Friday, 3 July 2015

The Big Book of Thorns is on its way!

It has long been an ambition of mine ... well, these past 4 years at least ... to have a special edition of the Broken Empire books. And when I say special I don't mean just a fancy front page proclaiming it to be a special edition - I mean SPECIAL.

The Broken Empire trilogy means a lot to me. It was an emotional thing to write and contains some of the best writing I'm capable of. I know it means a lot to quite a few other people too, because I've had hundreds of emails and messages telling me so. Both the book and the process of putting it into the world and interacting with its readers have been a journey - an epic journey - and I wanted something to commemorate it.

After a lot of nagging, set-backs, planning, failing, natural disasters, and blind luck, we've finally got there. It's coming!

Grim Oak Press are going to be producing an omnibus edition, the whole trilogy in one volume, a Big Book of Thorns! Shawn Speakman's the man in charge. He loves books, he loves these books, and he loves producing beautiful examples.

The plan is to produce a very high end lettered edition of 52 signed leather-bound books, and a high quality numbered edition of 1000 signed cloth-bound books.

All of the books will have internal art, multiple pages of it, by Jason Chan - the artist who did the covers for the US and UK Prince/King/Emperor of Thorns. Jason will also sign the books along with me.

I'm hoping to canvas reader opinion about any scenes they might like Jason to capture.

Graphic artist Nate Taylor (an illustrator who works with Pat Rothfuss) will create a thorn design for the cover and interiors.

I'm hoping that the finished product will be something like this (with cover design of course and some detailing on the spine. I've asked for spine ridges because, dammit, I like spine ridges!).

NOTE: Grim Oak won't be taking pre-orders on this until much later in the year, maybe December, and the plan is to put the books into people's hands in the first half of next year.

I'm sharing this now because recently I posted about the signed and numbered run of The Liar's Key - I posted multiple times on my Facebook page, the Prince of Thorns facebook page, Twitter, my blog, and Goodreads. The books sold out quickly and ever since I've been getting distressed messages from people who missed out because they didn't know about it. So, I'm getting the word out early!

Special editions are a labour of love. Compared to the sale of hardcovers, paperbacks, and ebooks they make very little money. I make more money on a fire & forget deal for the Lithuanian rights to Prince of Thorns or whatever. They cost a lot to buy because they cost a lot to produce. I'm pushing this because I love the idea of a big boxed leather-bound Book of Thorns. I want one. I hope you do too!

I'm also considering writing a new Jorg-based short story to include in the special edition but I'll canvas opinion on that. Do people want any extras, or just the core text?

But wait, there's more! When the print run sells out Grim Oak Press are going to donate $10,000 to the Children's Hospice charity that runs several wholly charity-supported hospices, one of which gives 14 days respite care a year to my daughter Celyn and cares for a great many other life-limited children. This is a very generous move, suggested by Shawn Speakman, and in-line with Grim Oak Press's track-record for charitable donation. I know that the money will be very well spent on the most vulnerable of children, putting some happiness into their short lives and being there for them at the end.

I don't have anything else to show you, except this sequence of photos I took recently when unwrapping my copy of the Unfettered anthology from Grim Oak Press. This should give you an idea of the type of thing they produce.

(check out their announcement)

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Obey the stars - your horoscope book!

Aquarius (Jan 23 - Feb 22) Your creativity and ability to effortlessly invent has turned you into an inveterate liar and a sexual deviant. You're prone to repeatedly making stupid mistakes and the main reason for this is your stupidity. You think people like you ... but they don't.

Gemstone: Asphalt
Spirit Animal: Wombat
Ideal Fantasy Book: The Name of the Wind


Pisces (Feb 23 - Mar 22) You're an early adopter and great adventurer, holding lesser mortals in contempt. With Piscean generosity you're swift to offer advice and criticise other's efforts. Everyone considers you to be full of hot air and shit in equal measures. They are not wrong.

Gemstone: Asbestos
Spirit Animal: Lung-worm
Ideal Fantasy Book: The Lies of Locke Lamora


Aries  (Mar 23 - April 22) All conspiracy theorists are Aries. You have a vivid imagination and are prone to hallucination. You are capable of abusing the smallest amount of power and your friends hate you. Ideally you would be a receptionist. Elevation to higher levels of authority invariably leads to assassination. Your self-confidence can crack rocks. The most common adjective associated with Aries is 'douchey'.

Gemstone: Coprolite
Spirit Animal: Sponge
Ideal Book: Prince of Thorns

Taurus (April 23 - May 22) "Prone to breaking things." This is the nicest thing ever said about a Taurean (by E.J White, 1907). You are stubborn and ill-tempered with an aversion to hygiene. People born under this sign are always republicans. Ambitions include killing poor people for sport.

Gemstone: Chewing Gum
Spirit Animal: Beef
Ideal Book: Malice


Gemini (May 23 - June 22) You are clever and silver-tongued. Geminis are often good looking. Your capacity for betrayal is hampered only by chronic laziness. Most Geminis die in prison. You are bisexual.

Gemstone: Cubic Zirconia
Spirit Animal: Chicken
Ideal Book: A Game of Thrones


Cancer (June 23 - July 22)  You are a positive go-getter. A lack of talent often leaves you relying on the generosity of others. Common Cancer professions include beggar, prostitute, and golf-pro. Those born under the sign of Cancer are famed for their stinginess, with wallet opening being an annual event. Most incest is committed by Cancers. 

Gemstone: Coal
Spirit Animal: Sperm Whale
Ideal Book: The Colour of Magic

Leo (July 23 - Aug 22) You believe yourself to be a born leader. This belief is not shared by others. Bestiality is common among Leos as is accountancy. The most common age for Leos to die is 37, on a Tuesday. Leos are always short. Leo men have small penises.

Gemstone: Ice
Spirit Animal: Elderly flatulent lion 
Ideal Book: Blood Song

Virgo (Aug 23 - Sept 22) You are a flexible and highly motivated individual. Virgos are thieves and murderers. All Virgos have tattoos. As an egotist you are unable to accept criticism and live in a world of your own imagination. People hate you because you're arrogant.

Gemstone: Plastic
Spirit Animal: Mole-rat 
Ideal Book: Lord of the Rings


Libra (Sept 23 - Oct 22) Your artistic tendencies combined with poor manual dexterity mean that you will fail in most enterprises. Librans generally die of venereal disease, usually because of stupidity rather than promiscuity. Many Librans become parking attendants. No Libran has ever lived past age 56.

Gemstone: Kidney Stone
Spirit Animal: Slow-worm 
Ideal Book: A Wizard of Earthsea                          


Scorpio (Oct 23 - Nov 22) You are born under the sign of evil. Your ruthless approach to life means that by the time you are murdered you will have killed an average of six people. Ethically you are closer to the honey badger than the scorpion. You are cold and distant and prone to falling asleep during foreplay. Scorpios go bald early.

Gemstone: Bezoar
Spirit Animal: Weevil
Ideal Book: Lord Foul's Bane


Sagittarius (Nov 23 - Dec 22) You're always ready to lend a helping hand and listen to other people's problems. Expect to be taken advantage of as everyone else is a bastard. You will be an alcoholic by the time you are 30. Do not become a social worker. You drive a really old station-wagon, or wish you could. Capricorns hate you because you stole their spirit animal.

Gemstone: Gravel
Spirit Animal: Goat
Ideal Book: Magician 


Capricorn (Dec 23 - Jan 22) All Capricorns are cowards. Your pedantry makes you the most likely to be killed for food in any disaster scenario. Capricorns have been eaten when elevators become temporarily stuck between floors. Capricorns are famous bores and can empty most rooms with half an anecdote. You have haemorrhoids. 

Gemstone: Mudstone
Spirit Animal: Tapeworm 
Ideal Book: Assassin's Apprentice


Monday, 29 June 2015

Fools' Contest!

If you're just here for the silly photos of authors, scroll down!

I *still* have some signed Prince of Fools paperbacks to dispense! And at least one proof copy of Prince of Thorns.


I will send you (internationally, but not off-planet) a signed copy if you:

a) Send me a photograph of any author looking foolish

- you can steal one off the internet
- ask a friendly author to pose for you (here's my "no!" in advance, try Snorri Kristjansson)
- or get a ladder and ... actually, no, there's just two ways


b) failing that, a photo of you or a loved one next to a free-standing pile of books that is taller than they are (here it helps to have young children).


c) are lucky enough to win.

I will send a book to the person who sends the best foolish photo. Another to the person who builds the tallest tower. And three more at random to anyone with a qualifying photo or tower. 

All entries will be posted here. Send them to me at

The contest closes on Wednesday the 8th.

#68 Pat Rothfuss - most popular choice for foolish author photos  - from Hanin

#67 Robert E Howard, Author of Conan, showing there were geeks back in the roaring 30s - from Jacob

#66 Brent Weeks again - from Joel

#65 Some guy I don't recognise  - from Mia

#64 Joe Abercrombie, Author of the First Law trilogy  - from Radi

#63 Book Tower  - from Rhea (& Sean). Rhea reckons it's a thousand million feet tall.

#62 Book Tower  - from Jordan (tower measures 8'8")

#61 Book Tower  - from Milena (she's 1.65m)

#60 Author John Green  - from Chane

#59 Book Tower! 8'7"   - from Mark

#58 Brandon Sanderson again!  - from John

#57 John Green, Author of The Fault In Our Stars  - from Harveen

#56 Peter Newman, Author of The Vagrant  - from Anderson

#55 Book Tower - from Daire (who is 182cm / 5'11")

#54 Myke Cole, Sam Sykes (in owl suit), Peter V Brett  - from Michael

#53 GRRM, from Rob

#52 Authors Maureen Johnson, John Scalzi, and Bill Barnes  - from Josh

#51 Book Tower! - from Sonja (who stands 165cm)

#50 William Golding, Author of Lord of the Flies  - from Sara

#49 Jim Butcher, signing during a break from his day job at Burger King  - from Michael

#48 John Scalzi  - from Michael

#47 King George!  - from Anastasia

#46 Ninmue Brown, Author of Hopeless, Maine  - from Tom Brown (illustrator of Hopeless, Maine)

#45 Christopher Paolini, Author of Eragon  - from Stefani

#44 Sir Terry  - from Shea

#43 Stephen King with another animal friend  - from Bill

#42 John Gwynne, Author of Malice, preparing for Wimbledon  - from Kennedy

#41 Joe Abercrombie, Author of First Law, playing the drums on his belly at the Grim Gathering II while Peter Newman talks to the crowd  - from Antony

#40 Book tower! Showing that buying slip-cased special editions really pays off!  - from Karl

#39 The ubiquitous Rothfuss  - from Steve

#38 Chelsea Cain (& victim), Author of Heartsick  - from Kathleen

#37 Book Tower, with Coen for scale at 1.82m or 5'11"

#36 Myke Cole, Author of Control Point, posing as a friar ... for some ... reason  - from Jenny

#35 Patrick Rothfuss, challenged by Jeff to push his stomach out as far as possible!

#34 Brent Weeks, Author of The Night Angel trilogy  - from Ryan

#33 Sir Terry Pratchett, Quack!  - from FMC

#32 Ray Bradbury, Author of Farenheit 451  - from Francisco

#31 Brandon Sanderson again, with his sword, again ... he likes that sword!  - from Paul

#30 Book-tower! Click HERE for the construction and collapse sequence!  - from Erik

#29 Brandon Sanderson, Author of Mistborn  - from Hrishikesh

#28 Book-throne! -from Minett

#27 Jim Butcher, Author of The Dresden Files, preparing to release the hounds of war  - from Mindi

#26 Stephen King  - from Mindi

#25 Mary's Angels - various authors   - from Rob

#24 Stephen King, Author of ... well ... stuff  - from Michael

#23 Kevin Hearne, Author of Hounded  - from Joshua

#22 Neil Gaiman, Author of American Gods, with a new hairdo  - from Kass

#21 Mark Twain, looking surprisingly buff for someone from olden times...  - from Jason

#20 Patrick Rothfuss, officially the most foologenic author  - from Kevan

#19 Nick Offerman, Author of Paddle Your Own Canoe (I'm reliably informed that if you're used to seeing him with his trademark moustache then this is a foolish photo)  - from Matthew

#18 George RR Martin, posing as Daenerys  - from Daniela

#17 Peter V Brett (V stands for Veryflexible), Author of The Warded Man  - from Jude

#16 Angela Darling, Author of Lauren's Beach Crush  - from Erick

#15 Sammie J, Author of Rock the Viper  - from her husband, Anthony

#14 St Patrick's 3rd showing, this time blessing a child  - from Marc

#13 Ben Galley, Author of The Written  - from Robert

#12 John Scalzi, Author of Old Man's War  - from Ben

#11 EL James, Author of 50 Shades of Money  - from Pavle

#10 Pat Rothfuss again ... are we starting to see a pattern?  - from Carrie

#9 Book Tower - from Nick (& little sister) - innovative bridging technique!

#8 George RR Martin  - from Nadjad

#7 Brian Jaques, Author of the Red Wall books  - from Leslie (who didn't take the shot but has met him)

#6  - from Sadir, he says he's sorry, but he's not!

#5 Book Tower - I'm not convinced it's free standing ... but there are some good books at the top  - from Megathura

#4 Grim Gathering I (blurring caused by laughing at my introduction of Joe Abercrombie)  - from Sue

#3 Donald Trump, Author of ... whatever...  - from Dustin

#2 Pat Rothfuss, Author of The Name of the Wind  - from Ben

#1 Pierce Brown, Author of Red Rising  - from Charlie