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!
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:
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.