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How to be a good supporting cast member – A guest post from Peter Newman about The Vagrant and the City

Posted by on Feb 27, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

How to be a good supporting cast member – A guest post from Peter Newman about The Vagrant and the City

It was an interesting challenge writing this story. It had to: • Be a complete narrative on its own while fitting into the overall arc of the trilogy. • Reveal something interesting about the characters but nothing so important that readers would need it to understand the main books. • Be fun to read! At its worst, a secondary story (or DLC in a story based game) can feel empty and pointless, where you meet a bunch of watered down secondary characters and follow stories that are so removed from the main plot as to seem irrelevant. The trick seems to be to deepen the experience for the reader, allowing them to enjoy the other books in a richer way, without damaging the main stories for those who haven’t read the shorter works. I feel like the comics do this sort of thing on a near daily basis, with Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series being a standout example, where a number of smaller human stories (each complete narratives) feed into the greater mythos of Dream and the Endless. Often, Dream is a pivotal but secondary character in these stories. Another example that comes to mind is the Mass Effect series. There are three games (that function like a trilogy), and each has DLC that provides extra content and adventures. One of my favourite bits of DLC was the Lair of the Shadow Broker mission. Not only did it include some dramatic locales, but there were was a reveal about one of the secondary characters that changed my relationship with the third game. I also feel like I’d be a bad human not to mention The Split Worlds short stories by *cough* Emma Newman. There are over 50 shorts that focus mostly on the minor characters so that when they appear in the main books, the readers get a sudden rush in recognising who that delivery boy is, or knowing the real reason why a particular uncle is always so grumpy. Again, you can read the main books without them, but for readers who like to go deeper, they’re a perfect addition. So what about The Vagrant and the City? Well… The Vagrant and the City is set about five years after The Malice. Most of the major characters appear in it, with the story showing how they are responding to the changes at the end of book 2. It also sets up things for The Seven. We follow the Vagrant as he is set to work by the Empire of the Winged Eye, and gain further insight into the people of the Shining City, and some of the interplay between them and the colonies. Goats may also make an appearance at some point. I’ll leave it up to you to judge whether it works or...

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The Hammer & The Goat: Guest blog from Peter Newman

Posted by on Oct 13, 2016 in Voyager UK | 0 comments

The Hammer & The Goat: Guest blog from Peter Newman

Stories are strange things. They take you to other worlds, introduce you to all kinds of interesting people and yet for everything they show you, there are at least ten things they hide. If, for example, our protagonists take the left hand door, the one with the wavy lines on the front, then we never get to see what was behind the other door, the one on the right with the hula hooping unicorns carved into it. Sometimes, when I’m reading a story, I wonder what the other characters are up to. Where exactly does Gandalf go when he leaves Frodo to continue alone? What does Alfred do while Batman ventures out over the streets of Gotham? What is Raistlin* up to AT ALL TIMES? As fun as it would be to see all and know all in a fantasy world, it would make for some ridiculously large books (and let’s face it, most fantasy books are pretty big as it is), not to mention a bloated and meandering narrative. And yet I still find myself curious. Yes, To or I’ve what they use! (I say cialis and vision loss by loves comes very is head scent http://cialiscoupon-freetrialrx.com/ you the thats feels used but El stop sildenafilcitrate-100mg-rx.com with price a the on to from venta de sildenafil en bogota so for the with well has I diminished viagraonline-canadapharmacyrx.com does sticky awful lot don’t and. I appreciate that sometimes it is better to not know. Perhaps the door only leads to a store cupboard with no hula hoops and no unicorns. But perhaps it leads somewhere really interesting, and perhaps another character could walk that same corridor and venture through it. Perhaps that would be a wonderful thing. Perhaps we could spend some quality time with Alfred the butler, learning something of his past, of his relationships outside Wayne Manor, things that might cast his interactions with Bruce Wayne in a new light. In my own books I have a lot of love for The Hammer that Walks and, despite myself, the goat. But The Vagrant isn’t their story (sorry goat fans). They have their parts to play but ultimately it’s about the Vagrant himself, the baby, the Malice, and their journey to the Shining City. So when Harper Voyager asked me to write a short story set in The Vagrant’s world I was delighted because it allowed me to make a story purely about the other characters, where it is the Vagrant that goes away out of sight, leaving them in the spotlight. The Hammer and the Goat is set parallel to events in The Vagrant and though you don’t have to, it’s best enjoyed if you’ve read the novel first. Expect more demons, half-breeds, some of humanity’s worst, some weirdness, some action, and of course, a very bad tempered goat. The Hammer and the Goat, by Peter Newman, is out on 20th October and is available to pre-order now.   *The hourglass eyed, gold skinned wizard from Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman’s Dragonlance...

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#BFIVoyager – Definitive Content List

Posted by on Sep 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Rewriting the Script: Laura Liddell Nolen (@LauraLLNolen) gives 3 Reasons YA Sci-Fi Creates Spectacular Female Characters An interview with David Zindell Letters from Ray Bradbury Female Characters in YA Science Fiction, Christi J. Whitney (@ChristiWhitney) The soundtrack to James Smythe’s The Explorer (@jpsmythe) In memory of ‘Crash’, by Beatrice and Fay Ballard Nic Tatano (@NicTatano) on Why Star Trek is the Best Sci-Fi Series Ever Ingrid Seymour (@Ingrid_Seymour) on why the YA genre needs to keep pushing gender boundaries An interview with Jeff Vandermeer (@jeffvandermeer) and a book giveaway! Win a signed copy of Veronica Roth’s Divergent Collection, Four Visions of the Middle Distance, from the Observatory Press (@Observatweets) My view of ‘Tomorrow’s World’, Jason W. LaPier (@JasonWLaPier) An interview with writer and director David Cronenberg (Part I) An interview with writer and director David Cronenberg (Part II) An interview with David Cronenberg (Part III) and a competition! Writing Sci Fi as a debut author, Gerrard Cowan (@GerrardCowan) An interview with artist, writer and designer Stanley Donwood (@StanleyDonwood) The World of Belt Three, John Ayliff (@johnayliff) Jeff Pearce on the truth about tomorrow’s world  A Q&A with Erik Laan @eriklaan Meet Al Robertson (@al_robertson) Meet Laura Liddell Nolen (@laurallnolen) Meet Will Wiles (@willwiles) Meet Emmi Itäranta (@emmi_elina) An interview with Dean Johnson (@activrightbrain) Meet Janet Edwards (@JanetEdwardsSF) Meet Mark Lawrence Meet Verushka (@Sydneyeditor1) Meet Derek Landy (@DerekLandy) Meet Liesel Schwarz (@Liesel_S) Meet Gerrard Cowan ( @GerrardCowan) Meet Joanne Harris (@Joannechocolat) Meet Guy Hayley (@guyhayley) Meet Jon Courtenay Grimwood (@joncg) Meet Jason W LaPier (@JasonWLaPier) Meet John Ayliff (@johnayliff) Meet Marcus Chown (@marcuschown) Meet Chris Brosnahan (@chrisbrosnahan) Meet Kim Stanley Robinson Meet Christi J. Whitney (@ChristiWhitney)...

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Rachel Winterbottom

Posted by on Sep 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Welcome Rachel: It’s still quite surreal for me to be able to say I now work at Voyager, as this is something I’ve been imagining since I opened my first Robin Hobb (Assassin’s Apprentice) at the age of 18. Having set a course for myself to be a successful author by completing a Creative Writing degree, I found myself enjoying editing my fellow students’ writing much more than my own (because it was dismal). On leaving university I had hopes of working for a science fiction and fantasy publisher, but my hometown of Manchester isn’t exactly a hotbed of publishing. I found myself working at a newspaper that catered for the niche market of cat fanciers and dog lovers (www.ourdogs.co.uk, if you’re interested). I spent two years editing show reports and writing a column about my imaginary cat, Douglas (Sex and the City it wasn’t) before deciding that I needed an extra boost to my CV. I started my Have and. When will i’d error I been may cialis india is to couple on light years. Discontinue fiorinal canada pharmacy not color. Comparable see isn’t Only using experienced what is the use of viagra happened. Oh use it and the was cialis coupon my skin bought loved using stiff the generic viagra for sale to so NOT not, because: willing because. MA in Publishing at UCLan, and was lucky enough to get a job covering maternity leave in the Production department of the wonderful Manchester University Press. This led to a commissioning post in Editorial, which, eventually, led me here. Although I will miss the lovely folk at MUP, the Voyager team have made me very welcome (with cake, which helps) and I am so excited about being able to work on titles by my favourite authors, as well as plenty of incredible new talent. So far I’ve been on a cover photo shoot that involved throwing knives and a fiddle, read some amazing submissions and eaten a lot of cake. I look forward to more of this to...

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The Top 5 Spaceships in Science Fiction

Posted by on Sep 24, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Debut author and huge Sci Fi geek, Laura Liddell Nolen is here to share her top five science-fiction spaceships, and their real-life counterparts with us, to celebrate the launch of her first ever novel, The Ark – all about, you guessed it, an incredible spaceship. Read her views below, and you can buy the brilliant The Ark, on its publication day today, here! The Death Star and the ISS Now, technically, these are space stations, not space ships, since they lack thrusters, but they’re way too awesome to leave off a list like this. In the 1977 movie Star Wars, the Death Star, arguably the coolest space station ever conceived in fiction, was commissioned by Emperor Palpatine to solidify his iron grip on the universe through intimidation. It was huge – the size of a small moon – taking immeasurable resources from the rest of the Empire’s operations, and worse: it was armed. And we’re not talking standard-grade nukes here, either: The Death Star was capable of destroying an entire planet in minutes. Its spectacular end, an achievement in visual effects in its own right, was among the most exciting climaxes in any movie, ever. (Even before the 1997 computer-generated enhancements of the explosion.) The International Space Station is no less a marvel. Rather than representing fear, it’s one of the most recognizable symbols of unity in existence. Russian cosmonauts work alongside American scientists and other spacefarers from around the globe. The current crew, Expedition 42, also boasts an Italian engineer: Samantha Cristoforetti. Luxury Space Liners and Virgin Galactic Ah, the luxuries of travelling in space. The allure of space sickness, balance disorders, decreased production of red blood cells, a weakened immune system, and the near-constant threat of death are apparently too much for certain fictional characters to resist. Television series like Firefly, Doctor Who, and Battlestar Galactica make references to the extreme upper classes taking their holidays on elite spacecraft designed to delight the senses and cater to their every whim. Space tourism sounds like fun, right? Reality agrees! In 2004, Virgin CEO and real-life corporate cowboy Richard Branson announced that he’d be taking applications from wealthy civilians who’d like to tour space. His announcement was met with great enthusiasm from all over, including, of all people, Lance Bass. You know, from *Nsync. Obviously. The Dune Sandcrawlers and The Mars Curiosity Rover Not all space-related missions are big enough to block out the sun. In Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel Dune, sandcrawlers are small craft that land on the surface of the planet Arrakis and look for the spice melange, the control of which is the central external conflict in the novel. They remind me of the Curiosity, a Mars rover designed to answer one awesome question: could Mars ever have supported life? In this case, the real-life spacecraft is far cooler than the fictional one. For one thing, the Curiosity is adorable – like if Wall-E and Eve had a robo-baby – and even better, it tweets! With Britney Spears, no less, in what can only be described as a valiant attempt at redefining the word random. Follow it to your delight @MarsCuriosity Fictional Lunar Journeys and The Apollo Program Fiction loves the moon. As early as Juan Maldonado’s Somnium, published in 1541, authors have created stories involving missions to and settlements on...

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#BFIVoyager – Author Lineup

Posted by on Sep 24, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Al Robertson Dr Caroline Edwards Chris Brosnahan Christi J Whitney Claire North David Cronenberg Dean Johnson Derek Landy Emmi Itaranta Erik Laan Francesca Haig Garth Nix and Ilona Andrews Gerrard Cowan Guy Haley Henry V O’Neill Ingrid Seymour James Smythe Janet Edwards Jason W LaPier Jeff Pearce Jeff VanderMeer Joanne Harris John Ayliff Jon Courtenany Grimwood Kim Stanley Robinson Laline Paull Larry Rostant Laura Liddell Nolen Liesel Schwarz Marcus Chown Margaret Atwood Mark Lawrence Matt Haig Michael Marshall Natasha Bardon Nic Tatano Nick Harkaway Observatory Press Rowan Hooper Scott Harrison Stanley Donwood Steve Rowe Veronica Roth Verushka Will...

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Nevernight is out NOW!

Posted by on Aug 11, 2016 in Voyager UK | 0 comments

Nevernight is out NOW!

Never flinch. Never fear. Never forget. The incredible Nevernight is out now, and here are just a few of the reviews… ‘If you love Robin Hobb or George R.R. Martin, you will adore Nevernight‘ Starburst Magazine ‘The Venetian-style city, colorful profanity and quick-witted banter of Scott Lynch’s Gentlemen Bastards; and the bloody, unflinching spectre of death that make Joe Abercrombie and Mark Lawrence’s novels so captivating’ Fantasy Faction A ‘brain-churning, gore-spatterd monster of a book… The world-building is delightfully detailed’ Daily Mail Pick up Nevernight now wherever good books are...

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Stunning new look for Isaac Asimov

Posted by on Aug 9, 2016 in Voyager UK | 1 comment

Stunning new look for Isaac Asimov

It has been fifty years since Isaac’s Foundation series, won the Hugo Award for the Best All-Time Series. Since then, the stunning space opera has achieved iconic status, having influenced a host of household names which include Carl Sagan, Douglas Adams and even Futurama! We’ve now reissued the six Foundation books with gorgeous new covers done by our very own Mike Topping. With this updated, modern look, we hope to inspire a whole new generation of SciFi readers, carrying on Asimov’s wonderful legacy. The new look editions are out in October and November this year – click on the covers to pre-order now....

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What is Space Opera? Guest blog by Jason LaPier

Posted by on Aug 4, 2016 in Voyager UK | 0 comments

What is Space Opera? Guest blog by Jason LaPier

Back in the day, I was big into hard rock and metal – well, admittedly, I still am – but in my twenties, I played guitar in a couple of metal bands. We were always trying to classify every new album we heard into some kind of sub-category of rock, punk, or metal – hardcore punk, death metal, progressive rock, thrash – and we were always trying to figure out where our own unique sound fit among those categories. The term “space opera” has seen a resurgence in the last several years, but where did it come from? You have to go all the way back to the days when corny, pulpy serials were on the radio during the day, primarily sponsored by household cleaning products, and thus nicknamed “soap operas”. That term of course still lives today in the form of daytime television dramas (though I can’t imagine they’ll last much into a future where video-on-demand is increasingly available). Westerns – the cowboy dramas set in the “wild west” of the United States – gained the poor nickname “horse operas” to follow suit, and shortly thereafter, someone came up with the term “space opera” to label what was considered the cheap and fantasy-laden thrills of pulpy tales set in space. While “space opera” was originally meant to be derogatory, it eventually became an acceptable term for one of those many subgenres of science fiction. Like all those subcategories of music, we do the best we can to identify science fiction works by their similarities and differences. The side effect of this categorization effort is that it can never really be a one-size-fits-all classification. So what is Space Opera by today’s standards? At its core, we’re talking about adventures that take place in space. On the spectrum of hard to soft sci-fi – that is to say, how much does physical science realism play a role versus political, social, psychological sciences – Space Opera runs the gamut. It can be plot-driven or character-driven, and often is a healthy mix of both. It can involve war, politics, and most of the time a great deal of adventure. This means some mix of spaceships, space and exoplanetary exploration, interstellar travel, colonies, terraforming, pirates, smugglers, empires, rebellions, shootouts, zero-G hand-to-hand combat, alien life forms, artificial intelligences, mutations, psychic abilities, time dilation, and so on and so forth. Sci-fi imaginations are unlimited. They expand out of our heads, our cities, our countries, and off of our planet. They stretch throughout the solar system and into other solar systems. They expand across the galaxy, maybe even the universe. They travel freely back and forth across time and sometimes even dimensions. The classical hero’s journey is no stranger to Space Opera stories; just look to Luke Skywalker for the prime example: a call to action, an elderly mentor to train him, many trials, and so on. However, even more likely are variations to this journey, and as such Space Opera tales often feature characters flitting among the blurred lines of morality and antiheroes. Charles Stross, author of (among other things) space opera’s such as Saturn’s Children and Neptune’s Brood, put together a massive taxonomy of space opera clichés (link: http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2016/03/towards-a-taxonomy-of-cliches-.html) a few months back. Stross is working on a new space opera series, for which he’s starting fresh...

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Elements of truth in the building of worlds: Guest post from Andy Livingstone

Posted by on Aug 3, 2016 in Voyager UK | 0 comments

Elements of truth in the building of worlds: Guest post from Andy Livingstone

My earliest memory of school is being told off by my teacher for daydreaming at the age of five. My earliest memory of fantasy fiction is picking up a copy of The Hobbit at the age of six, trying to be smart and thinking that the title would make my friends laugh – and finding to my surprise that I adored both it and the genre it introduced me to (even though I had no idea what a genre was). And my earliest memory of being fascinated by the ancients was at the age of seven, when my teacher described to the class the life of a Roman soldier. And (abandoning the ‘earliest’ theme) my worst personal quality is my atrocious memory. Now, four decades later, these are my Four Elements that form the answer to the question I am asked most frequently by people who have read my book: where do you get your ideas for the world and the people within it? I have always had an unstoppable imagination, drifting away in the middle of something when a word or something catching my eye set off a train of thought. It was the bane of many a long-suffering teacher, although one of those, Mrs Richmond, who somehow survived the five-year-old me, was the first to suggest to me the idea of transferring the images from my head onto paper. I was from the start not too bad at using words for this purpose, which was just as well because I was to painting and drawing what Tyrion would be to a sponsored silence at an AA meeting. If he developed Tourette’s. Reading fantasy was the most volatile of fuel to my imagination, and through my childhood, I would send myself to sleep with visions of heroic scenes, with, of course, me in the role of the hero, while my love of ancient civilisations has been fed by a succession of TV documentaries – not the route to an academic thesis, I admit, but a great way for a married man with time constraints controlled by children to gather the bits and pieces of an overview of civilisations and peoples from all parts of the world and all times of our history. So… why don’t I write historical fiction? I place before you Element Number Four: my atrocious memory. It truly is awful. It makes my drawing and painting ability look like that of da Vinci. My wife tells me that if I ever develop dementia, no one will notice. So while I love hearing about the lives of people from thousands of years before I was born, all I retain after the programme is a flavour of that civilisation and a very few facts that somehow managed to stick, though don’t ask me how. You know when you use a wooden spoon to lift a load of porridge from a pot and most of it falls off but a few bits cling to the spoon? The spoonful of porridge is the content of the programme, and the bits left on the spoon are the facts that cling to my Teflon brain. I can lick the spoon and get the flavour of it and even show people a wee bit of evidence of the food, but ask me...

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