A slightly belated Happy New Year, everyone! I hope I’ll be blogging more often this year—posting more conversations with some of my favourite authors and offering updates on writing projects.
Last year was a full-on writing year, which meant I kept a very low profile. I seemed to spend the entire year flitting on-screen between Scrivener and a variety of news streams as I tried to make sense of the political shifts on both sides of the pond. How to respond? Probably through writing fiction!
During 2017, I’ll be out and about talking about my upcoming novel, Dreams Before the Start of Time (47North), and my novella, The Enclave (NewCon Press). Pre-ordering is now on for both titles in all formats.
Publishers Weekly ‘Most Anticipated’
Dreams Before the Start of Time is one of Publishers Weekly’s most anticipated titles of Spring 2017. I couldn’t hope for a better start! Read more
My first novella-length piece of fiction—The Enclave—will be published by NewCon Press in February 2017, as part of a series of four science fiction novellas. Chris Moore has created a stunning piece of art that spans the series.
I’ve lost count of the number of readers who have asked for a sequel to A Calculated Life. I’ve resisted the pressure because the novel feels complete to me! However, last year I mooted the idea of a companion piece that would cut across the world of A Calculated Life, set in the enclave outside Manchester, which featured in the novel.
I’m thrilled to reveal the stunning cover art for my latest novel, Dreams Before the Start of Time, which will be published by 47North on 18 April 2017.
I think you’ll agree that designer David Drummond has produced a great piece of work. So, my thanks to David!
What’s more… you can now pre-order this novel (paperback, eBook or Audio CD) and you’ll receive it on publication day!
I’m thrilled to tell you that I’m working on a novella, The Enclave, which is a companion piece to my first novel, A Calculated Life. This SF novella will be one of four in a series including works by Alastair Reynolds, Simon Morden—such fabulous company!—commissioned by independent publisher NewCon Press. The fourth novella in the series will be announced in due course and all four will be published individually and later slip-cased to form a set. How exciting!
Since I completed A Calculated Life (47North), I’ve felt an itch to write a story set within the same world, one that weaves across the narrative rather than forming a sequel. So I’m excited to revisit life in the enclaves—home to society’s underclass late in the twenty-first century.
I’ve been radio silent in recent weeks for a good reason: I’ve been editing my third novel, Dreams Before the Start of Time. It’s a multi-generational story of two families spanning into the next century, and it will be published in April 2017 by 47North. In this novel, I imagine the impacts of likely advances in human reproductive technologies. It’s a standalone novel. However… one the main characters is Toni Munroe who appears in my second novel, Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind. Read more
Award-winning author Nina Allan had fifty published short stories to her name before she wrote her first novel, The Race. This debut novel was shortlisted for the Arthur C Clarke Award. Her novella Spin won the BSFA Award for short fiction, and the French translation of The Silver Wind won the Grand Prix de L’imaginaire.
I’m delighted that Nina joins me today in a conversation about the writing process, touchstone influences and our writing quests!
ANNE: Recently I read Stephen King’s On Writing and although he gives great advice throughout, I was curious about one of his comments on the subject of theme. He feels that the theme of a novel is something that emerges in the first draft or after the first draft, and can then be enhanced in subsequent reworking. But for me the theme, or concept, comes first, before I start outlining and plotting a piece of fiction. How do you view the importance of theme? Does it vary from one writing project to another? Read more
It’s been a while since I posted here because I’ve been in the writing cave, scribbling away at the next novel. Here’s a quick catch-up.
The very talented author Tricia Sullivan used the launch of her latest novel, Occupy Me, as an opportunity to promote four new science fiction writers, including yours truly. So generous! I ‘m totally delighted that Tricia interviewed me as part of the research for her recent article in The Independent. The interview appears in full on the Gollancz blog. Great questions! Tricia also interviewed Emma Newman, Karen Lord and Stephanie Saulter. Read more
Happy New Year, everyone!
I’m delighted to see that my second novel Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind is included in two categories of the British Science Fiction Awards long lists: Novel and Art. What fabulous company I’m in!
If you are a member of BSFA you might keep my novel in mind when you complete your ballot form.
If you’re not a member of BSFA you’ll still find some great reading recommendations on the long lists. Take a look.
Over the holiday season, I was thrilled to read author Nina Allan’s review of Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind on her excellent blog The Spider’s House. In her article “Two for the road—best of British,” Nina assesses both my book and Matthew de Abaitua’s novel If Then.
I’ll be adding Matthew’s book to my reading pile!
Here’s a brief excerpt from Nina Allan’s commentary on Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind:
… this quiet, lovely and exquisitely crafted novel is itself a masterclass in composition … As in her debut novel A Calculated Life, the clarity and refined elegance of Charnock’s prose is a significant achievement.
Read the full review here.
It’s that time of year! And I’m delighted to let you know that The Guardian has included my recently released novel, Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind, in “The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2015.”
Critic Adam Roberts begins his annual round-up: “As per that ancient Chinese curse, SF and fantasy have been living through interesting times.” What follows is a balanced summary of this year’s debate about the future of the genre.
If you’re looking for some good reading for the holiday season take a look at Adam Roberts’ reading highlights of the past 12 months.
Elsewhere, I’m also very chuffed that Charlie Jane Anders at io9 has included my novel in “All the Science Fiction and Fantasy Books You Can’t Afford To Miss In December!”
Again, there’s plenty of books to choose from in io9’s recommended new releases.
It’s been a hectic week with the full release of Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind, and I know some of you have followed events in my little book bubble via Twitter and Facebook. Thanks so much for chiming in with comments and replies—very exciting to get feedback!
I thought I’d summarize the media coverage so far. I’ve been busy writing original copy for several websites, which I’ve really enjoyed doing. So, here goes:
This is a big surprise: I’m totally chuffed that Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind is reviewed by Bustle, and included in Melissa Ragsdale’s 13 of December 2015’s Best Books to Go With Your Holiday Cheer. This is a US website with, I believe, 10 million monthly visitors. Crikey O’Reilly! According to the website, Bustle is written “for and by women who are moving forward as fast as you are.” Melissa has compiled a lovely list of books, some in translation, and I’m adding them all to my reading pile. Read more
While camping on Anglesey in north Wales this summer I received an enthusiastic email from my publisher suggesting a narrator, Heather Wilds, for the audiobook for my second novel. The email included a link to a voicereel. So, I sat outside the campsite bar—close enough for good WiFi reception, but far enough away to hear the voicereel over the bar’s 1970s music selection. After listening to just five minutes of clips, I emailed my response: “Fantastic. Heather Wilds is perfect for this book!” Read more