Category Archives: My Stories

Link roundup: SORCERER TO THE CROWN &c.

Sorcerer to the Crown UK cover Sorcerer to the Crown US cover

I was interviewed by Australian fantasy blog Smash Dragons! I talk about Sorcerer to the Crown, explain what measures I’d institute as Empress of the Earth, and quote Diana Wynne Jones and S. I. Rosenbaum on historical novels and writing respectively.

Smash Dragons interview – Zen Cho

A couple of nice mentions of Sorcerer to the Crown in the book press:

It was one of Publishers Weekly’s top 10 SFF picks for Fall 2015, along with such fabulous books as Aliette de Bodard’s The House of Shattered Wings and Fran Wilde’s exciting-sounding Updraft. You need a PW subscription to read the piece, but it calls Sorcerer a “glorious debut”. :D

And it showed up in Kirkus‘s feature on What to Read in the Second Half of 2015. Again, Sorcerer is in fabulous company, cited alongside, among others, Cindy Pon’s Serpentine and Kate Elliott’s two (!) new books this year, The Black Wolves and her YA debut Court of Fives.

An excerpt of Sorcerer will also be included in Apex Magazine’s special world-themed issue this September, guest-edited by Cristina Jurado. There’ll be interviews with me and Escape from Baghdad author Saad Hossain.

Finally, a new pro-rate SFF magazine from the fine folks behind Rosarium Publishing: Shattered Prism will open to submissions in August for its first issue, due out in November. Check it out! Write! Submit!

SORCERER TO THE CROWN UK cover reveal!

I’m thrilled to be able to share the gorgeous UK cover for SORCERER TO THE CROWN! Here is a teaser:

smallpiece
 

You can view the whole at the Tor UK post:

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho – UK Cover Reveal!

It’s so pretty and shiny and ornate. *_*

The UK edition is available for pre-order now at all the usual book retailers:

Pan Macmillan (click on “Other sellers” for links to all major UK retailers, print and digital)
Foyles
Blackwell’s
Waterstones
WH Smith
Book Depository (free shipping worldwide)
Amazon UK

And of course, don’t forget your friendly local indie bookstore, if that’s an option! Big Green Bookshop is a nice one in North London. The book’s out in September.

Win a signed ARC of SORCERER TO THE CROWN

The time has come to give away free books!

You’ve already seen what the SORCERER TO THE CROWN galley from Ace looks like …

SorcererGalley

The back also features a familiar (in more than one sense) dragon!

IMG_20150530_182651

 

All you’ve got to do to have a chance to win is log in via Rafflecopter. You have to answer a question because that’s the way Rafflecopter works. You do not have to sign up to my mailing list in order to participate, but if you do subscribe (or confirm that you are already a subscriber), that raises your chances in the prize draw. Further details below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway details

  • Open worldwide.
  • Giveaway closes at the end of the day on Sunday, 7 June 2015 (00:00 British Summer Time).
  • 2 winners will receive an Ace Books advance reading copy (ARC) of my debut novel SORCERER TO THE CROWN signed by me. The ARCs are uncorrected proofs and are not for sale.
  • Entrants must log in via Rafflecopter and answer the question. This is the only mandatory task. You can gain extra entries in the draw by subscribing to my mailing list, or confirming your email address if you are already a subscriber.
  • The winners will be chosen at random with Rafflecopter’s help.
  • I will inform the winners by email within 7 days of the closing date, and may also announce the winners’ names on social media. Winners must respond within 14 days of notification to claim their prize. I will dispatch the prize within 14 days of receiving confirmation of your address.

Good luck! The book is out in September from Ace in the US and Pan Macmillan in the UK and Commonwealth, and you can find out all about it here.

ARCs, giveaways, reviews, conversations

I’m sure the title of this post is terrible for SEO (search engine minimisation??) but it is going to be a grab-bag of things I’m catching up on. If you would like to get updates on writing stuff in REAL TIME, Twitter is generally my first port of call for reporting book news (I am zenaldehyde!) and I cross-post to Facebook as well nowadays, though the posts aren’t identical because Facebook permits me to be as verbose as I naturally am. I can be found here on Facebook: my profile is public so anyone can follow it, but if you’d like to be friended do drop me a message to let me know who you are.

On to the news!

Sorcerer to the Crown: galleys, giveaways and more!

Ace/Roc sent me galleys of the book! My gosh. It looks like a REAL BOOK. And it is covered with quotes by authors I admire hugely!

SorcererGalley

Naomi Novik! Ann Leckie! Courtney Milan! Karen Lord! Charles Stross! Kate Elliott (on the other side with the dragon, you can’t see it in this picture)!

And as of today, awardwinning YA author Justine Larbalestier, who says Sorcerer is:

Georgette Heyer meets Anthony Trollope with some Edward Said and a very big dash of feminism. Romance, magic, frocks, intrigue and lots of politics … I was in heaven. More please!

If you’re in the US, you can enter the Penguin BEA 2015 sweepstakes for a chance to win five new releases from Penguin Random House, which just might include Sorcerer to the Crown and/or Aliette de Bodard’s fabulous new novel The House of Shattered Wings. You don’t have to be at BEA to sign up — you just have to be resident in the States. (If you’re not in the US and want Aliette’s book, you can join the 500 people jostling for a free copy over at her own ARC giveaway!)

Otherwise, watch this space, because I am going to do a galley giveaway here soon. Subscribers to my mailing list will get a MAGICAL ADVANTAGE, so sign up now! It’s a new release mailing list so you don’t get regular news when you’re on it — I just send out an email when I’ve got new fiction out that you can read or order. Here’s a previous example.

The House of Aunts and Naomi Novik’s Uprooted

Speaking of writers I admire hugely, Naomi Novik wrote a really kind post about The House of Aunts on Tor.com:

A New Reality: The Optimism of Zen Cho

You feel as you read that the author wants you to be happy, even if she is not going to lie to you to make you feel more comfortable. … As a reader, when I feel a writer has those goals, it creates a kind of trust that carries me along with them. Even when they take me to difficult or uncomfortable or sad places, I still feel they are doing so because it’s where the story belongs, and even then still with the underlying desire to give satisfaction.

Naomi links this to fanfic writers and writing, and I thought it was interesting because it’s precisely this quality that I like in Naomi’s work. (This must sound like the most sickening logrolling! But long-term fandom friends will vouch for the fact that I was reading and squealing over Naomi’s stories since I was 16. (I actually went to look at the earliest story by her that I remember reading when it was being posted, and that was in 2000, so I was actually 14. 14 years old.))

I spent most of her newest book Uprooted with every part of me clenched in terror lest everything would not turn out OK, but I also simultaneously knew that everything would not only be OK but more than OK — marvellously, eucatastrophically more-than-OK. And the author saw me through, as I knew she would. You should read Uprooted.

Interviews and roundtables

The Star interviewed me, KL Noir: Yellow editor and Cyberpunk: Malaysia writer Kris Williamson, and romance author RodieR about the increasing popularity of genre fiction in Malaysia:

Is genre fiction picking up steam with Malaysian readers?

Our books are all finalists in the Popular-The Star Readers’ Choice Awards. Voting closes on 31 May so you still have a couple of days to vote for the winners!

And I spoke with Charles Tan, Aliette de Bodard, M Sereno, Bogi Takács and JY Yang for a roundtable on “diversity” and the kind of conversations we’d like to have for the Book Smugglers’ SFF in Conversation feature:

On Diversity

Actual fiction (kind of)

Finally, my new post went up at Where Ghost Words Dwell today! This is a group project I’m doing with a bunch of other cool SFF writers, where we string our discarded writing together on a blog, along with links and images. Today’s contribution is a piece of lost text from The House of Aunts:

At age 16, in Lubuk Udang

You can check out this explanation to get an idea of what the project is about, or better yet, read the whole blog through.

Get Jade Yeo for free

And help young Bulgarian writer Haralambi Markov get to World Fantasy Con!

The World SF Travel Fund has set up a Kickstarter to fund Haralambi’s attendance at WFC, along with next year’s recipient. It’s a great initiative that has so far sent international SFF readers/writers/editors/fans Charles Tan (Philippines), Karin Tidbeck and Nene Ormes (Sweden), Rochita Loenen-Ruiz (Philippines/Netherland) and Csilla Kleinheincz (Hungary) to conventions.

I’m donating the ebook of The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo as a reward, which you’ll get if you back the fundraiser at any level. Put the world in World Fantasy Con and get a free ebook! \o/ I am going to fix some typos in it (thanks, Punk!), so you know it is a great deal.

And there are some other rewards, too, I guess, like copies of The Apex Book of World SF 1, 2 and 3, and ebook bundles from Angry Robot, Solaris, Prime Books and Twelfth Planet Press. Check it out!

SPIRITS ABROAD is a Popular-The Star Readers’ Choice Awards finalist!

SpiritsAbroad-final-faceonlyEvery year Popular, jointly with The Star, picks out its 10 bestselling titles for fiction and nonfiction respectively and lets readers vote for their three favourites for the Readers’ Choice Awards. This year Spirits Abroad is on the list!

You can read The Star‘s coverage of the English-language nominees list here:

Support local books by voting in the Popular-The Star Readers’ Choice Awards

and vote for the winners online here:

Click to vote in the Popular-The Star Readers’ Choice Awards

You can also check out and vote on the Malay-language nominees.

There doesn’t appear to be any express restriction on voters’ backgrounds, but I’d think you’d want to be a Malaysian or someone living in Malaysia really! It’s to encourage local support for local books ma.

The awards will be presented on 11 July at BookFest 2015 in KL.

SORCERER TO THE CROWN cover reveal and guest blog post!

I’m super excited that we can now show off the US cover for SORCERER TO THE CROWN! It’s grand and auspicious and has got a dragon on it. *___* Here’s a teaser image:

sorcerer_front mech.indd

Check out the full cover art on the B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog:

Exclusive Cover Reveal: Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho

(They link to the ebook of Spirits Abroad with Likhain‘s cover! \o/)

I also wrote a guest post for B&N about why the main players of SORCERER TO THE CROWN are who they are, and what I was trying to do with the book. I felt a bit like I was peeling off my skin writing it, so I tried to make it less personal, but it’s probably still pretty personal. -_- I’m worried it makes the book sound really serious, when it really isn’t! You can hop on over to read here:

Giving Power to the Powerless in Sorcerer to the Crown

And if the cover and post provoke any interest, you can pre-order SORCERER TO THE CROWN from all sorts of places!

US edition
Penguin Random House (links to all major US retailers, print and digital — click on the orange “pre-order” button!)
Indiebound
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository (free shipping worldwide)
Amazon.com

UK edition
Pan Macmillan (links to all major UK retailers, print and digital — click on “Other sellers”)
Foyles
Blackwell’s
Waterstones
WH Smith
Book Depository (free shipping worldwide)
Amazon UK

Do try to order from your local indie bookshop if you can — Big Green Bookshop is a nice one in North London!

(I have to admit, I never really got pre-orders as a reader, but here’s a blog post by author Brian McClellan that explains why writers are so keen on it. It’s basically a particularly potent form of support. But you don’t have to, obviously. Just in case you want to!)