Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind makes The Guardian’s Best SF of 2015

Screen Shot 2015-12-03 at 19.35.12It’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.

Happy reading!

Launch Week! Bustle Best Books Review and Guest Posts

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:

BUSTLE

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

UPDATE: Novels with Fictional Art — Why I Don’t Count Words — Speculiction Review

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 11.39.43It’s one week to the official release day for Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind, and I’d like to thank Tor.com for inviting me to talk about novels with fictitious works of art at the heart of their plots. This is part of Tor.com’s popular ‘5 Novels About’ series. Take a look at my book selection here!

Despite all the distractions of my book release, I’ve taken part in November’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I’ve written an article on Medium: NaNoWriMo: Why I Don’t Count Words, in which I lament our transition from the analogue Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 11.55.01world of manual typewriters to the digital world of laptops and precise word counts. 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.

Read more

5 Authors On Their Short Story Inspirations

Pre-order the Kindle eBook.

Pre-order the Kindle eBook.

Next week, my story “The Adoption” will be published in an anthology of speculative fiction—Phantasma—edited by J.D. Horn and Roberta Trahan. I decided to celebrate the anthology’s upcoming release by reflecting on a piece of short fiction that inspired my fiction writing. And this led me to wonder if my co-contributors could pinpoint short stories that influenced their own work.

So I’m delighted to share in this blogpost a few reflections on short form by J.D. Horn, Roberta Trahan, Jason Kirk and Kate Maruyama.

You can pre-order Phantasma Stories, a Kindle eBook, and it will be delivered to your Kindle device or Kindle app on 22 September!

So here goes, in alphabetical order… Read more

Cover Release: Sleeping Embers Of An Ordinary Mind

Since I returned from my month’s research trip to China in May last year, I’ve worked flat-out to write my second novel, Sleeping Embers Of An Ordinary Mind. So this is a special week for me—to see the fabulous cover art, by designer MS Corley. I love the strong emphasis on typography.

Publication date: 1 December 2015, in Kindle eBook, paperback and audiobook editions.

It’s been immense fun to write this novel but a huge challenge, too, because of the complexity of the three-storyline structure. But I have the perfect editor in Jason Kirk at 47North. He gives me invaluable advice and has the knack of suggesting subtle changes that have a big impact.

And with two novels under my belt, I felt it opportune to redesign my website. Many thanks to my son, Adam, who guided me through the revamp!

So here’s the cover and the back cover blurb: Read more

A Conversation With Speculative Fiction Author E.J. Swift

ejswift_author photo_bw smallI met E.J. Swift last summer when we shared a panel at LonCon 3, with David Hebblethwaite and Adam Roberts, discussing writers who cross the boundary between mainstream fiction and science fiction. Since then, I’ve finished my second novel, Sleeping Embers Of An Ordinary Mind, and E.J. has completed her trilogy The Osiris Project. Not only that…E.J.’s short story “The Spiders of Stockholm” has been long-listed for The Sunday Times EFG Short Story Competition.

We felt it was time for a catch-up chat—about past writing and future plans. Read more

And The Title For My Novel Is…

SLEEPING EMBERS OF AN ORDINARY MIND

I’m absolutely thrilled with this title and I’m now excited about the next stage in the publishing process—cover concepts by 47North’s designers.

The publication date will be sometime this year and as soon as it’s firmly decided I’ll announce it here.

It was a tough challenge to find a title because this novel has three intertwining storylines set 600 years apart—in fifteenth century Italy, present-day China and twenty-second century London.

So when, and how, did I arrive at Sleeping Embers Of An Ordinary Mind? And how did I even choose a working title? Read more

Beyond The Cave: Meeting Readers at BSFA and SF Book Club

I’ve had a lovely start to 2015! I actually left my writing cave to meet readers.

Author and literary critic Adam Roberts interviewed me at the January meeting of the British Science Fiction Association. He pitched some challenging questions, which led to a lively and wide-ranging conversation. If you couldn’t make it to the meeting, this blogpost by Andrew Wallace gives a good impression of the subjects that Adam and I discussed. Thank you, Andrew, for this detailed commentary. Here’s a brief extract from his blogpost: Read more