THREE BOOK DEAL: Stormblood

We can finally announce this: My far-future science-fiction novel STORMBLOOD, about alien DNA that makes people permanently addicted to adrenaline and aggression is going to be published as a trilogy with Gollancz/Hachette.

It’s The Wire meets Mass Effect and contains lots of gooey body biotechnology, good people forced into tough decisions s for the right reasons, colonialism, weird aliens, space opera exuberance, drug trackiffing, power-hungry empires, sibling relationships, overcoming past trauma, and flawed characters you’ll (hopefully), come to know and love and hate as they get fight for the people they care about.

Anyone who knows me knows I’ve been writing to get a novel published since forever. It’s taken years of blood, sweat and tears and revising and re-editing, but here we are. There’s too many of you to thank for helping me along the way, you know who you are. I packed so many of my passions and things I love into these books, and having them being professionally put out into the world is a dream come true and I cannot wait to introduce them all to you. This is going to take my life in a very different direction for the next few years.

One of my earliest memories as a child is going to the bookstore with my mother and picking out things I wanted to read, and soaking them up at home. Somewhere in my early teens, I found I wanted to write my own books. And every-time I went to the store, I’d tell myself that something of mine would be released here one day. I’ve never stopped believing it.

And now, miraculously, three of them are going to be.

I had tremendous fun writing this one. It’s my favourite thing I’ve ever written, and I feel it’s where I grew significantly as a writer and discovered exactly what I wanted to write, and how to do it.

I’ve always loved Gollancz as a publisher and their books they published. Now, I’ll be sharing space with the greats: Joe Abercrombie, Richard Morgan, Charlene Harris, Brandon Sanderson, and so many authors I grew up reading. I always hoped, as stupid as it was, that my books would end up with Gollancz. The dream, quite literally, came true.

I haven’t had an easy year, and the endless stress from emailing, checking in, communicating with my agent revising, editing, more emailing, over the last 8 months left me drained. But that’s past now, and not only will Gollancz be publishing my dream novel, I get to write two more! And they’ll pay me for it!

The first book is going to be released in Feb 2020, so 2019 will be the year of self-promotion for me. Suffice to say, my writing life is going to get very interesting from here on out.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m heading off to the bar.

More details at my agent’s website.

Traveling, Euro-holiday and Nineworlds

If you haven’t seen me online much, it’s because I’ve been traveling. I had a fantastic six week holiday across Europe, starting at Poland and gradually moving West, to Germany, France, England, Scotland and Isle of Skye (I know it’s not a separate country but hey, neither is Scotland according to some folks). I had a fabulous time, ate waaay too much food, consumed far too much local beer and gin (got to try the local colour!) and bought too many books and movies in the UK. They’re stupidly cheap compared to Australia, with the max price of a paperback being 8.99 pounds (about $15 AUD), whereas books are no less than $20 here, if you’re lucky. And I like supporting bookstores and fan-stores like the awesome Forbidden Planet, which I’ve always heard people gushing about but never been myself, where I got most of my haul.

I’ve also been known to have a gin or two. Or three. Or more, if the company is right. But if you want the good stuff, you’re looking at bleeding your wallet dry sooner rather than later. Thankfully, we stopped by a gin boutique store in Berlin, which had gins from across the world. Combined with duty free shopping, I got to add a few to my collection.

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There was also a meeting with my awesome agent, John Jarrold. Can’t talk too much about what we discussed, but things are moving along and I hope I’ll be able to talk in more detail soon.

I also got to stop by Nineworlds, which is significantly smaller than WorldCon…and very, very different. I’ll go into more detail with another blog, but I’ll admit that while I got to catch up with some friends, I was very disappointed with the programming, the panels (including one I was on, which was a disaster), the general audience and mood of the con. It wasn’t a place for the majority of readers or writers or creators, with half the panels being very fan-driven, most of which were about dating simulators, the sexual politics of anime, or how *insert piece of media here* is problematic. None of these things are bad, of course, but when they become pretty much all a con’s got to offer…it makes for a very specific and one-sized audience. But that will be discussed later, but suffice to say I felt very isolated and out of place, and the people I was with shared my feelings.

Anyway. It’s back to normal life, work, study, gym and writing. I do wish I was back driving along the highlands of Scotland, scoping out the pubs and eateries of London and walking down the sun-showered streets of Paris, but I like getting back into my routine, and living for 6 weeks out of a suitcase is more tiring than it sounds. I’m already deep into some new projects and should have more news on that front soon.

Onwards!

 

Story release: Traumahead and other sales

Well. I’ve been busy. You know how it goes.

But: a few days ago one of my stories, Traumahead, launched over at Nature magazine. You can check it out over here.

It’s one of the more scientifically denser stories I’ve written, about an alien who’s collecting the memories of his fellow fallen soldiers before their civilization is wiped out by xenocidial humans, and searching for his daughter amoung the wreckage. It’s probably got the highest number of made-up technical jargon I’ve had in a flash piece,  and every sentence had to work double-time to cram the narrative into such a short space. But I’m pretty happy with it, and I got to play with weird and gooey alien biology and fragments of space opera wonder among the darker side of the story. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to sell a first-person story about highly advanced aliens to Nature, but I was happy to be proven wrong. Hope you check it out and enjoy.

Otherwise, a reprint of my “The Bronze Gods” appeared in Grimdark Magazine Issue 16, alongside work from Ed McDonald, Rebecca Kuang and Michael R. Fletcher. Give it a lookesy…

Also, my story “The Galaxy’s Cube” is going to be translated into Estonian by the magazine Reaktor, making it the fourth language the story has appeared in, and almost my most reprinted work. This would be the 10th time it’s been reprinted, methinks. It’s not my favourite story, but all these years later I find it still holds water, and if people want to continue reprinting it, I won’t object.

As always, until later…