All posts in The Sentinel

What I did in 2013. What I’m going to do in 2014.

I was mulling over a wrap-up post for 2013, but this year has been a little weird, writing-wise, and I wasn’t sure there would be much to post. However, inspired by Chuck Wendig’s wrap-up – in which he mentions an interesting project or two that I have a hand in – I figured I should really sit down and work out what the hell I’ve been doing this year. And what I need to be doing next.

So! 2013?

Despite feeling like I haven’t done much, 2013 was a really good year for me. Having sold The Burning Dark to Tor around Easter 2012 as a standalone novel, this year I sold them two more books – The Jovian Conspiracy and The Stars Below – in the same universe. A few months later, UK and Commonwealth rights to all three books were sold to Titan. Tor revealed the amazing cover, by Will Staehle – who was also responsible for each of my Angry Robot covers – back in July.

I also wrote – and sold – Cold War, a standalone novelette set in the universe of The Burning Dark, to Tor.com.

ColdWar

I had one book published – The Age Atomic, a sequel to Empire State, came out from Angry Robot in April. Alongside the US and UK paperbacks came a limited, numbered collector’s edition hardcover of this title and of Empire State, complete with a new cover by Will Staehle. This made me the only Angry Robot author, so far, to have each of their novels released as a hardback.

TAA

ESLE

In June, I released Two Tales of San Ventura, a pair of short stories set in the world of Seven Wonders. Will Staehle was once again on cover duties.

2T

On top of this, as Chuck mentions over at his blog, I worked with him on a comic pitch that, with a bit of luck, we’ll be able to talk about next year. Speaking of comics, the first three parts of my Prohibition urban fantasy, The Sentinel, came out as part of the VS Comics digital anthology.

Events I attended were the Sci-Fi Weekender in North Wales (I had the flu the whole weekend, and have never been so cold in all my life), EdgeLit in Derby, Andromeda One in Birmingham, Nine Worlds in London, LoneStarCon/WorldCon in San Antonio, and World Fantasy in Brighton. If I to pick a favourite, it must be Nine Worlds – from tremendous organisation to imaginative and fresh programming, this was THE event of 2013.

So, behind-the-scenes, things were pretty busy, and work-wise this was a really good year. In fact, my biggest year yet.

Writing-wise, it was an odd one. From October 2012 through to August 2013 I was editing two books at once – The Burning Dark, and Hang Wire – which was a bit of a challenge. Once those were done, I spent a couple of months outlining The Jovian Conspiracy and got that book underway.

Which means it doesn’t feel like I’ve written much this year, even though “editing” really means “rewriting and rewriting and rewriting”. It’s also hard to track, as a straight eight-hour day of work on novel edits can actually result in a negative word count. There’s probably an easy way to track it, but I haven’t tried it yet!

As for 2014…

I’m under contract to write three novels, only one of which (The Jovian Conspiracy) is due next year. I’m working on it now, and that’s the number one priority.

Once that is in, I’ve got an urban-ish fantasy novel to finish, and a crime novel to write, before I get started on The Stars Below. So that’s one novel to finish, two to start and finish, and one to at least start. Minimum. I also have another long-short story to do, although hopefully I can knock that off before the end of 2013.

That comic project with Chuck should start to kick off… and there may be a couple of other projects in this field to talk about. The final part of The Sentinel should drop from VS Comics early in the year, although that was actually written a while ago.

The only event I’m locked in for so far is WorldCon, which in 2014 is being held in London, but there’s no doubt I’ll be at other events too.

But the big thing for 2014 is that I’ve got two books out! Hang Wire is released by Angry Robot on January 28th (US/eBook) and February 6th (UK), and The Burning Dark is out March 25th from Titan (UK/Commonwealth) and Tor (US). There’s not much of a gap between them and launch-wise, we’re cooking up something big, so stay tuned. There’s also a kick-ass pre-order contest starting in January. Cold War will be out around the same time as The Burning Dark.

So that was my 2013. An odd year, but a good one. 2014 is shaping up to be much bigger and busier, which is just how it should be. Onward!

Linky links, a competition, appearances and a website update

So! Stuff I have been meaning to post for a while:

If you’ve enjoyed Seven Wonders, you’ll get a wry smile from these; if you’ve not yet tried the book, you get a flavour of Christopher’s approach.

Readers who want “that little bit more” from their storytelling should check this out. Recommended.

And the other stuff:

  • I’ve shifted some stuff around on my website – Books now has a new landing page, and each title’s individual page has had a makeover. If I’ve left anything out, or you see anything odd, please holler!
  • I’ve updated my appearances for 2013 – next up is Edge Lit 2, being held at the QUAD in Derby next month. The schedule for the one-day event is online – I’ll post more details about that next week.

THE AGE ATOMIC is “Alan Moore interpreted by Michel Gondry, with President Eisenhower doing the voiceovers”, says Barnes and Noble!

I’m having some difficulty with the fact that it’s already May 24th. May 24th? That’s nearly June! I mean, I’m having some difficulty just with that fact that it appears to be 1.35pm on a Friday afternoon as I’m writing this. I’m pretty sure Monday was, like, just then.

This month has been, I think, my busiest yet, which has meant an awful lot of work, of juggling the work around other work, and just trying to find the headspace to process what are several potentially huge projects which have sort of just materialised on my desk.

But hey, it’s a nice problem to have, right? And I wouldn’t want to me doing anything else, right?

Damn right.

And saying “sort of materialised” isn’t really accurate, and in fact it’s doing me and every other writer on the planet a disservice. Opportunities arise through hard work. Lots and lots and lots of hard work.

But it’s worth it. You just have to keep going, and going, and going.

So in no particular order, I’ve been:

  • Doing the last final tweaks on The Burning Dark to get that locked in and off to Tor’s production department.
  • Editing Hang Wire, which is due later this year
  • Finishing up a couple of synopses for new projects
  • Starting up a couple of synopses for OTHER new projects
  • Writing the next episodes of The Sentinel for VS Comics
  • Getting involved in wonderful and bizarre email discussions and phone calls about some seriously cool stuff – in fact, about four completely separate seriously cool things. Which, if I stop for a moment to think about it, is amazing. And with a bit of luck, some of these projects might just come off.

And that’s been my month. And there’s still a week to go. Phew!

In other news:

Today Barnes and Noble posted a feature on three titles from Angry RobotBlack Feathers by Joseph D’Lacey, The Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu, and my own book, The Age Atomic, of which they said:

Adam Christopher’s debut from 2012, Empire Stateproved to be smart, sharp, witty dieselpunk, with an existential twist. Full of over-the-top noir stylings and outrageous heroics and villainy, the book postulated a shadowy doppelgänger to New York City that existed in an alternate dimension dubbed the Pocket. Detective Rad Bradley — think Slam Bradley of Siegel & Shuster Golden Age comics fame — managed to save his universe, but it got untethered from the “real” New York anyhow. Now in the sequel, The Age AtomicBradley, along with mysterious new partner Jennifer Jones, must face an army of atomic-powered robots helmed by an evil mastermind who seeks to destroy all creation. It plays like Alan Moore interpreted by Michel Gondry, with President Eisenhower doing the voiceovers.

…which pretty much makes my day/week/month/year. Amazing. When I can find some time later today, there will be some serious Snoopy dancing. Possibly in the kitchen, where the tiled floor is good for sliding around in socks.

The Sentinel, my four-episode pulp comic, got a nice mention over at FanboyComics.net, which makes it my first bona fide comic review! They said:

This is a prohibition-era noir mixed with elements of a love story. Like all good mysteries, there are a lot of interesting things going on behind the scenes that promise this will be an intriguing story filled with twists and turns.

Thanks! Episode 1 came out with issue 4 of VS Comics, which you can buy here. There’s also a free (well, 1p) sampler available here, which includes the first episode. Episode 2 is due to drop with VS Comics issue 5, which I believe is out in June.

Also this week, I took part in a Mind Meld over at SF Signal on the appeal of gods, goddesses and mythology in genre fiction, alongside fellow Angry Roboteers Chuck Wendig, Gwenda Bond, and North American sales guru (and author) Michael R. Underwood. You can read that here.

Finally, a couple of things I should have posted aeons ago:

Have a good weekend!

New release: THE SENTINEL episode 1

VS Comics #4 is out now, and so begins my first comic, The Sentinel!

The Sentinel is a crime/urban fantasy set in Prohibition New York (you can probably sense a theme here), and is about a rookie cop who is killed and resurrected as an Egyptian god of vengeance. With art by Nathan Ashworth, letters by Mike Stock, and edited by Ned Hartley, The Sentinel is pulp adventure in 6-page bites, and alongside episode 1 there’s an interview with me where I talk more about my writing and the comic. All that, and three other stories, for £2. Grab it!

Couple of links have popped up recently:

This Saturday I’m on 89 Chapters, the book show on CityFM89 based in Karachi, Pakistan. Hosted by the wonderful Mavesh, we talked for an hour about books, writing and music, and I had a blast. The show airs 2pm local time, which is 10am Saturday in the UK – you can listen to it live on air, and afterwards the show will be available to stream from the 89 Chapters website. I’ll put the link up for that once I have it.

THE SENTINEL sneaky peak, THE AGE ATOMIC ARCs, and LitReactor’s Sci-Fi Writing Challenge

As most will know, I’m a fan of comics, so it’s possibly no surprise that writing my comic debut, The Sentinel, is a whole bunch of fun. Over at Hot Key Books, I talk a bit about the experience, and finally we get to share some art by Nadine Ashworth, who is officially on board! Working with her and my editor Ned has been a delight, and my inbox is constantly full of surprises as new pages and sketches arrive.

This comic writing thing is super cool. I could get used to it.

In other news, ARCs of The Age Atomic have arrived in the US, and they look, well, hot is the only way to describe them (aside from green, of course):

Photo courtesy of Mike Underwood.

Of course, if ARCs exist (and eARCs are also up on Netgalley) then people are going to start reading the book soon.

Eeeep!

Three books in and it doesn’t get any less scary…

Finally, LitReactor is having a sci-fi writing challenge! The rules are straightforward and  can be found on their site, but basically you can submit a 1,500 – 4,000 word short story, which is then graded by other readers. The top-marked stories will then be read and critiqued by myself, Chuck Wendig, Kat Howard and Joseph Nassise. This is going to be lots of fun, and I’m looking forward to reading the winning entries!

 

2012 leftovers, Angry Robot ebook sale, and the year ahead

Hello 2013! We’re back to an odd-numbered year, during which I will turn an odd-numbered age. I like odd numbers.

Anyway.

There are a few leftover bits and bobs from the end of 2012:

  • At WarpCoreSF, Empire State was named the Best Superhero Noir of 2012.
  • At The Founding Fields, Seven Wonders came in at number 9 of their best books of 2012.
  • Empire State came in at number 3 on Angel of Retribution’s list of best debuts of 2012, while Seven Wonders made it to number 3 on their Best of the Best list.
  • The Eloquent Page named The Age Atomic among their top ten books to look forward to in 2013
  • The Ranting Dragon have compiled a might list of 50 titles to look forward to in 2013, with The Age Atomic at number 19. Also featuring a shout-out to Hang Wire, although I’d argue whether one book is more important than the other!

Today is the last day of Angry Robot’s ebook sale, which features 25% off all their ebooks (including, of course, Empire State and Seven Wonders). You can find details of the sale here. All Angry Robot ebooks are DRM-free too!

Couple of award things – the BSFA Award nomination period is only open until January 11th (details here), and the Hugo Awards are now open for nominations until March 10th.

New Zealand’s Sir Julius Vogel Awards are also open from now until March 31st.- notably, anyone can nominate for these, regardless of membership of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand.

If anyone is so inclined, my list of eligible work is here.

And finally a quick update to my year ahead – actually, this is all likely to take me well into 2014. So my projects are: Shadow’s Call (to be renamed – now scheduled for publication in March 2014), Hang Wire (out in November 2013) Lucifer, Blackout 77, and an untitled urban fantasy project.

Um, yeah. That should keep me going! I should also have an update on my comic debut, The Sentinel, shortly. I’m looking forward to showing off some new art from that!

SEVEN WONDERS reviews and best cover polls and an update on THE SENTINEL

But first… my two 2013 novels, The Age Atomic and Hang Wire, have appeared in a list of most anticipated fantasy novels for 2013 over at Reddit, alongside some very fine books indeed. Woot! The Age Atomic is out in April 2013 – you can find pre-order links here.

Seven Wonders has been getting a bit of love recently with two new reviews. At SFFWRTCHT, M.A. Chiappetta says:

Seven Wonders is a fun read. The setting is entirely believable for a story with superheroes in it, and the book contains the unique tone and flavor fitting for a comic-influenced story line. For readers who like their novels to move fast with unexpected plot turns, Seven Wonders should be worth the investment.

There’s also another Italian review over at The Plutonia Experiment – Google’s English translator tells me they said:

Adam Christopher wrote what could be considered the perfect novel of superheroes.

Huzzah!

Will Staehle’s amazing cover for Seven Wonders has made it through to the second round of The Ranting Dragon’s Cover Battle 2012, although it’s up against some stiff competition. You can vote for your favourite here. The cover is also included in the “Most Unique Cover” category of the All Things Urban Fantasy 2012 Paranormal Cover Art Awards. Voting for that is also still open.

Finally, a quick update on my comic debut, The Sentinel. Originally scheduled for the first issue of VS Comics, due out around Christmas, it’s been pushed back until at least February 2013. I’ll keep you updated on progress. You can find VS Comics here, where previews of the first issue are already up.

New interview with I Want To Be A Book and SFFWRTCHT transcript

Still editing – The Age Atomic is in the final batch of edits prior to be sent to the copyedit, and I need to hand that in next week. Once that’s done, it’s onto the next book… in fact, I’m going to be editing until June 2013, so from now on just consider my default state to be “editing” and I can cut straight to the chase.

So this week, two interviews, of sorts. A couple of weeks ago I was on the VS Comics panel at Thought Bubble, where VS Comics was launched and I talked a little about my ongoing Prohibition crime urban fantasy, The Sentinel, which is about a dead policeman, an Egyptian god of vengeance, and a secret cult of magicians who worship the New York subway system. You can see some photos from the panel here. Afterwards, I did an interview for I Want To Be A Book, which contains one or two snippets of info about The Sentinel and the two books coming out after The Age AtomicHang Wire (Angry Robot, November 2013) and Shadow’s Call (Tor, winter 2014). It’s also a good moment to mention that Shadow’s Call is going to be retitled, just as soon as I/my agent/my editor can figure out what to call it!

Also last week, I took part in #sffwrtcht, a 1-hour Twitter interview/discussion, hosted by Bryan Thomas Schmidt. A properly written-up interview will appear online soon, but in the meantime a transcript of the interview is up here. I had a blast doing it, and I look forward to making a return appearance.

Finally, The Age Atomic is starting to appear in various places for pre-order – there is a list of links here, and you can find the book on Goodreads here, if you are so inclined.

[Edit] Bonus blog content!

Someone just pointed me to a nice review of Seven Wonders that I’d missed – you can check it out over at The Oracular Beard.

 

Announcement: THE SENTINEL, coming soon from VS Comics!

Phew! I can talk about something new!

Today I’m pleased to announce I am writing my first comic!

The Sentinel is an ongoing Prohibition crime/urban fantasy series debuting this December as part of VS Comics, a new monthly digital anthology created by Mike Garley and James Moran. The Sentinel has art by Joe Ward, colours and inks by Mike Bunt, letters by Mike Stock, and is edited by Ned Hartley.

Click on the banner to see the full-size art, which is pretty amazing. Here’s the official blurb:

New York, 1929. A city torn apart by Prohibition, corruption, crime. Rookie cop Harvey West is determined to make his mark, but his career is cut short when he is tragically killed, leaving his new wife alone in the city.

In the subway tunnels beneath Manhattan, something stirs; a dark power from an ancient, extinct civilization rekindled by a cult of insane magicians determined to plunge the world into a new Dark Age.

As the power awakens, a mysterious newcomer appears in the city: a man seeking vengeance, a man searching for answers about himself and his past. A man searching for the secret of The Sentinel.

The Sentinel will run as monthly six-page episodes, starting December 2012. VS Comics has a page on Facebook – head over, give it a like, and you’ll be able to see more updates and previews of my story and many others.

So… OMG! You might know that I quite like comics, so maybe it’s no surprise that I’d write one eventually. And I must say, writing The Sentinel has been the most fun ever. Thanks to Mike and James for giving me a break!

And that’s not all! VS Comics is being launched at the Thought Bubble comic con in Leeds, on Sunday, 18th November, 2.10pm in the Alea Cinema Room. The programme for VS Comics, including our panel and information on tickets, etc, is available here.

I hope to see you there!

And…OMG COMICS!