The Great Game is now out from Hayakawa in Japan, the third and concluding volume of The Bookman Histories. Cool cover!
My third novella this month to be given the audiobook treatment – it’s Jesus & The Eightfold Path!
Three Wise Men came from the East for the infant Jesus in The New Testament. Three brave companions accompany the Buddha in the Chinese classic A Journey to the West. Could they have been the same three? Guided by a star, three strange companions arrive in the barbarous land of Judea to seek a newborn child – a possible messiah to some, and the reincarnation of the Budda to others.
When the child’s life is threatened, his family and new guardians escape to Egypt, returning years later, to a Jewish land on the cusp of annihilation by the Roman Empire. Once a general in the Judean army, now a Roman agent, Josephus Flavius is sent by Caesar back to his homeland to observe and report on the actions of the troubling young man now preaching sedition in the Galilee – a boy with the unsettling powers of kung-fu….
Their lives would collide in a cataclysmic confrontation between Romans and Jews, between empire and rebels – and change the world forever….
There is only one truth Gorel of Goliris – gunslinger, addict, touched by the Black Kiss – is interested in: Finding a way back home, to the great empire from which he had been stolen as a child and from which he had been flung, by sorcery, far across the World.
It started out simple: Get to Falang-Et, find the mirror, find what truth it may hold. But nothing is simple for Gorel of Goliris…
When Gorel forms an uneasy alliance – and ménage à trois- with an Avian spy and a half-Merlangai thief, things only start to get complicated.
Add a murdered merchant, the deadly Mothers of the House of Jade, the rivalry of gods and the machinations of a rising Dark Lord bent on conquest, and things start to get out of hand. Only one thing’s for sure: By the time this is over, there will be blood.
Not to mention sex and drugs…or guns and sorcery.
Audible are bringing out 3 of my novellas this month in audiobook format, and first up is Cloud Permutations -
Really a short novel, this is the closest I’ve come to young adult science fiction, I guess – definitely one of my favourites, and set on a planet colonised, centuries past, by Melanesians. I wrote it when living in Vanuatu. It’s also loosely part of the Continuity universe, for anyone keeping track.
It sailed a bit under the radar when it was originally published in hardcover – I still hope to see a new paperback edition at some point.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that once a detective acquires two concurrent cases, they must be related.
Ah, 2013. The year I stopped reading paper books and started reading on my… phone.
Welcome to the future!
I read 32 books in total. (I should add that I read an awful lot of first-second-third chapters of books before giving up. These are books I actually finished. Also I don’t include reference works). I caught up on some classics – Pynchon’s Inherent Vice, McCarthy’s Blood Meridian, Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (which lent itself to one of the best jokes I think in The Drummer). My favourite book of the year was Ned Beauman’s The Teleportation Accident. I also finally read The Princess Bride! Which is much stranger than I expected, and again, lent some of what it was doing, I think, to The Drummer. And I finally got to read The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril by Paul Malmont, which I almost got to read in 2007, only the last 10 pages of my paperback were missing – and I was halfway over the ocean on my way to Vanuatu!
In crime, I kept going through both Susana Gregory’s Matthew Bartholomew series, and Lindsey Davis’s Falco. And I read the latest Mallory novel from Carol O’Connell. I also read some crime novellas (Drive, The Hunter) and went on a Chester Himes buffet for a while!
Some of the best stuff I read were translated (old and new) novels. These were:
- Sunburnt Faces, Shimon Adaf (PS Publishing, 2013). This is my one cheat – I read it in the original Hebrew, and wrote the introduction for the PS edition. It’s a wonderful book from an incredible writer.
- Monday Begins on Saturday, Arkady & Boris Strugatsky. I read the old translation – the link is to a new translation and new edition from the SF Masterworks series. It’s very very funny. Loved it.
- What Lot’s Wife Saw, Ioanna Bourazopoulou (Black & White Publishing, 2013). I reviewed it here - “a dazzling magic trick of a novel”.
- Rabbit Back Literature Society, Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen (Pushkin Press, 2013). I’ll review it soon, I hope, but it’s fantastic - Twin Peaks meets the Moomins, if that makes any kind of sense. Technically I finished it in 2014 but hey! Read it.
In short stories, I loved China Mieville’s unexpected (it was only released in a limited edition chapbook), “The 9th Technique”, which is brilliant. I also loved 1926 in Brazilian Football, by Aliya Whiteley, which is reprinted in her collection Witchcraft in the Harem (Dog Horn Publishing 2013).
My vote for best new writer of the year is Benjanun Sriduangkaew, who I think is astonishing for a new writer, combining both ambition and the realisation of her ambition – I’m reprinting her Courtship in the Country of Machine-Gods (2012) in the forthcoming The Apex Book of World SF 3, and I highly recommend her 2013 fiction – her latest is Silent Bridge, Pale Cascade in Clarkesworld.
I’m not sure if it’s vain doing this sort of post, or sort of useful if only to me as a way of marking some sort of progress.
That’s a lot of qualifiers.
It’s been a long year.
On the publications front, I had two novels published. My short, weird SF (gonzo-SF?) novel Martian Sands finally saw print in March/April or thereabouts after years of, well, stuff. So I was very pleased to see it out. I also moved on to Hodder & Stoughton with a 2-book deal, the first of which, The Violent Century, came out in late October, to mostly very nice reviews.
Osama came out in Germany, France, Spain and Italy this year. The Bookman and Camera Obscura came out in Japan.
In short stories, I published 20 original stories this year, 19 in English and 1 in Hebrew. I have a more detailed post about them here.
I stopped publishing the World SF Blog in June, after more than four years. Surprisingly, I won a couple of awards for it this year – a BSFA Award for best non-fiction, and a special Kitschies. Which was nice.
I blurbed a few books, and wrote the introduction to the English edition of Shimon Adaf’s Sunburnt Faces. Which you should buy.
On the writing front, it’s been an incredibly busy year. I had my first screenwriting job, co-writing, with a friend, a feature for an Israeli production company. It’s gone through several drafts but a final draft is more or less there, for now.
I also sold my first mainstream comic - Adler, a five-part mini-series, with art by Paul McCaffrey, to Titan Comics, to be published late this year – around October, probably. I’ve delivered the scripts for the first 2 issues, and Paul is hard at work on finishing issue 1′s art at the moment.
I spent most of the year writing my new novel, The Drummer,which I delivered to Hodder just under the deadline a couple of weeks ago. The book was like a black hole, warping time and space around me. I’m pleased to see it gone, for now.
I also, at long last, finished my mosaic short-story cycle, Central Station, which I began around 2010. Individual stories have been published in Analog, Interzone, Clarkesworld and elsewhere. I’ve put the finishing touches on the collection.
I finished a new picture book with artist Adi Elkin.
I wrote about 12 short stories, some of them very short, some of them Central Station stories.
Coming in 2014
If all goes to plan, The Drummer should be out this October. My anthology, The Apex Book of World SF 3, should be out around August (or possibly towards the end of the year). Adler #1 should be out around October. I’ve also been working on a new anthology project, which is coming together very nicely, and should be out sometime in 2014. Apart from that, there’s a possibility that my Guns & Sorcery collection, Black Gods Kiss, will be out from PS Publishing (a companion piece to Gorel & The Pot-Bellied God).
I also have about 9 short stories scheduled to appear in 2014 so far. I am pretty much out of stories now, but I hope to write some new ones, and actually managed to finish 2 after sending off The Drummer. I miss short stories.
Writing-wise, I have a new novel to write, and Adler to finish. I’m also adapting – something – into a screenplay at the moment. I’ve got some more graphic novel/comics things I’m working on.
… but otherwise, I’m probably going to take it easy this year!