Monthly Archives: April 2013

NANP: The Names Dice

Participating in the first guest post for Names: A New Perspective Part 3 is Nathan Long, one of my top favourite fantasy authors (with some excellent sword-and-planet mixed in). I’ve been reading Nathan’s books for almost 6 or 7 years now, and have pretty much read all the work he’s done for Black Library to date. His The Blackhearts Omnibus remains a firm favourite for me, as do his Ulrika the Vampire books (review of Bloodborn, Bloodforged, and Bloodsworn), and his Jane Carver of Waar duology (review of Jane Carver, and Swords of Waar) from Nightshade Books. Just as with Matt Forbeck, Nathan is one of the most consistent authors I know, and his books are always engaging and entertaining. Here’s what Nathan has to say on the topic of names.

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Publishing and Marketing 02: Night Shade Books

About a month ago, I posted my first Publishing & Marketing column on the blog, titled “Publisher Communication“. In it, I talked at length about the marketing approaches of various SFF publishers in the English-speaking markets. The post got a fair amount of attention in social media and over email, and I’m really pleased with how things turned out.

I initially intended for the second installment of this semi-regular column to get into more of the above topic, but then I decided against it, since something else happened around roughly the same time. It was announced in various places that Night Shade Books was a hair’s breadth away from declaring Chapter 7 bankruptcy and that they were considering an asset (author contacts to be specific) sell-off to meet their debts and make sure that their authors, editors, cover artists, etc all got paid their respective dues. This is where Skyhorse Publishing and Start Publishing were stepping in as the potential buyers. But, things weren’t as promising as they seemed at first. The terms being offered by Skyhorse/Start meant that while everybody would be paid, they would not be paid anywhere near the full amount, especially not the authors.

Smarter and more publishing-savvy people than me have already talked at length about the details, so I’m not going to touch on any of that. There was even enough backlash from a LOT of people involved, the fan community and the SFF community that is, that Skyhorse/Start eventually were willing to offer better terms, although there were still some big concerns. Just do a google search and you’ll get a plethora of links and discussions about it.

The purpose of this column is to talk about my experiences with Night Shade’s publications, and why I think its rather tragic that they are going under and what it means for the SFF community as a whole.

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Names: A New Perspective Part 3

The last two weeks have been spent in a mad scramble to get people on board for the next phase of Names: A New Perspective. I really should have gotten this done a month ago, but I kept getting sidetracked by other things (Game of Thrones, finishing edits on Project Dharmayoddha, reading a ton of graphic novels, catching up on my monthly reading, etc), that it just didn’t happen on time.

But, I have the new schedule done and all worked out, and my thanks to everyone who has agreed to participate. The last few guest posts that have gone up have not been mentioned in any of the schedules, since I was mostly just winging it all, but now everything is set for the most part. This is the schedule that I will be referring to in the coming weeks, and I will also be expanding on this one as I contact yet more authors and bring them on board.

Here they are:

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NANP: Naming Swords, Defining Themselves

Really excited to welcome today’s guest Evie Manieri for Names: A New Perspective, author of Blood’s Pride, released last year in August through Jo Fletcher Books and in February this year by Tor. I read the book earlier this year, and I thought it was a pretty good start to what promises to be an excellent series (my review). It certainly is a different and innovate approach to epic fantasy, and I can’t wait to read the sequel, Fortune’s Blight. The naming conventions used by Evie in Blood’s Pride are really interesting, and in this guest post she goes into some detail about them.

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NANP: Names In Historical Fiction

Guesting on the blog today for Names: A New Perspective is debut author Michael J. Martinez. His first book, The Daedalus Incident, is scheduled for a June/July release, but given the ongoing restructuring and sellout-acquisition deal at Night Shade Books, it is more than likely that the book will be delayed a few months. You can read more about it from Mike himself here, and I will be doing a Publishing & Marketing column about it later this week as well. In the meantime, you can read my review of the book, one of the top debuts of the year, and here’s what Mike has to say on the topic of names.

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NANP: The Enjoyment of Names

Today’s guest on Names: A New Perspective is Christian Schoon, the debut author of the upcoming YA SF novel Zenn Scarlett from Strange Chemistry, Angry Robot’s YA imprint. I’m on somewhat of a kick for novels set on Mars at the moment, and that’s one of the reasons I’m looking forward to the novel, in addition to the fact that some of the recent Strange Chemistry titles I’ve read have been really fun, so Zenn Scarlett should be continuing that good streak. Here’s what Christian has to say on the subject of names.

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NANP: The Difficulty of Names

Joining me today on Names: A New Perspective is Brian McClellan, author of the awesome Promise of Blood (review) and Orbit’s latest debut. The book releases tomorrow and I definitely recommend that you all check it out. Gunpowder fantasy plus end-of-the-world prophecies? I’m all for it! Reading the book was a blast and I’m looking forward to the sequel, The Crimson Campaign, when it comes out next year in February. The wait is simply too long! Here’s what Brian has to say on the topic of names.

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Middle East Film and Comic Con 2013

Image courtesy of the MEFCC FB page.

Image courtesy of the MEFCC FB page.

Year-long (at least) readers to the blog will remember that last year in April I attended my first ever major con, the inaugural Middle East Film and Comic Con. It was a fantastic event, and I’ve been waiting for the second installment ever since. I got the chance this past weekend, and it was absolutely amazing. I am told that where the attendance last year had been upwards of 13,000, this year it was predicted to be in the 23,000-26,000 range. That is unbelievable, an almost 100% increase over and above the first year. I will say that the show absolutely deserves it. The organisers put on a terrific show, and it was certainly a few notches above last year.

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Monthly Report – March 2013

Looks like I just might be getting the new report out almost on time! Three cheers for me! Well, sorta, but its the effort that counts, right?

March has been one of my busiest months of late, probably because a lot was happening throughout, and things are still extremely busy in light of some recent news that’s come my way with regards the publishing and comics industries. So expect to see a lot of content from me in April.

At least, that’s the plan!

So, this is how the writing and reading went down last month, and you can find the February Report here.

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Special Announcement: Iain M. Banks

About a couple hours or so, Orbit Books revealed a rather shocking piece of news (if that link doesn’t work, then try this): author Iain M. Banks has cancer and his next book, The Quarry, will be last book. The cancer is, unfortunately, in its late stages according to Iain, and therefore he has cancelled all public engagements for the rest of the year and will be spending time with family and friends.

I have to say that I applaud him for writing as heartfelt and moving letter as he did. It could not have been easy at all. I wish him a glorious time, what he has left of it, and hope that he discovers (and even rediscovers) as much happiness as he can.

But that’s not all.

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Diversity in DC Comics and John Stewart

Green Lantern John Stewart’s planned death was a few days back, when the news broke that new writer on the Green Lantern Corps creative team, Joshua Hale Fialkov, had walked off from the title because DC editorial was pushing for this direction. The Mary Sue has a pretty good editorial on the whole thing. In keeping with that, I thought I’d do my own write-up on the issue, and lay out why I think this is a totally bad idea. Yes, the planned death has gone back to the drawing board after stiff opposition from the fan community, but the concerns are still there, and that is what I want to address.

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