So after seven months of wrangling (can you tell my day job is contracts manager?) we've finally agreed a contract, which is nice. ;0) actually, a bit more than than, given it's publishing the books I want to publish on the schedule I want to use! But as much as anything it's a big relief that we've got a contract finally agreed given yet more things are going wrong with the house (I've never enjoyed builders say flippantly, 'you could always just get a new boiler') so....
If all goes to plan, and it should comfortably:
The God Tattoo, and Other Stories of the Land - will be published next year, about April. Not as long as the novels but a nice mix of stories I think and pretty much all of them having links to the greater plot of the Twilight Reign.
Then later that year, probably a year after Dusk Watchman is published (edits finally done on that BTW) we'll have Moon's Artifice - a novel that's probably going to be more commercial than Stormcaller et al unless I'm deluded/mistaken. Until someone tells me otherwise, I'm describing it as a fantasy action-thriller - and interestingly enough it lacks a lot of the reasons people haven't got one with The Twilight Reign. Not that that was hugely intentional, most of it anyway, I just knew I'd want a change and a chance to do something a bit different while not running away completely from what my brave fans seem to like.
So yes, there'll be killing and daemons still... ;0)
So anyway, it's set in one city, has a more modest cast of characters, is shorter and less complicated than any of my last, and will be set over just a about a week. I've posted it before, but now might be a sensible time to post the blurb again:
In a quiet corner of the Imperial City, Investigator Narin discovers the result of his first potentially lethal mistake. Minutes later he makes a second.
After an unremarkable career Narin finally has the chance of promotion to the hallowed ranks of the Lawbringers. Joining that honoured body would be the culmination of a lifelong dream, but it couldn’t possibly have come at a wrong time. A chance encounter drags Narin into a plot of gods and monsters, spies and assassins, accompanied by a grief-stricken young woman, an old man haunted by the ghosts of his past and an assassin with no past.
On the cusp of an industrial age that threatens the warrior caste’s rule, the Empire of a Hundred Houses awaits civil war between noble factions. Centuries of conquest has made the empire a brittle and bloated monster; constrained by tradition and crying out for change. To save his own life and those of untold thousands Narin must understand the key to it all – Moon’s Artifice, the poison that could destroy an empire.
I'm looking forward to it quite a bit! It sounds like a good concept and I plan to push the book at all of my friends.
And The Dusk Watchman, obviously, but does that really need saying? It leaves me time to start rereading the rest of the series, once I've finished up with this book on the Crusades I've been reading through (a little too slowly).
;0) It's weird though, I've never really thought about how commercial it might be until I got tot he point of having to sell it to a publisher. Not that we had long discussions about that at the time, but it's a story that's been vaguely at the background all the time I've been published, because it was the one I started when I finished Stormcaller and assumed it wouldn't get a publisher...
So mostly I've just been working on a hunch that it'll work and all fit together, but that's generally how I do it anyway. Might have to reassess that now I'm married with a mortgage - for a fair time it was only just me I'd drag down with my incompetence and laziness!
Have to say, i'm SO looking forward to Dusk Watchman coming out, it's been a long time coming and I want to tell everyone I've got a complete series for them to read, esp if they tell me they've just started reading George Martin.... Don't think that one's ending any time soon!
Makes sense to me, really! The commercial aspect seems better to worry about later; to quote advice I once heard (about finishing research, but nonetheless): "The best work is finished work, worry about the rest later.". I imagine working in the publishing business also gave you a sense of how commercial something is, too.
And yes, amen to having a finished series! Especially after having read Martin's last one and going, "You know, I have questions that probably won't be answered until I turn 40..."
Yeah, and Martin is showing a worrying level of not having planned a damn thing about the remaining books in the series. Reading Dance with Dragons I felt a bit of the Robert Jordan Stockholm symdrome - the story potters along and I'm familiar enough with the style that I can enjoy that, but I don't really think it's going anywhere and certainly not with any shape that looks like proper book structure.
That's especially clear when the next book I'm reading is Adrian Tchaikovsky's fifth one - where the world moves on in every book, there's a clear shape to everything and purpose in what he does. THAT'S the shape a long series needs and Martin could learn a thing or four from it. I suspect the ending of Ice and Fire will annoy a whole lot of people.
Yeah, I agree with you. I found myself enjoying it while reading, but then trying to recall what actually happened in Dance and coming up with very little. Less if you ask what major, important characters from prior books did (as I am not yet convinced that a certain rebellion is anything other than a red herring). Which is a shame, because his earlier stuff really did feel like it introduced changes to the world.
And you're likely right about the ending. Hopefully he has one in mind! I heard Robert Jordan, at least, had the final scene written out for years -- though I think he could have stood to do some more thorough outlining. I've never read Adrian Tchaikovsky's series, but it sounds like you'd recommend it!
I'd certainly recommend Tchaikovsky - first one is very much a first novel, not that it's bad but it isn't perfect - everyone I've heard of who thought it was ok but persisted with the series went on to be really impressed with the following books. And he's writing very quickly so you don't have to wait as long for the next one as you do for Martin (or me...)