Friday 30 June 2017

Road Brothers returns!

Road Brothers is coming back, and this time the road is 50% longer! It will be released on the 2nd of November 2017.

In the UK (& AUS + NZ) you'll be able to get it in hardback published by Voyager. Pre-order here, or here for free worldwide delivery!

In the UK we have a new cover!

The artwork is by the late great Kimberly Kincaid who died unexpectedly and far too soon. She created the image just because she was inspired by the books and I'm very glad that Voyager were able to agree terms with her estate in order to use it on the cover.

You won't find Road Brothers in paper format outside the UK/AUS/NZ but the compensation is that in those locations where it isn't sold in hardback I will be able to sell a separate version with just the additional stories for the difference in price between the new version and the old version ($1) so that nobody who bought the old version will need to pay more than those buying the new version to read the same set of stories!

The change in cover is to emphasize the new content rather than from any dissatisfaction with Pen Astridge's excellent work.

Monday 19 June 2017

REVIEW: Low Town


One book, two titles, two very different covers!

So - I was coming back on the train from my only day out in 8 years (I'd been to hook up with Peter Brett & Myke Cole in London) - a day out on which it must be said my daughter Celyn was hurried back to hospital, so ... I might have to wait another 8 years for the next - and Marc Aplin of said 'Here, read this.' Or something to that effect, and slid a copy of The Straight Razor Cure across the table to me (the title and cover are infinitely better in the UK).

That was August. I started it just before Christmas and I've just finished it - which believe it or not is fast for me! To be honest I only started it because the book I was reading was upstairs and I was downstairs and if I tried to leave the room to get it Celyn would have woken up ... but this one was within arms' reach. I was quickly hooked. The intelligence and wit of the prose did the job within a few paragraphs.

Anyhow. It is as every review says 'a detective thriller in a noir fantasy setting'. 

I found the writing to be exceptionally good. Very suited to my taste and very similar in style to what I aim for with my own. It has to be said that one of the most popular 2* reviews on this site is from a guy who loved my books and really didn't like Polansky's style. So opinions on that one are mixed!

Anyhow, the writing is concise, moody, witty, and captures what it sets after.

I liked reading about the main character. He's getting old, has bad habits, deals drugs, isn't the best at anything, but is dangerous and clever. I enjoyed the twists and turns of the plot. Several important items I guessed early on - perhaps they were telegraphed a little too strongly, perhaps I was just in tune with the story. Don't know.

I enjoyed the world-building. The society did borrow from some real world stereotypes maybe, but it's not a doorstop of a book and this form of shorthand is efficient in getting the reader's imagination to do some of the heavy lifting.

It wasn't a book that exercised me emotionally to a large degree - it wasn't without emotional content, but I wasn't hugely engaged on that level. Mostly I just wanted to have the crime solved!

Either way, it was a book that kept me coming back and rewarded my time by thoroughly entertaining me.

Give it a try!

You can go like my review on Goodreads if you like.

Sunday 18 June 2017

Fathers' Day

In celebration my best fictional father.

"When you become a father, it changes you. You see the world in new ways. Those who are not changed were not properly men to begin with."

Fool Girl, by Pen Astridge

Snorri ver Snagason, The Red Queen's War trilogy.

And my worst father is of course Olidan Ancrath, who no reader has felt moved to depict!

Sunday 11 June 2017

Stabby Hufflepuff?

I ran a survey on Twitter to see what Hogwarts house readers felt Red Sister's Nona belonged in.

The results were as follows.

Friday 2 June 2017

Cover Contest #SPFBO

Carrying on from last year's SPFBO cover contest here is 2017's turn.

I've asked each of the blogs to nominate their favourite three covers from the thirty in their batch and here they are!

I see dragons are still a fantasy staple with 20% of the covers sporting one, and some fine examples they are.

There's a public vote! Choose as many covers as you like.

Blogger vote (each chose 4 best)

9: Where The Waters Turn Black
5: Soldiers' Redemption
4: Heart of Stone
4: Valley of Embers
3: Corruption
2: Dead Letter
2: Trail of the Necromancer
2: All The Things You Have To Burn
2: Night of the Chalk
1: Cage of Deceit
1: Nefertiti’s Heart
1: Wrecker’s Gate
1: Spark of Defiance
1: Quest Chasers
1: Spellslinger
1: Empire of Chains

Image result for where the waters turn black
artist: Jenny Zemanek

designer: BetiBup33

Artist+Designer: Shawn King

Public vote (at the end of the blogger vote)

Corruption (158)
Valley of Embers (154)
Where The Waters Turn Black (148)
All The Things You Have To Burn (72)
Heart of Stone (72)
Shadow Shadow (65)
Soldier’s Redemption (65)
Trail of the Necromancer (62)
Night of the Chalk (60)
Leifdom (53)
Nefertiti’s Heart (51)

artist: J Caleb Clark

artist: Aaron Nakahara

Image result for where the waters turn black
artist: Jenny Zemanek