All posts in The Burning Dark

Introducing… THE MACHINE AWAKES

The Burning Dark is out next week. Yay! Also: Eeep! This might be my fifth published novel, and the fourth one might only have come out at the end of January, but that doesn’t make book releases any less scary.

But, The Burning Dark sure does look pretty. The US edition from Tor is a handsome glossy hardcover…

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…while the UK paperback from Titan has an amazing soft-touch matte black finish, with spot-varnish green. Yes, that’s a little book geeky of me, but damn, both my publishers have done themselves proud with the design and finish on these.

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But while the release dates rush ever closer, work goes on. I’m just about wrapping up the second book in the series, which will be out in April 2015. This book was originally called The Jovian Conspiracy, which fits, but is… well, a little bland. Fine for a placeholder, but nothing that is particularly exciting.

So we renamed it.

Book 2 of the Spider Wars sequence is now called The Machine Awakes. Which is, I hope you’ll agree, much better!

I’ll post some more info about that book later in the year! In the meantime, I think copies of The Burning Dark are already starting to ship… so I’d better get back to work finishing book 2!

 

 

“Dark and chilling… this is SF you will want to read with the lights on” – Library Journal *starred* review for THE BURNING DARK!

So this happened:

This dark and chilling novel from the versatile Christopher (Seven Wonders; Hang Wire) builds tension expertly. Claustrophobic in mood but with the scope of great space opera, this is sf you will want to read with the light on.

Library Journal, starred review of The Burning Dark

I’m bowled over. This is amazing… and it’s also my second novel in a row to receive a starred review, after Booklist awarded one to Hang Wire.

And if that didn’t whet your appetite, another nice review came out yesterday over at For Winter Nights, who said:

Wonderfully mysterious and frightening SF… The Burning Dark is such a page-turner. I could not put it down.

Also this week, I talked about the creepy legend of the lost cosmonauts over at the Tor/Forge blog – one of whom, Ludmila, plays a central role in the book.

The Burning Dark is out next week! What are you waiting for? Order your copy today!

Booklist, Tor.com weigh in on THE BURNING DARK; Lost Cosmonauts; Sword and Laser!

Oh boy. Where to start?

So! Been busy, which is great, except it means things tend to back up. Like a big collection of links, interviews, podcasts and other neat things that I need to get out there.

Welcome to Blog Catch-up Week!

Kicking it off today, Booklist have reviewed The Burning Dark, and they say it is:

An exciting novel from an exciting new voice in SF.

Wow, I like it! Booklist were the ones who gave Hang Wire a starred review, so I like them a lot at the moment. The Booklist review is paywalled for a moment – when it becomes free to view, I’ll post a link. In the meantime, you can actually read the whole thing on the Amazon.com listing for The Burning Dark.

Tor.com also reviewed The Burning Dark, with reviewer Alex Brown saying:

Christopher is a very good writer, with a strong sense of craft and imagery. The characters are, for the most part, fresh and complex, with their own only mildly trope-y personalities. The suspense and tension are there from the get-go and don’t let up until the very end. Once the book got going, I raced through it, reluctant to put it down. He has created a compelling universe populated by sentient machines, short-sighted humans, and malevolent monsters, and I can’t wait to see more of it. Two more books are scheduled in the Spider Wars series, and I’m curious to see where he’s headed.

I really like this review, because Alex points out that the book isn’t the kind of space opera science fiction you might expect. Which I think is exactly right!

On the subject of what exactly The Burning Dark might be about, today on the Tor Books blog I talk about the lost cosmonauts, a rather curious urban myth about secret Soviet space shenanigans – which plays a rather large role in the book.

Finally for this catch-up, I returned to my favourite podcast show recently, Sword and Laser, for another talk about books! I really love being on the show, and it was a pleasure to be a guest yet again. Apparently I’m nearing the record for author appearances on the show!

 

 

 

SFX magazine takeover, Kelly Braffet blurbs HANG WIRE, and the epic Forbidden Planet double book launch!

So this is a busy week.

Out today is issue 246 of SFX Magazine – inside of which you will find no fewer than three things either by, or related to… me!

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On page 108, Eddie Robson reviews The Burning Dark, awarding four stars and saying it is…

A skillful genre clash, using the furniture of military SF to stage a piece of psychological horror… what lingers at the end is the deeply uncanny quality of a haunted, abandoned space station, and a final sequence of revelations that pay off the tension handsomely.

All I can say it… wow! I love this review to bits!

If that whets your appetite, turn to page 116 for a two-page extract from the book, courtesy of Titan. The extract is an entire chapter, focussing on two of the marines stuck on the space station Coast City.

Following that, on page 118 is my second Book Club feature, this time on the Dragonlance classic, Dragons of Autumn Twilight.

Phew! Seriously, that must be some kind of record for SFX appearances.

I’m also delighted today to show off a new blurb for Hang Wire!

One of my favourite books of last year was Save Yourself, by literary wunderkind Kelly Braffet. Save Yourself is dark and beautiful, with a depth of character and elegance of prose that regular schmucks like myself can only dream of achieving.

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I was pleased as punch to make Kelly’s acquaintance via Twitter (man, three cheers for social media), and then just a little awestruck when she asked if she could read Hang Wire.

And she did, and this is what she said:

Adam Christopher’s Hang Wire reads like Erin Morgenstern via Tim Powers, but the dark, creepy heart that beats at its center is entirely its own. It’s good unclean fun, and so addictive.

And… wow. I’m speechless, and also very, very grateful to have received such wonderful praise from a writer such as Kelly. That blurbs joins Hang Wire‘s NPR review and starred Booklist review as some of the highlights of my writing career so far.

So if all of that tickles your fancy, come along to the Forbidden Planet Megastore at 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, on Thursday night (6th March) at 6pm for what promises to be an epic double launch of Hang Wire and The Burning Dark. I’ll be reading from both books, and the first 50 people in the door will get a Hang Wire fortune cookie (as seen in the book)! Hidden inside are four spot prizes, including a voucher for the Forbidden Planet store. There will also be jello shots! We were going to serve a wild strawberry liqueur – as seen in The Burning Dark – but it’s a little sweet and very sticky, so to make it safer for the store (sticky fingers on books is a bad idea), we’re making it into something a little easier to handle.

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As well as the regular paperback of Hang Wire, the limited edition, numbered hardcover – with gorgeous variant red cover by Kitschies Inky Tentacle winner Will Staehle – will be available for the first time. And not only that, this event will be your chance to grab The Burning Dark nearly three whole weeks before it goes on general sale anywhere in the world.

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Phew! I guess I’d better choose what to read then… see you tomorrow!

COLD WAR now available at Tor.com!

Slowly getting back into the blog after a couple of crazy weeks.

Yesterday, I made my Tor.com fiction debut with a novelette! Cold War, as I’ve mentioned before, is a standalone episode set in the same universe as my forthcoming dark space opera, The Burning Dark, and features an amazing illustration by Victor Mosquerra (seriously, you should see it in high res, it’s incredible).

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“Dropped on a frozen planet under suspicious circumstances, a group of marines struggles to discover the true objective of their mission.”

Cold War reminds me that The Burning Dark is – as of yesterday – just one month away from publication. Eep! The pre-order contest is still running too – all you need to do is send me your order receipt for The Burning Dark, or Hang Wire, or both, and you’ll go into the draw to win a pack of 13 signed books. More details can be found at this link.

And if you can make it to the Forbidden Planet megastore in London next Thursday (March 6th) at 6pm, you’ll be able to grab a copy of the UK Titan edition of The Burning Dark nearly three weeks before the official release! There will also be fancy drinks (wild strawberry liqueur, anyone?) and prizes hidden inside fortune cookies! Also on that night we’ll be launching the limited edition hardcover of Hang Wire, with variant colour cover! If you can’t make it, you’ll find order links for signed copies of The Burning Dark, Hang Wire, and the Hang Wire hardcover here.

More links and mentions and an extract and a podcast

Phew!

  • The Burning Dark isn’t out until March 25th, but over at Tor.com you can read the first extract! Note: a teeny bit of adult language. Also: strawberry liqueur…
  • …which can you have a drink of at Forbidden Planet on March 6th, where Angry Robot and Titan are joining forces to throw Hang Wire and The Burning Dark a party. The Burning Dark might not be out until March 25th, but if you can make it to FP, you’ll be able to get it three weeks early!
  • Over at SFSignal, both Hang Wire and The Burning Dark get a mention in the latest Mind Meld on Books We Can’t Wait To Read In 2014. Huzzah!
  • Also going live today is the latest episode of the Reader/Writer podcast. In this episode, myself, Andrew Mayne, Christopher Morse and Starla Hutchton discuss the perils of writing superhero fiction. Warning: contains spandex and capes.

And finally two reminders:

  • I have a newsletter! It’s closing in on 100 subscribers – it’s going to be monthly, and brief, but it will have exclusive content and giveaways that you won’t find elsewhere. So, you know, you should totally subscribe. I said the first issue would be out February 1st, but then I remembered I had a book out on January 28th, so it’ll be around then instead.
  • Speaking of books and them coming out, don’t forget to enter the Hang Wire/The Burning Dark pre-order contest, in which you could win 13 signed books by some very cool folk. Details at the link!

Cover updates for THE BURNING DARK

As you know, The Burning Dark is out on March 25th from Tor in North America, and from Titan in the UK and Commonwealth (excluding Canada).

I’ve shown the covers for both editions before, but they’ve now been finalised with quotes and a few other little tweaks. And this is what they look like – the Tor edition on top, Titan edition underneath. Click to super-size.

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Working with the publishers on the covers was actually pretty interesting. Tor.com ran a little feature on the cover back in July, in which Tor’s Art Director Irene Gallo discusses the origin of the project. It was actually when I saw that Tor was using designer Will Staehle for Something More Than Night by Ian Tregillis that I dropped Irene a line, suggesting he might be interesting for The Burning Dark.

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Will has done all of my covers for Angry Robot – in fact, he’s done seven covers for me: four novels, two variant covers, and the cover for my Seven Wonders ebook short. I quickly became a fan of his work, and seeing as he was now working with Tor as well, I thought it might make an interesting experiment.

I think both Irene and I were a little nervous – The Burning Dark is a “haunted’ space opera, and space operas tend to have spaceships on the front. Preferably exploding, if at all possible. Will is a genius, but he’s not that kind of cover designer.

But that was exactly the right kind of challenge – I think in my email to Irene actually said, “imagine what Will’s take on space opera would be like.”

As I’ve said many times before, I was delighted that Irene and my editor Paul Stevens agreed, and I think we were all blown away by the end result.

I’m also very pleased that Titan decided to keep the artwork for their edition, with some modification. The Tor edition is a hardback, so the cover will be physically larger, allowing for smaller typography. The Titan edition is a B-format paperback (a little smaller than a trade paperback), so a few alterations were needed to make sure the typography was legible at a smaller print size.

I think the end result is excellent, and it’s fascinating to see the two version side-by-side. Every time I look at the two of them, I see little tweaks I hadn’t noticed before.

My thanks to Irene and Paul at Tor, Natalie at Titan, and of course the man himself, Will Staehle.

HANG WIRE and THE BURNING DARK web round-up

Lots of stuff has popped up online recently, so here’s a quick little rundown. But before we get into the links, the joint Angry Robot Books/Titan Books launch of Hang Wire and The Burning Dark now has a Facebook event page. You don’t need tickets, and you don’t even need to register on the Facebook page, but it does give us a indication of potential numbers. Remember, there will be giveaways, and something fancy to drink! This is also your chance to get The Burning Dark three weeks before it goes on general sale.

Reviews of Hang Wire are starting to come in:

Booklist – as previously mentioned – gave the book a starred review, saying…

There’s a lot going in this genre-bender…  Christopher fulfils our expectations and more.  Days after finishing the book, you’ll still have a grin on your face.

The March 2014 issue of SFX Magazine features a review, and they say…

The sheer volume of ideas is dizzying… an enjoyably fast-paced read.

Geek Syndicate say that Hang Wire is…

A very good piece of storytelling. A damn fine read.

Every Read Thing says…

It’s a fun novel with a hell of an interesting cast.

Kafka’s Cage says…

To put it simply, this is one of the best sci-fi novels in years. It’s a worthwhile experience and one that beats any number of Hollywood Blockbusters for pure originality and panache. A fantastic read.

Just a Guy That Likes To Read says…

There’s only so much praise you can heap on a book, and I’m going to lay it on thick here. Hang Wire is a damn cool book. It’s the perfect example of deep and well thought-out characterisation, diversification, multi dimensional plotting, and clever (and at times poetic) writing. Each chapter could easily read as a self contained short story yet it’s the intrinsically well linked and overlapping plot that binds these gems into a greater beast that dares the reader to tame it – be warned, you can’t… and you’ll love Adam Christopher for it.

Bibliophile says…

It’s an absorbing read. Definitely an enjoyable one, and worth picking up when it comes out.

Both Hang Wire and The Burning Dark have appeared on a number of “Most Anticipated Novel” lists for 2014, including:

Additionally, The Age Atomic has appeared on two “Best Of 2013” novel lists:

And finally, don’t forget that if you pre-order Hang Wire and/or The Burning Dark, you can go into the draw to win thirteen signed books. The contest is open worldwide, and details can be found here.

The HANG WIRE/THE BURNING DARK pre-order contest – update and correction!

Yesterday I launched a pre-order contest for my two forthcoming novels, Hang Wire and The Burning Dark. Pre-order either of them, or both of them, and go into a draw to win a big pile of twelve signed books from a bunch of amazing creators. It’s a big prize. I’m already dreading the shipping cost to the winner.

I tweeted about it, and my tweet was retweeted, and I was very happy. Until I spotted an error.

My tweet said there were thirteen books to be won. There were only twelve. Somewhere, I miscounted.

Dang it. My apologies to anyone who got confused.

But, I said thirteen books on Twitter, and thirteen books ye shall have. So I’m very pleased to make an addition to the prize pack.

Say hello to the first collected volume of Lazarus, from Image Comics, written by Greg Rucka, art by Michael Lark, and signed by the both of them.

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Yep. Greg Rucka. Michael Lark. Signed.

Holy smoke, I want this for myself so very badly. But… one lucky winner shall have it. The signed copy of Lazarus joins The Shining Girls, London Falling, The Shambling Guide to New York City, Between Two Thorns, Any Other Name, All Is Fair, Fiddlehead, Vicious, Shovel Ready, Bandette, The Kick-Ass Writer, and The Copper Promise in what is one heck of a prize pack.

Next time I’ll be sure to keep count… although, y’know, I’m kinda glad I didn’t!

HANG WIRE starred review, advance praise for THE BURNING DARK, and the awesomely kick-ass pre-order contest! (updated!)

Fasten your seat belts. This is a big one.

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Hang Wire, my fourth novel from Angry Robot, has received a starred review from Booklist! They say:

Christopher fulfils our expectations and more: just when we think the story couldn’t get any weirder, he adds a whole new layer of weird, bouncing from one unexpected moment of goofiness to another, keeping us stuck to our chairs until we think it’ll take an industrial-strength solvent to pry us loose. Days after finishing the book, you’ll still have a grin on your face.

This is my first ever starred review, and I’m… floored, totally! There’s more in the full review, available for the moment to Booklist subscribers.

The advance blurbs for The Burning Dark, my first novel from Tor (US) and Titan (UK), are also in.

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Christopher has produced a widescreen Hollywood spectacular in novel form, littered with ‘wow’ moments and a few sly in-jokes for hardcore comic book fans to catch. Not to be missed.

James LovegroveNew York Times bestselling author

 A creepy mystery embedded in a classic SF setting that’ll make you shiver…

Tobias S. BuckellNew York Times bestselling author

Christopher puts sci-fi in a metaphysical choke-hold—The Burning Dark makes reality tap out.

Scott SiglerNew York Times bestselling author

Smart, intricate, and viscerally gripping… Adam Christopher carves a place for himself among the stars of his genre.

V.E. Schwab, author of Vicious

Christopher mines the terror of a setting that feels both tremendously vast and nerve-wrackingly claustrophobic. The Burning Dark will have readers hesitating before glancing at the night sky or turning on their radios.

Robert Jackson Bennett, author of Mr. Shivers and American Elsewhere

A riveting sci-fi mystery reminiscent of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House.

Martha Wells, author of Star Wars: Empire and Rebellion – Razor’s Edge

With this creepy and compelling mystery, Adam Christopher demonstrates why he’s one of the most original and exciting writers working in the genre right now.

Gareth L. Powell, author of Ack-Ack Macaque and The Recollection

Christopher is writing science-fiction unlike anyone else – tense, unsettling, and grounded in a universe full of danger and mystery. The Burning Dark slips a cold, gloved hand around your heart and doesn’t let go.

Jen Williams, author of The Copper Promise

My heartfelt thanks to that amazing collection of authors.

Appetite whetted? Fancy a look at Hang Wire and The Burning Dark? Then get your pre-orders in, because you’ll be in for the chance to win one gosh-darned heck of a prize pack. Read on!

Hang Wire is out in the US on January 28th and in the UK on February 6th. The Burning Dark is out in the US and UK on March 25th. Order one, or both, and you could win all of this:

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The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes (South African hardcover, *signed*)

London Falling UK

London Falling by Paul Cornell (UK trade paperback, *signed*)

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The Shambling Guide to New York City by Mur Lafferty
(US trade paperback, *signed*)

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The Split Worlds Trilogy:
Between Two Thorns, Any Other Name, All is Fair by Emma Newman
(UK paperbacks, *signed*)

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Fiddlehead by Cherie Priest (US trade paperback, *signed*)

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Lazarus: Book One: Family by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark
(US trade paperback, *signed*)

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Vicious by VE Schwab (US hardcover, *signed*)

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Shovel Ready by Adam Sternbergh (US hardcover, *signed*)

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Bandette: Volume One: Presto! by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover
(US hardcover, *signed*)

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The Kick-Ass Writer by Chuck Wendig (US trade paperback, *signed*)

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The Copper Promise by Jen Williams (UK trade paperback, *signed*)

That’s TWELVE THIRTEEN books. Thirteen SIGNED books. Did I mention they’re all signed? Well they are. *SIGNED*. Thirteen books from thirteen of my favourite writers and creators. Three hardcovers. Ten paperbacks. All of them signed.

To go into the draw to win this pack (Thirteen. Signed. Books), all you need to do is order Hang Wire, or The Burning Dark, or both, and send your order receipt to adam@adamchristopher.co.uk with the subject heading PRE-ORDER CONTEST. I’ll be using the subject heading to filter emails, so make sure you use it. If you don’t, I’ll still get the email, but I can’t guarantee I’ll find it.

The rules, they easy:

  • The contest is open worldwide.
  • You can order the books from anywhere you like – Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones, WH Smith, Indiebound, The Book Depository. Your local chain store. Your local indie store. Wherever you like to buy books from. You can find some links for Hang Wire here, and for The Burning Dark here.
  • To go in the draw I need your order receipt – it could be an email from Amazon or Barnes & Noble. It could be a scan or a photo of a register receipt. It could be a scan or photo of a handwritten receipt from your favourite indie store who rocks it old school.
  • The contest will run from today (January 6th) until Tuesday April 8th – yes, that’s a heck of a long time, but I want to give as many people as possible the opportunity to enter. Some people don’t like to pre-order, they like to buy the book off the shelf once it is out. Some people may have a favourite indie store that can’t process pre-orders. Some people might want to save up for the books. Whatever, no problem. Tuesday April 8th is one week after The Burning Dark comes out, so that gives everyone a chance to grab it after release if they so wish. I have to say I do prefer pre-orders – pre-orders count towards first week sales, and first week sales are super important. So if you can pre-order, please do so.
  • Now for the maths:
    • One copy of Hang Wire ordered gets you one entry.
    • One copy of The Burning Dark ordered gets you one entry.
    • If you order both books, you double your chances with FOUR entries.
    • If you buy the limited, numbered hardcover edition of Hang Wire from Forbidden Planet, that gets you TWO entries.
    • The entries all add up –  so if you say bought two copies of Hang Wire, and two copies of The Burning Dark (please note, I heartily encourage this excellent behaviour), you’d get eight entries. Throw in the limited hardcover of Hang Wire, you’re up to ten entries.
  • eBooks count the same as print copies. Audiobooks don’t count.
  • If you’re coming along to the book launch a Forbidden Planet London on Thursday March 6th and picking up your books there, there will be a notepad for you to write down your email address to enter.
  • The contest is now open. Winner will be drawn by random number and announced after the contest closes.

Okay? Okay. Any questions, please ask below. I want to make this as easy as possible, because I want to give away that set of signed books to one very lucky reader!

[Edit: Updated 8 Jan 2014 to add Lazarus to the prize pack.]