Category: free stuff
So, hum, I have In the Vanishers’ Palace, a dark sapphic retelling of Beauty and the Beast coming out tomorrow, and I asked Likhain (who’s a fabulous artist) to draw me some art to go with it. Because we all want colourful dragons, right?
Preorder In the Vanishers’ Palace or buy in the first two weeks of release, and get exclusive Likhain wallpapers, as well as a discount on the (gorgeous) prints from her shop!Buy now
(more book info here)
And here is the art!
(offer valid for both ebook and print purchases until 29th October, midnight Pacific Time–sorry for the cutoff date but I’ll be travelling to WFC afterwards and will probably be too jetlagged to answer emails!).
If you’ve already preordered the ebook (or got the print book) prior to this blog post obviously the offer is also valid.
Just fill in the contact form with a receipt of your purchase (NB: please remove all identify details such as physical address etc. from your receipt!) and send it on!
(contact form closed as offer no longer valid)
Prints can be bought here:
You might have missed the announcement on this, but I’m now Fran Wilde‘s co-host for Cooking the Books, the podcast about SF and food. This month we sat down with Ruthanna Emrys, the author of the newly released Winter Tide from Tor.com Publishing, a novel about re-imagined Deep Ones.
We talk about how Ruthanna uses food to evoke memory in her book. What we didn’t realize is that we would also be talking about revising the Lovecraftian recipe, and exploring monster digestion.
This podcast contains so much salt. Also a heads up about Ruthanna’s book party with her blog co-host Anne M. Pillsworth at Wiscon in a few weeks! Are you going? Pick up a Honeyed Salt Cake for us. Or try the recipe yourself, below…
This month’s Cooking the Books Podcast, #030: A Taste of Salt – Cooking the Books with Ruthanna Emrys contains:
- Deep Ones comfort food
- What one would feed H.P. Lovecraft (a Book Smugglers question!)
- Truffle salt, fleur-de-sel harvested from marshes, smoked salt…
- CSA joys
- Holiday Fish Stew
- Did We Mention Ruthanna’s Book Party at WISCON
- A mention of “The Litany of Earth”, the short story that started it all.
- Snarky aliens
Podcast #030: A Taste of Salt – Cooking the Books with Ruthanna Emrys
Recipe: Honeyed Saltcakes
(Recipe by Nora Temkin)
Makes: 21 cookies
- ¼ C sugar
- 1.5C + 1T flour
- 1.5T fine-ground salt (People of the air who think there’s such a thing as “too much salt” may want to make this 1.5 teaspoons.)
- ½ C honey
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 1 egg
- ½ t baking soda
- Additional honey + course ground fleur de sel for glaze, to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Cream butter, sugar, and honey until smooth.
Add egg and mix.
Combine remaining dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well.
Drop spoonfuls of batter onto a greased cookie sheet, leaving room for cakes to spread to about 2 inches wide.
Bake 9-12 minutes until lightly browned.
Remove from oven—immediately brush with warm honey and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve warm.
Ruthanna Emrys is the author of Winter Tide, the first book in the Innsmouth Legacy series. She is also co-blogger on Tor.com’s Lovecraft Reread, and writes short stories about religion and aliens and psycholinguistics. She lives in a mysterious manor house on the outskirts of Washington, DC with her wife and their large, strange family. She makes home-made vanilla, obsesses about game design, gives unsolicited advice, and occasionally attempts to save the world. You can find her on Twitter, livejournal, her website, and at Tor.com.
Tor.com has published an excerpt of The House of Binding Thorns (chapter one, to be more specific). In which we return to the House of Hawthorn, its Fallen head Asmodeus, and to alchemist and angel essence addict Madeleine–aka “character in deep trouble” ^-^
More book info here (coming your way April 2017 from Roc in the US and Gollancz in the UK/RoW!)
I’ve spoken of it before, but preorders are super important–they help establish enthusiasm for the book, and also boost sales in that all-important first week. As an author they also feel special to me, because readers are making a great gesture of faith on a book that hasn’t been delivered yet. Last time, for The House of Shattered Wings, I offered an exclusive small ebook of short stories (which you can now read for free here). This time around, I considered several options, but in the end the exclusive short story was, once again, the one that polled best. So I set out to writing a really short prequel story set just before the beginning of The House of Binding Thorns, which would introduce some of the new characters, showcase some old favourites, and get readers ready for enjoying the book.
I ended up writing a novelette. All 12,000 words of it. So much for short, but on the plus side you should get an immersive, detailed read :p
So… preorder The House of Binding Thorns, and you get access to “Children of Thorns, Children of Water”, an exclusive prequel
short long story set just before the events of the book. Here’s the cover:
If you don’t feel like hopping there, here’s more info about the story:
In a Paris that never was, a city of magicians, alchemists and Fallen angels struggling to recover from a devastating magical war…
Once each year, the House of Hawthorn tests the Houseless: for those chosen, success means the difference between a safe life and the devastation of the streets. However, for Thuan and his friend Kim Cuc, — dragons in human shapes and envoys from the dying underwater kingdom of the Seine — the stakes are entirely different. Charged with infiltrating a House that keeps encroaching on the Seine, if they are caught, they face a painful death.
Worse, mysterious children of thorns stalk the candidates through Hawthorn’s corridors. Will Thuan and Kim Cuc survive and succeed?
You can get the ebook of Children of Thorns, Children of Water if you preorder The House of Binding Thorns (ebook, audiobook or physical book): Gollancz has kindly agreed to fulfilling the US preorders in addition to the UK ones, so whichever edition you preordered (aka “the one with the sword” or “the blue one with the thorns”), just go here and fill in the form to get access.
And here’s where to preorder!
And here’s some review quotes, just in case you’re not convinced:
Just a quick note that my Xuya short story “The Shipmaker” is now reprinted at Clarkesworld. This was the first of the mindship sequence (AIs incubated in human wombs and becoming part of human families). Bit of nostalgia for this one: it won me my first major award (British Science Fiction Association Award for Best Short Fiction), and was also the first story I wrote that had actual Vietnamese characters (more accurately, Vietnamese immigrants in a Chinese-dominated society. But still).
Also, my longer Xuya novelette, “Pearl”, a retelling of Da Trang and the Pearl, is available as part of The Starlit Wood, Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe’s anthology of retold fairytales. More info here.
And as promised, here’s the giveaway for one ARC of The House of Binding Thorns: ruined and decadent Paris, Fallen angels, alchemists, a dragon kingdom under invasion, and backstabbing aplenty! Open anywhere in the world–I’d of course much appreciate it if you could review the book on goodreads, for instance, (it does help the author *sheepish grin*).
I’ll close it next Thursday, and probably post some highlights of the food question as well.
Here are the promo cards:
(the HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS ones have got a random quote from the book at the back, the HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS ones come with both US and UK covers and have a pull quote)
The multi-award winning author of The House of Shattered Wings continues her Dominion of the Fallen saga as Paris endures the aftermath of a devastating arcane war…
As the city rebuilds from the onslaught of sorcery that nearly destroyed it, The Great Houses of Paris, ruled by fallen angels, still contest one another for control over the capital.
House Silverspires was once the most powerful, but just as it sought to rise again, an ancient evil brought it low. Phillippe, an immortal who escaped the carnage, has a singular goal—to resurrect someone he lost. But the cost of such magic may be more than he can bear.
In House Hawthorn, Madeleine the alchemist has had her addiction to angel essence savagely broken. Struggling to live on, she is forced on a perilous diplomatic mission to the underwater Dragon Kingdom—and finds herself in the midst of intrigues that have already caused one previous emissary to mysteriously disappear…
As the Houses seek a peace more devastating than war, those caught between new fears and old hatreds must find strength—or fall prey to a magic that seeks to bind all to its will.
For more information go here.Buy now
And if you need more idea of what you’re in for, here’s the Pinterest board for the book:
He, what would you know, it’s January again (aka, wow, where did all the time go, and arggggggg I am so late on things!). The main thing I published in 2015 was my novel (I know, kind of hard to miss :p), The House of Shattered Wings, aka magical intrigues, deadly creatures and elusive wonders in a decadent turn-of-the-century Paris ravaged by a magical war.
It won a British Science Fiction Association Award for Best Novel, as well as being on the Locus Recommended Reading List for 2015. It also got starred reviews from Publishers’ Weekly and Library Journal. It’s eligible for the Hugos.
I can’t provide a copy of the complete text, but I have put together a short sampler of the first three chapters: bits and pieces of this have appeared online, but this is the first time that you can actually read all of it (I think? The kindle sampler is shorter than this, ending mid-chapter two). You can download it here in EPUB, MOBI, or PDF (if you need DOC or RTF, drop me a line via the contact form, and I’ll be quite happy to provide a copy. I just am not a big fan of putting Word formats online–too easy to modify them by mistake…).
If you came here wanting whole stories (which I can understand!), I do have a Xuya short story online, “Three Cups of Grief, by Starlight”, which won a British Science Fiction Association Award for Best Short Fiction, and is at Clarkesworld (and is getting reprinted in Dozois’s Year’s Best). You can also download EPUB or MOBI.
And if anyone is interested and a Hugo or Nebula voter, contact me and I’d be quite happy to email you a copy of my novella “The Citadel of Weeping Pearls”, which appeared in Asimov’s Oct/Nov and is now a tad hard to find.
And now for the bulk of this, aka, the stuff that I read from 2015 and want to recommend. (this list is a slightly modified and expanded version of one I wrote for the Book Smugglers. I would urge you to go read it: these recs for 2015 are more up to date, but the Book Smugglers post also has my 2016 TBR pile, and it really looks awesome. I made a slight headstart on said TBR pile thanks to friends, and so far I haven’t been disappointed!).
“Variations on an Apple”, Yoon Ha Lee (Tor.com, October). It’s no secret that I love Yoon Ha Lee’s stuff, and this clever retelling of the Trojan war is no exception. Tackles mathematics, desire, and the consequences of decisions that aren’t always wisely made. Also, Illium and Helen are both awesome in different ways.
“Milagroso”, Isabel Yap (Tor.com, August). In a future where food is grown in labs and always perfect, there is still room for the miracles of saints… By turns exuberant and heartbreaking, this is a story of what we take for granted, how we seek to protect our children, and the price we pay.
“The Star Maiden”, Rokshani Chokshi. Tala’s grandmother used to be a star maiden, annd tells her granddaughter stories of longing for the sky. But Tala grows up and starts questioning the veracity of the story–and becomes ashamed of her grandmother’s oddness. There’s nothing really surprising in this one, but it’s very very well done (as in I broke down and cried at the end), and encapsulates the heartache of growing up.
“The Monkey House”, Tade Thompson (Omenana, March). The narrator returns to work after a breakdown–and finds that everything is *almost* normal. I love the sense of creeping unease of this one, the feeling that everything looks almost quite right (and that 1% “not right” that is downright unsettling). I’m not usually much of a reader for horror or dark, but this is perfect.
“If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler”, by Xia Jia (Clarkesworld, Nov). I love Xia Jia’s stuff, and this short story about a poet and her legacy–and how people handle it in the age of the internet and social media–is lovely and sharp.
“City of Salt”, Arkady Martine, (Strange Horizons, March). This one has stuck around in my head since I read it: the story of a man who comes back to a deserted city, to face the woman he once knew and what she has become… Poetic and elegiac in all the best ways.
I originally made In Morningstar’s Shadow available as a reward for people who had preordered The House of Shattered Wings (and shifted quite a few copies, thanks to everyone who took advantage of that!).
Since the book has been out for a while (a month which feels like a lifetime, wow), I figured I would make it available for free, as a sampler of what you can get if you buy the novel.
You can either download files below, or go to most online retailers and get it for free. Please note that I’ve done my best to encourage Amazon to price-match, but I can’t promise that all the countries followed suit: it’s free for sure in the US and UK, or you can download the MOBI file directly below if you can’t find it for free in your part of the world.Download now.
Or read online here.
(and if you’ve read the novel and want more short fiction set in the same universe, why not check out Of Books, and Earth, and Courtship, the adventure/courtship story featuring Emmanuelle and Selene?)