So, short on the heels of the audiobook edition of Cloud Permutations, Audible have released my 2012 British Fantasy Award winning novella, Gorel & The Pot-Bellied God.
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.
PS Publishing have gone a little cuckoo (gaga? woowoo? blergeblergh!) and are offering 100 free copies of my BFS Award winning novella, Gorel & The Pot-Bellied God! All you have to do is buy any book from PS, and you get a hardcover copy of Gorel free.
Of course, this works best if you buy either a copy of Osama or Cloud Permutations from PS! At least, it works best for me…
… and I just noticed they’re currently selling the trade hardcover edition of Osama (RRP £20) at only £13!
Yes – they are crazy!
BFS Award 2012, Best Novella, Gorel & The Pot-Bellied God
I was unable to attend the ceremony but my agent, John Berlyne, delivered a short acceptance speech on my behalf. It is reproduced below:
In 2007 I was living on a remote island in Vanuatu, and had asked people to send me books to read. The writer Mark Samuels was kind enough to send me three books, one of which was C.L. Moore’s classic collection of short stories featuring Northwest Smith and Jirel of Joiry. I had, of course, read them before. But re-reading them, in my bamboo hut in sight of the volcano, reawakened an old love in me. My sincere thanks, therefore, to both C.L. Moore and Mark Samuels.
I’d like to thank Pete Crowther for first taking a chance on Gorel; to Nicky Crowther, Nick Gevers and Mike Smith at PS, and my fantastic cover artist Pedro Marques. Thanks are due, always, to my friend and agent, John Berlyne, for keeping me on the straight and narrow, and to my wife, Elizabeth, for making it all possible.
The novella is my favourite form. It is an honour to be nominated, let alone win, this award. My sincere thanks to the members of the British Fantasy Society for voting Gorel & The Pot-Bellied God onto the shortlist, and to the judges for selecting it.
Somewhat to my surprise, I discovered last night that I’m nominated for the British Fantasy Award, for Gorel & The Pot-Bellied God for Best Novella.
You can pick up a ridiculously cheap e-book copy for the Kindle, or the pretty hardcover edition!
The full list of nominees is here.
“Buried Eyes”, the second Gorel of Goliris story (it follows Black Gods Kiss and precedes Gorel & The Pot-Bellied God) is now live at Podcastle, narrated by Graeme Dunlop. It will appear in print later in the year in Postscripts 28-29, and collected – with some previously unpublished Gorel stories – in Black Gods Kiss, also from PS Publishing.
The half-dressed girls passed silently between the lying figures, their bare feet making no sound as they stepped on the sand. Low-lying metal braziers cast a shifting glow and made the girls’ shadows move as of their own accord. Gorel of Goliris lay on his back on the thick rich carpet under the stars and what he saw no one could tell.
One of the girls stopped and knelt beside him. ‘Are you comfortable?’ she asked. She took his hand and put two long, graceful fingers against his wrist. ‘It is time for another one?’
She waited; presently, Gorel closed and opened his eyes. The girl, used to such minute communication, took it for assent.
The long thin needle was almost translucent but the nature of the material passing through it had stained it in fantastical whorls of yellows and reds . It was the quill of a small desert dweller; Gorel had captured and eaten several of its kind. The girl held his arm and her practiced fingers searched his naked flesh. Gorel’s lips moved, though little sound escaped. The girl stroked his hair. ‘Soon now,’ she murmured. ‘Soon. Hush now.’
Finding a suitable place, she pressed the needle into his arm with one practiced motion. The needle was attached by a long thin tube to a contraption of metal and glass standing upright beside Gorel and the girl. The bottom component was a glass jar filled with water. A pipe ran up and into a metal bowl. The girl moved her hand over the bowl and murmured words, too quiet to be heard. The bowl began to smoke. The smoke had a sweet, pungent smell. Everyone at the place knew it intimately. The water in the jar began to bubble. The girl took hold of a bulb attached to the side of the device and began to pump it. The water bubbled harder, and the smoke grew more intense. A sluggish substance began to drizzle down the long tube and into the needle. Gorel sighed, a weak exhalation of air, and closed his eyes. The girl continued to pump, and with her other hand stroked Gorel’s hair. ‘Better now,’ she said. ‘Everything is fine now.’
Rated R for violence, drug use.
I don’t think we ever officially announced it, but I’ve just delivered the manuscript of Black Gods Kiss: A Guns & Sorcery Collection to PS Publishing. Black Gods Kiss is a companion volume to my recently-published PS Publishing novella Gorel & The Pot-Bellied God, and is due to be published in late 2012.
Table of Contents:
1. Black Gods Kiss – 5600
2. Buried Eyes – 9400
3. Kur-a-len – 24000
4. The Dead Leaves – 5900
5. White Queen – 7500
So that’s two stories, two novelettes and a novella, all featuring Gorel of Goliris – and plenty of sex, drugs, guns and sorcery!
The first two stories (“Black Gods Kiss” and “Buried Eyes”) will be published in the next two issues of Postscripts; the others will be original to the collection.
Here’s a little fun extract – the opening paragraphs – from “The Dead Leaves”:
‘I would like you,’ the sorcerer said, ‘to kill a man.’
Gorel of Goliris stared at the sorcerer across the table. There are many questions one can ask in response to such a statement. The amateur might ask, for instance, why? or who? – good questions both, for certain. The amateur might ask, What has he done? or Is he a good man or a bad one? The professional has other, more urgent considerations.
‘How much?’ Gorel said, and the sorcerer smiled, revealing blackened, broken teeth. Gorel hated sorcerers, but this one was, so far, paying for the drinks.