Category Archives: Osiris

Cataveiro paperback out today!

Cataveiro, Book Two of the Osiris Project, is out in paperback today!

Copies are available through Amazon, Foyles, Waterstones, and The Book Depository, which offers free shipping worldwide.

Here’s the synopsis:

A shipwreck. And one lone survivor.

For political exile Taeo Ybanez, this could be his ticket home. Relations between the Antarcticans and the Patagonians are worse than ever, and to be caught on the wrong side could prove deadly.

For pilot and cartographer Ramona Callejas, the presence of the mysterious stranger is one more thing in the way of her saving her mother from a deadly disease.

All roads lead to Cataveiro, the city of fate and fortune, where their destinies will become intertwined and their futures cemented for ever…

And a few reviews:

‘… the soulful latest instalment in The Osiris Project and a superior sequel… new lead characters, a fresh story and some real action… CATAVEIRO has a soulful, lonely quality as Taeo and Ramona embark on their solitary missions, haunted by memories of the past and visions of what lies ahead… Their imperfections keep them grounded and likeable, preventing EJ Swift from slipping into predictable and clichéd characterisation… as dystopian fiction goes it is an intriguing world to get lost in.’  –  SciFiNow

… the standard dystopian set-up has given way to a compellingly drawn post-collapse world that feels scorchingly real and virtually limitless in its horizons. This is a very human book, a boldly compassionate book, a novel bulging with important questions about our own world which cannot fail to engage the sympathy and imagination of the reader.’ – Nina Allan

‘The characters within are fully rounded, have some wonderful little quirks and when added to the arc really generate a caring response within the reader. Back this up with great prose, solid pace work and of course some magical twists which, when backed with the authors own identifiable writing style all round, makes this a book that hit the spot for me as a reader. Top notch.’ – Falcata Times

‘Another beautifully-written novel… If you enjoy beautifully-written, literary science fiction, with less focus on being an action-packed blockbuster, then The Osiris Project is a must read.’ – Civilian Reader

And Osiris, the first book in the series, was reviewed over at J for Jetpack earlier this week:

‘Machiavellian politics, city in the sea, allegory for our times, great prose, human characters. An excellent debut novel that deserves to be read.’

Year’s end, and the year ahead

Ends/beginnings of years inevitably call for round-ups, and 2013 has been an eventful one. On the writing front, I was thrilled to see the UK debut of Osiris with Del Rey UK in its trade, audio, and paperback forms, and the Osiris US paperback released in August with Night Shade Books, now part of Skyhorse Publishing. I finished work on the second in The Osiris Project trilogy, Cataveiro (pronounced ca-ta-veh-ro), which is scheduled for publication in February 2014, UK trade paperback, and July 2014, US hardback. I also had a short story, Saga’s Children, in the solar-system themed Pandemonium anthology The Lowest Heaven, and saw The Complex reprinted in Best British Fantasy 2013. I’m now working on the third novel in The Osiris Project and this will be the focus for the first half of 2014. After that – well, plans are in the works.

For the last few years I’ve kept a record of books read, and after some slightly disconcerting analysis of my own reading habits I made a decision that from last year I would read an equal ratio of male and female authors. A lot of the writers that I came to love at university, when I had more time to read than I probably ever will again, were male – looking back, and thinking about the bias of the course curricula, this is no real surprise. So this year I’ve split my reading 50-50.

In total I read 26 novels, 13 male and 13 female authors, plus a few anthologies. As part of my research for Cataveiro I discovered some superb Spanish and Portuguese-speaking authors, and would particularly recommend Angélica Gorodischer’s Kalpa Imperial, Roberto Bolaño’s Last Evenings On Earth, Chico Buarque’s Budapest, and Bernardo Carvalho’s Nine Nights. I started but haven’t yet finished Lygia Fagundes Telles’ The Girl In The Photograph. I found recommendations for several other female writers I would have liked to read but alas, couldn’t find a translation. Meanwhile, Bolaño’s epic 2666 is still on the shelf, awaiting its moment.

I’m usually a year behind with new releases as I tend to wait for the paperback (hardbacks are beautiful but I can’t bear to see them get messed up on the tube, and although I love my Kindle, as a writer there is no substitute for a library you can flick through) so I caught up on a number of older releases. I read a lot of brilliant fragmented novels this year: Hawthorn and Child by Keith Ridgeway, Tokyo Cancelled by Rana Dasgupta, Communion Town by Sam Thompson, The Race by Nina Allan. I’d thoroughly recommend the beautiful and haunting All The Birds Singing by Evie Wyld, and was delighted to find Jennifer Egan’s Look At Me to be just as clever, funny and touching as one of my favourite novels of recent years, A Visit from the Goon Squad. My last read of 2013, What Lot’s Wife Saw by Ioanna Bourazopoulou is a clever, intriguing conundrum of a novel.

Going to be spoiled for choice for reading in 2014: I want to catch up on novels by Aminatta Forna (The Hired Man), Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Americanah), Eleanor Catton (The Luminaries or The Rehearsal), and Kate Atkinson (Life After Life), just for a start, and of course, a new David Mitchell novel, The Bone Clocks, out in September.

Here’s to 2014!

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

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…

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?