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An exclusive message from Robin Hobb

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

I dedicated Assassin’s Fate to Fitz and the Fool. They’ve been my closest friends for over twenty years. That’s not to denigrate my marriage of forty-six years, or the friendships that reach back to my high school. The characters we write live inside our minds, creating an internal friendship that is difficult to explain to non-writers. I’ve never heard my characters speak aloud, never seen the Fool juggle or watched Fitz impassively shed the blood that demanded to flow. Yet over the past twenty years, I’ve spent more hours in their company than in anyone else’s. When I first began writing Fitz and the Fool, my writing desk was in the laundry room, in an old house with plank floors. When the washer went into a spin, I’d dive for the computer and hold it steady lest the hard drive malfunction. I often wrote late at night, in darkness save for my old desk lamp and the green letters glowing on my black screen. All was quiet, the kids in bed, only frogs creaking outside. But both Fitz and the Fool were there, the Fool sitting cross-legged on the dryer, mocking and contradicting us.  Fitz leaned against the doorframe, talking in his soft, deep voice, always trying to explain his life to himself, puzzled as he looked back at his decisions, shaking his head over who he had been. Yet all of us knew that who he had been had already determined his future. Every new set of events built on what had gone before. From the start, we all knew what was to come. Just as the Fool looked forward, seeing a myriad of possible futures, and choosing a path, so I wrote forward, reaching toward events that had already happened to Fitz, even as I wrote them down for the first time. There are sentences in this book that are strange echoes of words I wrote twenty years ago. There are sentences I’ve waited twenty years to write. I’ve approached them with both trepidation and anticipation. To write them down and say to both of them, ‘There. Now it has happened,’ was a very peculiar sensation. To be done is not to be finished. Ave atque vale. Hail and farewell.   Robin Hobb February 2017...

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A Letter from Mark Lawrence

Posted by on Apr 10, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

  Red Sister contains a very different story to that in my debut, Prince of Thorns, or my next trilogy starting with Prince of Fools.   When I brought Jorg Ancrath’s story to a close I made it clear that I didn’t want to be wedded to one character for the whole of my writing career, and if moving away from him gambled that career then so be it. Jalan Kendeth was about as different from Jorg as it is possible to be in terms of character. But he was still a young prince in the Broken Empire.   Just as I wasn’t prepared to be tied indefinitely to the same character it turns out that after six books in the same world I wanted a change from that too.   Nona Grey, the lead in the Book of the Ancestor trilogy, lives in a very different world to that in which the Broken Empire sits. The people are different, the land is different, the magic is different, even the sun isn’t the same colour.   The writing style has also changed. My previous books were told to the reader by the protagonist, seen through their eyes, and offered an armchair seat in the mind of the prince in question. They were written in the first person. Nona’s tale is told in the third person form used in the majority of fiction. It offers a less claustrophobic feel to the story.   Nona’s adventure sprung from my question – what sort of cover would Prince of Thorns have been given if it were titled Princess of Thorns, and instead of a Mark I was credited as a Mary? My editor sent me a piece of artwork of a dangerous looking young woman with a sword, and some time later I started writing a story about her.   Although Red Sister has a good measure of violence in it, the story also focuses on the nature of friendship, on making friends, on losing them, and on loyalty. I did worry at some points about the size of the step I was taking into this story of novices in a convent. Would my publishers think it a Malory Towers with knives, or Chalet School for ninjas? Would my readers come with me, would I find new ones wherever it was I might have taken myself?   Well, with April still on the horizon those worries will linger a while yet, but from the early reviews so far one common refrain has been “his best book yet”. Which, funnily enough, is what my US and UK editors said when they read it. I guess they must know their stuff!   So, whilst it isn’t true that in writing it’s change or die, it certainly is true for me that I have to change things up every now and then or die at least a little on the inside. I’m very happy to have written The Book of the Ancestor trilogy and feel that Nona has earned her place in my affections alongside Jal and Jorg. I’m proud of the story and I hope the readers who try it will have as much fun as I did.   Note from the editor, Jane Johnson:   I loved Jorg fiercely, despite (maybe because of?)...

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Red Sister is coming! Out tomorrow!

Posted by on Apr 5, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

  “If you wish to know what someone is made of you must squeeze them until it shows.”   In the Convent of Sweet Mercy Abbess Glass and her sisters apply pressure to the girls placed in their care. They find out what their novices are made of and train each according to their nature.   The world beyond the convent is wider, but not by so very much. Abeth circles a red and dying star. Its original inhabitants left millennia ago when the ice began to cover the globe. The people who replaced them are now hemmed within a corridor that encircles the world but that in no place leaves more than fifty miles clear between the northern ice cliffs and the southern.   Humanity’s ancestors left them a gift. An artificial moon that focuses the sun’s light and every night battles the advance of the ice. But that war is being lost. The many nations of the Corridor are being squeezed. Each year sees more people and less land. And those people are showing what they’re made of.   In such a harsh world children are often sold by families that cannot feed them. The more discerning purchasers look for signs of the old bloods. Four tribes beached their ships on Abeth and when their blood shows true it brings rare talents. Such children can grow impossibly huge or fast, or find strange magics at their fingertips. Such children are valuable. Nona Grey is purchased for just these reasons from a mother eager to sell.   That nations will go to war under such circumstances in inevitable, but the pressure is not just upon empires but on each institution and each person within those institutions. As Nona grows she finds conflict on every side and at every level. She finds the dangers that she is being trained to confront are already at her doorstep. But Nona Grey was born for war, she understands it. What truly puzzles her are people and as she tries to unlock that puzzle, and is trained in the faith of the Ancestor, she discovers that no bond is more holy to her than that of friendship.   Nona is a strange child and cautious of naming anyone her friend, for once that word is spoken caution ends and there is no limit to what she might do to save someone precious to her.   Where Nona looks on humanity and sees confusion Abbess Glass sees through to the heart of each person with rare clarity. The abbess is neither young nor deadly, she wields no magics and yet when it comes to the long game she has yet to meet her equal. She has seen something in Nona Grey, seen her part in what must come, and staked her faith upon it. In time Nona will come to respect the abbess, to understand quite how ruthless she can be and quite how far she too will go to achieve her aims. In time she may even come to fear her.   In a convent where extraordinary children are trained in the darkest and most bloody arts, Nona and her friends struggle to survive, to learn, and to stay true to themselves....

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A Ripple in the Glass by A. F. E. Smith

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

Every book holds up a mirror to the world, and to humanity. Sometimes the reflection shows us as we are. Sometimes it shows us as we might be. Fantasy is particularly good at this, I think, because it puts a ripple in the glass. That ripple changes the reflection, makes it show a world that’s different from the one we know; yet at the same time, it can make certain aspects of what it means to be human stand out more prominently. If you want to know what courage means, or friendship, or love (or, if you tend towards a pessimistic view of human nature, hate and cruelty and destruction) then fantasy is as good a place to look as anywhere. And always – consciously or unconsciously – what’s shown in the mirror of any book reflects the biases and beliefs, the hopes and fears, of the author who created it. Windsinger is the most personal book I’ve ever written. That’s partly because when I wrote it, I was in a dark and difficult place. I’d sunk gradually into depression. Mild depression, to be sure – high-functioning depression, in that I could still go to work and be a parent and put on a mask that said I was fine – but depression nonetheless. If you have any experience with such conditions, you’ll know that they’re far easier to fall into than to claw your way back out from. You’ll also know that depression and creativity do not sit well together. I thought I was useless. I thought everything I did was useless. I would sit and stare at the screen, wondering what on earth was the point of trying to complete this book when I was so obviously a second-rate writer with nothing worthwhile to offer. Sometimes I would cry. Most of the time I would hate myself. Depression – even mild depression, even high-functioning depression – is a monster. It creates what it feeds off. It sends you deeper and deeper into a spiral, and it hopes you will never find your way back. At the same time, the world seemed to be imploding around me. No doubt some people would say my bubble burst. Here in the UK, we held a vote on a thing called Brexit; in the USA, the first shots were fired in a bitter, divisive and propaganda-fuelled presidential campaign; across the globe, political parties whose entire campaigns were built on demonizing a certain religion or nationality began to gain prominence. It felt like we were slipping backwards, into the mindset of us versus them; into the mindset of labelling anyone not like us as a lesser kind of human. I’ve never quite been able to work out where to draw that line, the not like me line. I’ve always thought that either everyone is like me or no-one is. The categories in between seem very arbitrary. But we, as humans, are good at that kind of tribal thinking. And when you’re writing a book, the changes you see and hear and feel around you tend to seep into it whether you mean them to or not. I’d intended the mirror that Windsinger held up to the world to say something about loyalty and treachery. That’s neat, right? It goes tidily with the...

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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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