Category Archives: Night Shade Books

US paperback for Osiris

A quick update to say that the US paperback edition of Osiris was released this week. US folks, you can get hold of a copy on Amazon here or Barnes and Noble here.

A few extracts from reviews below, and more over on my links and reviews page:

‘A fantastic blend of world-building, excellent storytelling and complex characters… An engrossing story from start to finish… Osiris would still be good if all it had was world-building, but it offers so much more by way of plot and storytelling. The thrust of the narrative is the motivation of the characters… forces readers to ask themselves what it would take to spur them to action. Now combine this with the other interesting elements of the book like political intrigue, subterfuge, the way the story is told from alternating viewpoints… and you can see why OSIRIS shines. It’s that kind of impressive storytelling that makes OSIRIS hard to put down, and when you have to put it down, something that you remain eager to pick up again.’  –  SF Signal

‘Swift’s first novel, with its brilliant near-future vision of an ecologically and socially devastated world and characters who resonate with life and passion, marks her as an author to watch.’  –  Library Journal

‘Here is an assured and accomplished debut novel from a writer we’re sure to hear more from in the future. Swift’s intensely observed interplay between the two principals mirrors in microcosm the obstacles to easing tensions between the factions. This is the beauty of the picture – the brushstrokes are broad but look closer and you will discern incredible detail. An absolute gem – there are many who would do well to take note of what this book says.’  –  Interzone (#246, May-June 2013)

‘… Swift’s writing is exceptional, vivid and compelling… I found OSIRIS to be a novel that deserves to be read. Swift’s talent as a writer can’t be questioned, and it’s clear to me that there exists an intent behind her work. It lends a depth that helped me persevere, not only to finish, but to anticipate the sequel. I’m hopeful that other patient readers will take the time to find the beauty in it that I ultimately did.’  –  Staffer’s Book Review

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Publication update – Night Shade sale goes through

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!

Spring reading

A few book recommendations from recent reading:

Communion Town by Sam Thompson. I picked up the lovely hardback edition last year and read the first couple of chapters, or stories, depending on how you view it – the book is described as ‘a city in ten parts’.  I’d been reading so many fragmented narratives at the time, I ended up putting it aside and finally got round to reading it properly this year. The writing is gorgeous, with gems of prose shining through even when the voice is deliberately stylised, as in the noir detective chapter. The stories aren’t really linked in the way that, say, David Mitchell does in Ghostwritten, but each one is mesmerising and strangely beautiful and I found myself increasingly hooked the more I read on. Certain chapters will definitely linger with me – the guitarist’s tale, in particular. If you need convincing further, Christopher Priest has a detailed piece on the book over on his website.

Tokyo Cancelled by Rana Dasgupta. I saw a review by Nic Clarke which put me on to this and it could very well be the best thing I read this year. Dasgupta uses the framing device of passengers stranded in an airport overnight after their flight is delayed, to tell a kind of contemporary Arabian Nights. It has all the things I love – stories within stories, stunning use of language, incredible invention – but what I really loved about this book was the juxtaposition of a modern, globalised society with folklore and fairytales. So you get call centres in India and daughters locked up in towers; a woman who turns into a department store in New York through the mysterious workings of Oreo cookies. I can’t recommend this novel enough.

All The Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld. I hadn’t read Evie Wyld’s first novel so had no idea what to expect. This is a really clever, haunting novel, and a brilliant exercise in suspense. I don’t want to talk about plot because I think it’s one of those that works best if you come to it without knowing too much. Again, beautifully, quite starkly (though very visually) written with an intriguing narrator whose past unfolds in ways you don’t necessarily expect.

Currently reading: Light by M. John Harrison. After several chapters of having no idea what was going on, I’m now half way through and really enjoying this one, especially Seria Mau Genlicher, who must be my new favourite character name.

Ordered and waiting for delivery of: Spin by Nina Allan and Martian Sands by Lavie Tidhar. Recently acquired: The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan and Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway. Looking forward to all of these.

A quick note re Night Shade Books, my US publisher, and the proposed sale to Skyhorse/Start. If you haven’t heard about the Night Shade business, Tobias Buckell has a super-summary of what’s been going on over at his blog. A couple of people have asked me if this has any impact on the UK publication of The Osiris Project trilogy. The answer to this is no: I’m continuing to work on Books 2 and 3 and Cataveiro is currently scheduled for UK publication in September 2013. More updates on the US front when I know more.

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.)