People doing exciting things with books and stuff

I’m not a book blogger and this isn’t a book news site, but some of my favourite authors have been busy this week and there are some things worth shouting about. So, in no particular order:

Boneshaker author and Seattle steampunk supremo Cherie Priest revealed the full, new cover for Clementine. Clementine is a novella sort-of sequel to Boneshaker, set within the same Clockwork Century universe, and is out this month from Subterranean Press. I was lucky enough to snag one of the signed limited editions, and I can’t wait to receive it. This cover is what I would technically describe as “smokin’ hawt”.

Clementine cover image taken from Cherie’s Flickr stream.

New York Times bestselling author and would-be benevolent dictator Scott Sigler has a book coming out this month called Ancestor. His last volume from Crown Publishing, Contagious, pushed him into the sales charts, and Ancestor is set to propel him up even further. Personally, I’ve already ordered five copies – one for myself, and four to give away to people who haven’t read Scott before (which I’ll be giving away via Twitter).

I was surprised earlier this year at EasterCon (the national British science fiction convention) by the number of people who had never heard of Scott, and clearly, this will not do. Scott may be a legend and pioneer among podcasters, but his fame – and the reason why YOU should be reading his books – is due entirely to him being a damn fine writer. There are a lot of people who put their material out for free (whether as text or audio), and a lot of it is not so solid. But Scott has the goods, and this is why he’s a New York Times bestselling author. He also appears in his own book trailer as the mean-looking bald guy (the first one, without the knives and guns!). Watch your back.

Scott’s also running a competition for a mighty, mighty swagbag of loot for people pre-ordering Ancestor. Each copy ordered gets you one entry, so load up your Amazon shopping cart good and proper.

Speaking of book trailers, Lauren Beukes, one of Angry Robot’s finest, released one for her forthcoming novel Zoo City. It’s in a completely different style to Scott’s trailer for Ancestor, but is moody and effective. Check it:

There’s good news for UK-based fans of Lauren too, for she’s making a trip from her native South Africa at the end of July to attend three events in London – more details over at Angry Robot.

At her signing at Forbidden Planet, you’ll have the opportunity to buy a very, VERY limited edition hardcover of Zoo City… which means, by my count, that Lauren has at least five different editions of the book to collect: the South African paperback from Jacana, the Forbidden Planet limited hardcover, the Angry Robot UK paperback (September 2010; cover by Joey Hi-Fi), the Angry Robot US paperback (January 2011; cover by John Picacio), plus an ebook of some description.

And this is actually a good example of my new digital library policy. I’m now trying to read exclusively on my iPad, and so far it’s been a real dream. So I’ll be buying the ebook of Zoo City to read. But I’ll also be buying the four print editions as collectables, and I hope to get at least two of those signed. This is what I was talking about back on the Angry Robot blog – ebooks and print books can and will co-exist, because they will start to fulfil different functions. Reading on the iPad is a very pleasurable and immensely convenient experience, and at the same time I can enjoy the set of Lauren’s print books as collectable objects.

Finally, J. Robert King, author of Angel of Death (among many other titles) and all-round top bloke has posted an excellent blog about why he uses Twitter. This is an argument I’m sure most Twitter users have encountered, probably many, many times. Rob’s summation of Twitter, its use and (importantly) its value, is about the best I have read and encapsulates everything very neatly indeed. For those of you who read this blog but are not on Twitter, perhaps you’d like to consider it now!

That’s it for this week. More writing-related posts next! This weekend I’m off to Alt Fiction, a one-day SF con with a heavy literary focus being held in Derby. It seems that about twenty thousand people are going, so I hope the venue is big enough. But it should be a great day, and I’m really looking forward to it!