for news, and I’m immensely relieved that we’re now onto the next stage. I have to echo others in saying a huge thank you to Mary Robinette Kowal. She has been an absolute hero, advocating for us on behalf of SFWA and offering her time, energy and expertise to ensure that everyone has had the information necessary to make the best decision in their circumstances. Thanks to Kameron Hurley who set up the discussion forum, to my fellow NSB authors who have been so generous in sharing advice, and to John Berlyne my agent who, as ever, is a voice of sanity (if ever a situation proves why you need an agent, this one does. And incidentally, Zeno Agency has a rare open window for submissions, so if you are at the submitting-to-agents stage, do take a look).
Please continue to support Night Shade authors, both within and outside of the new imprint. I’ve discovered some truly wonderful writers through Night Shade, and I very much hope that the new imprint will continue to discover the kind of innovative and dynamic fiction that has made them such an interesting publisher to date.
In other news: the May/June edition of Interzone reviewed Osiris, calling it ‘an absolute gem’ which obviously made my month, and next Thursday I will be at the National Maritime Museum to launch The Lowest Heaven anthology with a bunch of quite simply awesome authors. Tickets are free but you have to book (see the website: http://www.rmg.co.uk/visit/events/universe-late) – come and say hello!
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!
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?