Yup, here it is, publication day for SEEDS OF EARTH, book one of my space opera trilogy, Humanity’s Fire. Orbit US have essentially kept the original Steve Stone artwork and used their own lettering and cover design. And it looks damned handsome!
Well, wasn’t that fun and indeed revealing? Just to remind you, the question was -
“Bearing in mind the SETTING of Seeds Of Earth, what is the connection between the book and the poet, John Keats?”
I believe I also dropped clangorous hints as the use of Google by which an answer might be procured. How so? – well, looking over some of the information available, as publicity and other reviews of the book, you might have seen that Seeds Of Earth is mainly set on the planet Darien, so if you put ‘John Keats’ and ‘Darien’ into Google and googlise them, you come up with Keats’ poem “On First Looking Into Chapman’s Homer” in which may be found the final line, “Silent, upon a peak in Darien.”
Only a few actually got it completely right, while others came close with answers which I can see why would be thought to be correct. Anyhow, my judgement is that the following shall receive a copy of the paperback of SOE:
Andrej El, Germany; Esther Shchory, Israel; James Toburen, USA
and Michael Coupar, Preston; Martin Barlow, Manchester; Jer White, Edinburgh.
I`ll be notifying the winners by email later today, and shall despatch the books very shortly (with consolation prizettes for the other entrants too)(cos I’m a soft sod, thats why!). Da judge’s verdict is, like, final, dude.
And here, freshly arrived by the magic of the internets, the cover for Seeds Of Earth, as to be published by Heyne in Germany, in August 2010. Following, you`ll see, a similar theme to the UK cover, except with the hyperspace drive assembly now positioned in the hull’s midflank. (Of course, I didnt think of that being the hyperdrive until I saw Steve Stone’s fab illustration, after which it seemed only natural to refer to it in book 2. Ah well.)(Still neat, peachy and indeed keen, though!)
As previously mentioned, the A-format mass-market edition of Seeds Of Earth is about to spring, fully-formed and nattily-garbed onto the shelves of the nation. Yes, Virginia, you can win a copy of this papery, spacy wonderfulness – simply scroll down to the competition posting, complete with question (and gratuitous HINT!). Think, then answer, and mebbe even win!
I have a short story, Black Fragmentaria, in the bumper edition of Postscripts #20/21, subtitled Edison’s Frankenstein, now available from PS Publishing whose link you`ll see in the links sidebar.
Another short story, The Maker’s Mark, shall shortly be appearing in Conflicts, the SF anthology edited by Ian Whates and Ian Watson, published by Newcon Press (likewise linkified in the sidebar). Fans of Seeds Of Earth may be interested to know that this story is set in the Humanitys Fire universe, actually in one of the strange levels of hyperspace.
The 2nd HFire book, The Orphaned Worlds, has finally made it past the final, final, FINAL fence on its epic journey towards real, actual bookification sometime in April.
Glasgow will be hosting the Aye Write books and writers festival from March 5-13th, during which there will a signally important SF event, a panel entitled ‘The Early Days Of A Better Future’, starring such luminaries as Richard Morgan, Ken Macleod, Debbie Miller, Hal Duncan, and – cough – yr hmble scribe. Chaired by writer and critic Andrew J Wilson, we hope to dazzle and pique audience curiosity and maybe even figure out how to save the world.
Eastercon this year will be held at the Radisson Edwardian hotel at Heathrow, and yes, I will be attending. I shall also be chairing a couple of panels, one on board games, and another on rejuvenation and other paths to immortality.
And, of course, I shall be slaving away at the final volume of the Humanitys Fire trilogy, The Ascendant Stars. And don’t forget that here in Britain we’ll have this thing, you know, comes round every few years, big media circus, lotsa huckstering, river of promises….known as a General Election. Oh yes – that. Could be a busy time, donchaknow.
Leave a comment
Like the title says, a short interview done with David Jooste and which you can read by clicking yon wee linky thing….
Leave a comment
Landmarks are important. I began writing with serious intent back in 1986, and my first story acceptance was Writing For A Dying, a Barkeristic horror story which appeared in a UK small press zine called Cassandra Anthology that same year. My first professional sale was Waltz In Flexitime, a nifty, quickfooted little time-travel story which appeared in Other Edens 2, a paperback anthology edited by Robert Holdstock and Chris Evans (although Roger Robinson will tell you that my first professional acceptance was a drabble entitled Concrete Fire, a 100-word vignette, all cyberpunk moodyness, which appeared in the 1st Beccon Drabble collection, The Drabble Project). Then I sold my cyberpunk meisterwerk, Corrosion, to Interzone in 1992.
Ah, landmarks we have loved.
And then came my first short story collection, Iron Mosaic, published by the grace of Storm C, by Immanion Press a few years ago (with a terrific intro from Ian McDonald) and since reprinted in glossy paperback. And that, ladies and gentlebeings, is a landmark of an entirely different stature of ego.
So as we trundle smoothly down the slope of weeks towards the publication of Seeds Of Earth, think upon the little narrative wordlets that I’ve explored on the way to engaging in such large constructions as the new book (and indeed the Shadowkings books that went before). You would also discover my passion for SF and cyberpunk, as well as a range of other fantastical tales. Iron Mosaic can still be had from Immanion Press, at a very reasonable £10.99. Just follow the link below -
Yes, with the skill and art of the redoubtable Mr Peri Urban, yours truly has started up me own Youtube channel, complete with an inaugural movie. Check it out at -
Once I figure out how to embed it here, it will be done, for now would you kindly click on da link?
Steve Stone is The Man – it was he who created the covers for my Shadowkings books, three wonderful images that I`ll treasure forever, and now he’s done it again for my new book, SEEDS OF EARTH, due out in March next year from Orbit UK.
What you’re seeing are the three colonyships which flee from an Earth under siege, one which ends up 15,000 light years away, at a world where the human colonists finally settle. They call the planet Darien and go undiscovered for 150 years, whereupon they become the focus for all manner of high melodrama and galaxy-shattering events!
Just a shortish update/recommendation for you on the epic future history of The Whole Damn World known as Chung Kuo, written by David Wingrove. The original 8-book saga was published in the UK by New English Library between 1989 and 1997 (and was also issued by another 18 publishers throughout the world). I knew David from letters and exchanges that took place during my frantic/manic Shark Tactics days, and was lucky enough to be in on the ground floor when his 1st Chung Kuo volume, The Middle Kingdom, came out. I was immensely impressed by David’s grasp of character, his meticulous and consistent world-building, and his ability to present a huge story across many storylines, all set against an epic backdrop.
I stayed with the Chung Kuo series to its star-spanning end; it was and remains practically a masterclass demonstration of the orchestration of characters and events, of human drama, flaws and nobility.
And it pleases me enormously to know that the epic of Chung Kuo, now revised and expanded, is due to be republished by Quercus Books. The saga will consist of 19 books, the first of which will be a new prequel to the entire story, showing how our world turned into the world of the 7 Tangs. The first volume is due out in May 2009 (just 2 months after your humble author’s newie, Seeds Of Earth) and will continue every few months until the final volume appears at the end of 2012. I would unreservedly recommend David’s work (including his partnership with Brian Aldiss in the Trillion Year Spree), so keep yer eyes peeled for it!
Since a lot of people seem to be reading this page first, I thought I`d provide a link to a later posting on Chung Kuo, which is