Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category


On Thursday I announced the acquisition by Tor.com of “The Dreaming Cities”. Today I’ll tell you a little about it. Here’s an excerpt from my actual pitch:

A thousand years in the future, the Earth is a different place. Our civilisation crumbled in the face of a zombie plague and global war. After a prolonged Dark Age, the people of North America live in small, independent countries. Outbreaks of the living dead are not uncommon. Technology is held at an early modern level. Conflict between states is constant. Superstition is rife. Whole regions are blasted wilderness. Machine relics, mutant creatures and resurrected prehistoric beasts trouble the land.

Watching over all are the silent Dreaming Cities. Home of the angels, bastion outposts of heaven on Earth. Or so the church says. Very few go in, and nobody ever comes out. Until now…

So, it’s a post-apocalyptic zombie setting, but with several new twists. I can’t say much more about it than that for the time being, but as ever, keep popping back for more news.

 

 


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I am very pleased to announce today that I have had “The Dreaming Cities” picked up by Tor.com for their brand new, all-digital novella imprint. Click here to read their press release. As you can see on their page, there will be books by K. J. Parker, Seanan McGuire, Paul Cornell, Mary Robinette Kowal and loads of others. So I am in exceptionally good company.

I’ve had to sit on this news for a while, and I’m lucky I’ve not exploded with excitement. Tor.com is part of Tor, an SF imprint of great size and respectability. In turn it is part of Macmillan, one of the biggest publishers in the world, so I am delighted to be part of their new venture. And I mean that honestly, without a hint of hyperbole.

Tor.com’s novella range launches later this year. Keep an eye on this blog for more information, including what my series is about, as we get closer to the date.


Rise-of-the-horned-rat-HBLiving in a stable and peaceful world is a great boon, but there is a corner of the human soul that revels in a bit of destruction. Why else would we turn out to watch massive waves pound the shore, or enjoy fireworks, or play wargames.

I’m talking somewhat obliquely about my book The Rise of the Horned Rat, which came out yesterday. This is my contribution to the ongoing saga of the End Times, that great cataclysm currently taking place in the imaginationsville of GW gamers. You may or may not know that I’ve been playing Warhammer since the very first edition of the game, since about 1984, in fact. So when I was asked to write this novel early last year and be involved with some severe sandcastle stomping, it was with a mix of sick excitement, dread and guilty glee. GW played its cards so close to its chest that even we writers, hired in to pen the books, had no idea where it was going.

By now we can all see that the Warhammer World is getting a real going over, so much so that it will probably never be the same again. A lot of people have died. None of them are real, of course, but some of them are very old friends. It’s all rather shocking.

The Rise of the Horned Rat concerns Skaven, as you’d expect. But it’s also got many dwarfs in it, and my old friend and yours, Skarsnik the real King of Karak Eight Peaks. Although this is an End Times novel, when I wrote it it was at the forefront of my mind to make the book also a sequel to Headtaker, by my friend and colleague David Guymer, and my own Skarsnik. David and I have told some fun stories set in and around the City of the Eight Peaks, and I wanted to finish them in fine style. To take Karak Eight Peaks through this most turbulent of times was a great honour and privilege (David got to write Kinslayer, so he can’t complain). I deal with a lot of my own characters, and a lot of David’s too, such as Kemma, and Gromvarl and the rest, as well as many established Warhammer heavyweights.

I actually can’t say much about this for fear of spoilers. It was the most difficult book I’ve had to write, for a whole host of reasons, but in the end I managed to put my own spin on the mayhem at hand. All I can say is read it, if you will. It affected me quite deeply. You’ll see why.


Morning.

Tomorrow I’ll be attending the HarperVoyager virtual SF festival. So, I suppose as it’s virtual I won’t be attending, but I will. If you get me.

Run by the publisher in conjunction with the BFI’s Days of Fear and Wonder film festival it’ll highlight the literary side of Science Fiction and its influence on film.

Instead of me bumbling about and paraphrasing poorly (my writing brain is not yet fired up. I need more tea) here’s what they had to say about it themselves:

The festival will take place on social media. The program will reflect the 3 main themes of the BFI’s film season:

Tomorrow’s World – from post-apocalyptic wastelands to megacities to far-flung dystopia – best described by Ray Bradbury as ‘sociological studies of the future’

Altered States – the science fiction of ‘inner space’ mad scientists, mutants, man-machines and mind-bending trips – what points us towards the fragile and untrustworthy thing that is consciousness.

Contact! – the alien can tell us a lot about where we’re at as a species. Time to explore life from all corners of the universe and across multiple dimensions.

We aim to explore story-telling and the impact of literature on film. On the Sunday we will specifically focus the discussion on young adult and women of sci-fi.

Our overall aim is to create lots of buzz and excitement around science fiction.

We have some very cool people involved – authors Jeff Vandermeer, David Cronenberg, Nick Harkaway, and scientists Marcus Chown and Rowan Hooper and many others.

And me, naturally. There are twenty-plus other authors involved, including the likes of Jon Courtenay Grimwood and Margaret Atwood. Find out more at the HarperVoyager UK website.

Register here to take part – it’s free. I’ll not be appearing as a Darth Sidious-style hologram unfortunately, but rather more prosaically on Twitter, where I’ll be talking about SF colony stories, colony ships gone wrong (one of my favourite mini-subgenres) and general space exploration in SF. Join me @guyhaley with @harpervoyageruk, #BFIVoyager and #BFISciFi at 2.30pm tomorrow! I look forward to your questions.


Last weekend I was at the Nottingham Belfry Hotel, a place that is becoming something of a second home to me. There I was involved in the Black Library Weekender, third of its name. I had a glorious time. So glorious, that it took me a couple of days to recover. 3am is far too late for me now. I pretty much said everything that needs to be said about attending events when I wrote about last year’s weekender here, so this short post is my way of saying thanks to everyone who attended, and for the hard work of the Games Workshop and hotel staff who made it all happen.

I’ve said it many times before but I’ll reiterate: It is highly pleasant and important to speak with your readers. I loved chatting to you all, and I hope you enjoyed the seminars. A big moment in my career this year was being presented with stacks of books – all different – at the signing table, so thanks for that too.

As always, it was plenty of fun to catch up with my colleagues. These events are some of the only times in the year when I see my fellow writers, and provide ample opportunity to talk about writing from a technical standpoint, swap ideas, and generally horse around. Seeing Dave Bradley of SFX, catching up on happenings in Bath and talking magazines was a bonus to this authorial bonanza.

And I’m pleased to report I didn’t get shot in the back playing Zombicide, although I did lose at Spartacus.


audio-the-glorious-tombSharp-sighted Black Templars fans might have spotted The Glorious Tomb on the Black Library Website. This audio drama is part of the Echoes of War week, where BL release a new Space Marines audio every day.

I rarely get to listen to the audio dramas before they come out, and so yesterday evening was the first time I had heard The Glorious Tomb. Audios provoke even more worry concerning their merits than books or stories do, working as I am at a couple of removes from the final result. I’ve not been disappointed by one yet, I’m relieved to say, and The Glorious Tomb I thought particularly special. Appropriately, I listened to it while painting a Space Marine for my own nascent Black Templars crusade. He’ll be finished tonight. I’ll post a picture up tomorrow.

As several people have now commented, I am doing a lot of Black Templars material. I’m sort of their official remembrancer for the time being, to borrow a Horus Heresy concept. The stories are all connected to one another, featuring either my main characters Brusc and Adelard or High Marshal Helbrecht. Together the stories and future novel will tell the story of Brusc and Adelard’s lives, culminating at Armageddon where they intersect with that of Helbrecht. The stories are being written and released thematically, but as they increase in number you will be able to form a chronology to the characters’ adventures.

Here’s a review of The Glorious Tomb on Tracks of War. On the same site, you’ll also find one for my Heresy-era audio, Hunter’s Moon.