Archive for July, 2016

Limited Editions with Vault Books

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

I have a big announcement: the new specialty press Vault Books is launching today, and their opening salvo of titles includes two from me! I’m super psyched. These books are going to be gorgeous.

The Clayton Killer: The John Cleaver Omnibus Volume 1
The first trilogy of John Cleaver books, collected in one volume. This will include a foreword by V.E. Schwab and both cover and interior art by Daniel Serra. I’ve been involved with the press at every step of the planning, helping to choose the best people, the best paper, the best everything, and I promise you that this book is going to be perversely beautiful. We’re talking heirloom quality, signed and numbered, with a slip case and leather binding and the whole nine yards. It will also have a brand new John Cleaver short story that has never appeared anywhere else. For fans of John Cleaver this will be worth every penny.

A Night of Blacker Darkness
My historical vampire farce, for the first time ever in print in English. It’s been a hit in ebook and in audio, and now at last you can buy it in a stupidly awesome print version. This will come in three editions: a regular (but amazing) trade hardback, a limited edition with leather binding, and a super-limited edition with extra art and some other fun surprises. All three editions will contain a novella set in the same world, called A Pear-Shaped Funeral, and a foreword from one of the book’s biggest fans, a plucky young fellow named Brandon Sanderson. If you love historical vampire farces–and who doesn’t?–buy this now for you and all your loved ones.

Oh, and did I forget to mention this one?

Shared Nightmares
Vault Books is also reprinting this horror anthology, containing what I consider to be my best short fiction writing to date. All the stories are about dreams and nightmares, and my story “Health and Wellness” is about a young man who suddenly gains the ability to remember all his dreams with perfect crystal clarity.

All of these books, and everything else on their lineup, will be fantastic. Did I mention they’re doing a short story collection by Mercedes Yardley? Because they totally are, and it looks jaw-dropping. Go forth and pre-order.

Social Justice Bard

Friday, July 8th, 2016

I am not a Social Justice Warrior, because I am not warrior. Sometimes I think I’d like to be, and there may come a day when I get forced onto the front lines, but for now I’m not. Most of us aren’t.

But I can be a Social Justice Bard.

I can write stories that inspire the warriors. I can tell dramatic tales of problems and dangers and awful injustice, and glorify the heroes that overcome them. I can write books about awesome women, and I can push my publishers to get black and latino faces on the covers, and I can post aricle after article and even edit anthologies about mental illness and how to see and treat everyone as a person. I can stand up for my friends, even when they do something stupid, and I can wear my religion proudly, even when people attack it, and I can raise my children to love and respect everyone, even when they disagree with them and even when they don’t have to. I can present a better world in fiction, and maybe help create a new generation of warriors who will fight to make that fiction a reality.

I watch the world, and the things people are doing to each other, and the way people talk to each other–or maybe just at each other–and I want it to change. I want the world to be as wonderful as it is in my dreams. So I’m going to take those dreams, and I’m going to write them down, and every time there’s another shooting or bombing or battle or argument or anything at all, I’m going to write that much harder. I’m going to tell more stories. And maybe the warriors will read it in some dark hour, and their spirits will lift up, and they’ll get back into the fight. Because that’s what bards do.

We sing the songs of glory, and help make the world more glorious.

ONES AND ZEROES cover reveal

Friday, July 1st, 2016

I love this cover, and I want to talk all about it, but let’s start with the good stuff: the actual cover.

Behold it’s glory:

image

ONES AND ZEROES is the sequel to BLUESCREEN, and the second book in the Mirador series. It continues the story from the first one, but it’s designed to stand on its own. Here’s the pitch from the publisher:

Overworld. It’s more than just the world’s most popular e-sport—for thousands of VR teams around the globe, Overworld is life. It means fame and fortune, or maybe it’s a ticket out of obscurity or poverty. If you have a connection to the internet and four friends you trust with your life, anything is possible.

Marisa Carneseca is on the hunt for a mysterious hacker named Grendel when she receives word that her amateur Overworld team has been invited to Forward Motion, one of the most exclusive tournaments of the year. For Marisa, this could mean everything—a chance to finally go pro and to help her family, stuck in an LA neighborhood on the wrong side of the growing divide between the rich and the poor. But Forward Motion turns out to be more than it seems—rife with corruption, infighting, and danger—and Marisa runs headlong into Alain Bensoussan, a beautiful, dangerous underground freedom fighter who reveals to her the darker side of the forces behind the tournament. It soon becomes clear that, in this game, winning might be the only way to get out alive.

With most of my books I don’t get any real input on the covers–most authors don’t–but on the Mirador series I’ve been involved at every level. I suggested basic looks and layouts; I helped select the models for the photo shoots, and the actual photos we ended up using; I submitted reference art of cyberpunk cityscapes, and reference photos of LA; I sent notes back and forth of what the clothes and the robots and Marisa’s arm should look like. I’m not claiming credit for the outcome–that all belongs with Michelle Taormina and Sebastian Hue–I’m just letting you know that this cover is as close to my own personal vision of the series as I could make it.

One of the interesting puzzles for us, with BLUESCREEN’s cover, was that cyberpunk cities are traditionally dark and vertical, but LA is wide and flat and sunny. We chose to go with a cover that ‘felt’ cyberpunk-y, full of giant skyscrapers and narrow streets at the bottom of deep steel canyons, because that was the best way of announcing exactly what kind of book it was. With ONES AND ZEROES we had the chance to show a little more of what I imagine when I write the books: low buildings with paint and brick, bright sunsets and palm trees, and storefronts full of neon and holograms and advertisements in a dozen different languages. BLUESCREEN’s cover was cyberpunk in general, but ONES AND ZEROES is unique to Mirador.

One more quick note about the people on the cover: Marisa’s in the middle, obviously, with her best friend Sahara on the side (and Cameron and Camilla, the everpresent camera nulis, hovering behind her). The other character is new to this book: Alain Bensoussan. Some call him a freedom fighter, others call him a terrorist; pretty much everyone calls him a criminal. Finding out what he wants, and how far he’s willing to go to get it, is a journey you’ll have to take along with Marisa.

ONES AND ZEROES comes out on February 14. Blink on your djinni to set an alarm, and I’ll see you in Overworld.