The perfect reader responses, latest reviews and a Korean translation

“Your books always break my heart. You’re like a really bad boyfriend. I know you’re going to leave me emotionally wrecked, but I can’t stay away :-)”

How sweet! I like the smiley face, too. This particular message appeared in my inbox last week. I shall frame it!

Over on Twitter yesterday, top marks to reader Mark Gerrits for selecting four great images for his tweet:

And what are ‘the critics’ saying? I’m bowled over that two reviewers, in particular, found time to review Dreams Before the Start of Time (47North) last week, seeing as they’re Shadow Jurors for the 2017 Arthur C Clarke Award. I’m referring to Megan AM (From Couch to Moon website) and Nina Allan (The Spider’s House website). They’re part of a team of nine critics who are currently reviewing science fiction novels released in 2016 and drawing up a Shadow Shortlist which they will reveal on 2 May—one day before the official Arthur C Clarke Award shortlist is announced. Exciting stuff.

I blush as I copy and paste Nina Allan’s comments:

“I greatly admire this book. I love the music it makes when listened to in consort with its equally accomplished predecessor. Most of all, I’m delighted and inspired by Anne Charnock’s writing talent, her contemplative, forensic, insatiably curious approach to speculative fiction. The three novels she has produced to date constitute a significant literary achievement in their own right, as well as being the springboard from which – I feel sure of it – Charnock will leap towards still more confident advances in the novels to come.”

No pressure, then. Read the full review here.

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RELEASE DAY: Dreams Before the Start of Time

I can hardly believe I’m typing this: my THIRD novel is published today — Dreams Before the Start of Time.

This near-future novel suggests what it will mean to be a parent, a child, a family when science offers new ways of conceiving and giving birth — when artificial wombs free women from the pain and dangers of childbirth, when eggs can be created from stem cells, when a man can create a baby without a woman, and a woman can create a baby without a man. How will these breakthroughs affect relationships and the status of motherhood in society?

In other words, as a writer of speculative fiction, I give myself license to imagine both the intended and unintended consequences!

Dreams Before the Start of Time, published by 47North, received a boost pre-release, receiving a starred review from Publishers Weekly. And today, release day, I’m thrilled to bits to read this review on From Couch to Moon.

Here are snippets of early reactions to the novel: Read more

Susan Duerden on Narrating Dreams Before the Start of Time

Susan Duerden

ONE WEEK to the release of Dreams Before the Start of Time, and I’m really delighted to tell you that award-winning actress Susan Duerden is the main narrator for the audiobook edition. Her performance is simply wonderful, which comes as no surprise to me since Susan also narrated my first novel, A Calculated Life.

I’m fascinated with the transition from manuscript to novel to audiobook. As I listen to the audio, I feel I encounter the novel anew; it feels unfamiliar, in a good way, and I find myself grinning all the time that I’m listening. 

Last week, we chatted by email and Susan very kindly took the time to answer a few questions:

Is there a particular character or storyline that appealed to you in Dreams Before the Start of Time?

I absolutely loved Dreams Before The Start Of Time and narrating it was a joy. I particularly loved the character Toni and her storyline. She left such an impression on me. I was so glad she reappeared throughout the book. I really loved her sense of humor, especially in the face of adversity. I thought her relationship with Atticus was wonderfully written.

How do you prepare for a new narration project? Read more

UPDATE: Full Cover for Dreams Before the Start of Time and more…

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

COVER RELEASE! Dreams Before the Start of Time

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!

Dreams Before the Start of Time

CLICK to preorder my third novel, Dreams Before the Start of Time, which will be published on 18 April 2017.

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BSFA Announces 2016 Awards Long Lists

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.


Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 11.57.18Recent review

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.

Heather Wilds on Narrating Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind

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

47North Deal For Dreams Before The Start Of Time

What a year this is turning out to be! I’m dizzy. Back in April, I delivered the manuscript for my second novel, Sleeping Embers Of An Ordinary Mind (imminent release date, 1 December) and this month I’ve signed a contract for my third novel with 47North. The title is Dreams Before The Start Of Time and the publication date is scheduled for early 2017. That sounds a long way off. But, believe me, it isn’t! 47North Logo

The premise for this novel has been in my thoughts for some time. I initially approached it as a novella project, but I’ve decided the ideas need more breathing space. So, a novel it will be! And, I’m looking forward to developing this manuscript with the guidance of my excellent editor, Jason Kirk.

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