All posts in Tor

THE MACHINE AWAKES is out in North America today!

Book 2 of 2015 is out in North America today – The Machine Awakes, the second in the Spider Wars trilogy, is published by Tor in the US and Canada, and has a rather snazzy cover by Will Staehle that looks like this:

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The Machine Awakes is available at your favourite bookstore – here are some handy links:

The Machine Awakes at Amazon.com
The Machine Awakes at Barnes & Noble
The Machine Awakes at Indiebound
The Machine Awakes at Powell’s
The Machine Awakes at iBooks US

If you missed the first book, The Burning Dark, it’s now out in trade paperback in North America too.

The Machine Awakes hits the rest of the English-speaking world on Thursday – stay tuned!

Cover and synopsis for THE MACHINE AWAKES

As an author, one thing that never gets old is seeing a cover for a new book. And with Tor, I’m super lucky to have Art Director Irene Gallo and designer extraordinaire Will Staehle looking after me.

Over at SF Signal, they revealed the cover for The Machine Awakes, the second book in the Spider Wars sequence that begins with The Burning Dark. Click to enlarge!


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As humanity fights a destructive mechanical race, a government agent finds a conspiracy far closer to home in this far future space opera set in the Spider War universe of The Burning Dark.

In the decades since the human race first made contact with the Spiders—a machine race capable of tearing planets apart—the two groups have fought over interstellar territory. But the war has not been going well for humankind, and with the failure of the Fleet Admiral’s secret plan in the Shadow system, the commander is overthrown by a group of hardliners determined to get the war back on track.

When the deposed Fleet Admiral is assassinated, Special Agent Von Kodiak suspects the new guard is eliminating the old. But when the Admiral’s replacement is likewise murdered, all bets are off as Kodiak discovers the prime suspect is one of the Fleet’s own, a psi-marine and decorated hero—a hero killed in action, months ago, at the same time his twin sister vanished from the Fleet Academy, where she was training to join her brother on the front.

As Kodiak investigates, he uncovers a conspiracy that stretches from the slums of Salt City to the floating gas mines of Jupiter. There, deep in the roiling clouds of the planet, the Jovian Mining Corporation is hiding something, a secret that will tear the Fleet apart and that the Morning Star, a group of militarized pilgrims linked to terrorist atrocities across the whole of Fleetspace, is determined to uncover.

But there is something else hiding in Jovian system. Something insidious and intelligent, machine-like and hungry.

The Spiders are near.


The Machine Awakes is out April 2015.

Announcement! New three-book deal with Tor!

Time for some big news!

I’ve signed a new three-book deal with Tor US!

Tor-Logo1Also:

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The deal is for a brand new series, The LA Trilogy, and, as the official terminology goes, was negotiated between my editor at Tor, Paul Stevens, and my agent, Stacia Decker of the Donald Maass Literary Agency.

The LA Trilogy is a set of three as-yet-unnamed linked novels about Ray, a robot detective working in Los Angeles in the early 1960s, and his computer boss, Googol. The first one is due to drop in hardcover in September 2015.

Now, I’ll be talking a lot more about The LA Trilogy soon, but in the meantime, Tor.com are running some background on the deal and the new novelette, Brisk Money, which started it all, along with some comments from Paul and myself. You can read the piece here.

For queries related to The LA Trilogy, feel free to drop me (if it’s about interviews or comments) or Stacia (if it’s about business) a line.

This new trilogy means I’m under contract for six books to Tor… blimey, better get back to work!

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.

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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.

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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!

Coming soon to Tor.com… COLD WAR!

Seeing as Tor.com posted this on Facebook this afternoon, it seems safe enough to announce.

Cold War is a novelette set in the universe of The Burning Dark. It’s a standalone story, and will be published on Tor.com in March 2014.

Art by Victor Mosquera.

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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.

My thanks to my editor, Paul Stevens, and Tor’s Art Director, Irene Gallo. “Novelette”, in case you were wondering, is a strange little category of fiction, encompassing fiction between 7,500 and 17,500 words in length. Cold War is squarely in the middle at 11,000 words.

Win an Advance Reading Copy of THE BURNING DARK from Tor!

North American readers – fancy a chance to get your hands on The Burning Dark six months before it’s out? Then read on…

The Burning Dark is one of five ARCs up for grabs in Tor’s October Grab Bag Sweepstakes! The contest ends on 31st October 2013, and is open to residents of the US and Canada, and all you need to do is click this link and fill out an entry. Winners will be drawn 1st November!

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As well as The Burning Dark, the winner will receive:

So… what are you still doing here? Go! Enter! And good luck!

HANG WIRE cover reveal, THE BURNING DARK quotes, Tor catalogue, Waterstones event!

It’s a busy week in the run-up to Nine Worlds, which kicks off this Friday. You can see my full schedule here.

Yesterday the cover for my fourth novel from Angry Robot, Hang Wire, was revealed over at Sword and Laser. Hang Wire is out in February 2014, and will be available as both a regular paperback and as another limited edition Forbidden Planet-exclusive hardcover. The paperback is black…

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…while the hardcover is red…

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I’m totally in love with these covers, too! And with Hang Wire, that means Will has done a total of eight covers for me across two different publishers (Empire State, Empire State limited edition, Seven Wonders, The Age Atomic, Hang Wire, Hang Wire limited edition, The Burning Dark, and Two Tales of San Ventura).

Um, wow.

Hang Wire pre-order links imminent!

In other news:

Tor’s Winter 2014 catalogue is out now, and features The Burning Dark on page 42! It also includes a couple of blurbs I’ve been dying to show off:

New York Times bestselling-author James Lovegrove says:

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

Martha Wells, author of the forthcoming Star Wars novel Empire and Rebellion: Razor’s Edge, says:

A riveting SF mystery reminiscent of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House.

Being in the Tor catalogue is something of a Big Moment for me, so there may have been a little Snoopy dancing last night. And my thanks to James and Martha for two stunning blurbs.

Finally, a date for your diaries – fellow author and superlatively nice chap James Smythe and I will be at Waterstones Deansgate in Manchester on Thursday 5th September to talk about our work. Doors open at 7pm and tickets are £5/£5 from the store – I’ll post a link to the event when the page goes live.

 

New book cover… and new book deal!

That thing where you’ve been sitting on news for ages and you’re just dying to tell EVERYONE?

Yeah, that.

And that other thing where you’ve got something completely awesome to show off and you have to sit and wait until the stars are right?

That too.

But… today, the stars are right.

Over at Tor.com, you can see the cover for my forthcoming novel, The Burning Dark. It’s a dark space opera, and is out in March 2014. You can even pre-order it from Amazon here! I’m not sure about other retailers yet, but I’ll keep an eye out.

And… I love it! I absolutely, totally adore it. The cover is by Will Staehle, and manages to capture everything about the story – theme, plot, atmosphere, the works. I’m extremely lucky to have another cover by Will – he’s done all of my Angry Robot covers, and to have him do my Tor covers as well is terrific, giving me a unified style across both publishers. From a bookseller’s perspective, this is great, because most readers don’t really pay that much attention to the publisher’s badge on the book. But with Will’s work, I’ve got continuity from one publisher to the other – an unusual position to be in, I guess – and one that works brilliantly for everyone.

If you head over to Tor.com for the full-sized version, you can see what Tor’s Art Director Irene Gallo has to say about the process behind the cover selection, along with some of Will’s other concepts. Here’s the book blurb:

Back in the day, Captain Abraham Idaho Cleveland had led the Fleet into battle against an implacable machine intelligence capable of devouring entire worlds. But after saving a planet, and getting a bum robot knee in the process, he finds himself relegated to one of the most remote backwaters in Fleetspace to oversee the decommissioning of a semi-deserted space station well past its use-by date.

But all is not well aboard the U-Star Coast City. The station’s reclusive Commandant is nowhere to be seen, leaving Cleveland to deal with a hostile crew on his own. Persistent malfunctions plague the station’s systems while interference from a toxic purple star makes even ordinary communications problematic. Alien shadows and whispers seem to haunt the lonely corridors and airlocks, fraying the nerves of everyone aboard.

Isolated and friendless, Cleveland reaches out to the universe via an old-fashioned subspace radio, only to tune into a strange, enigmatic signal: a woman’s voice that seems to echo across a thousand light-years of space. But is the transmission just a random bit of static from the past—or a warning of an undying menace beyond mortal comprehension?

And after all that, I’m pleased to announce that I’ve signed another book deal with Tor, for two more novels set in the same universe as The Burning Dark. Although the titles and dates are subject to change, The Jovian Conspiracy will be out in March 2015, with The Stars Below out in March 2016.

But more on those later!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have an inordinate amount of Snoopy dancing to do…

 

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.