Thursday 31 March 2011

Special Freebie Feature: Anno Frankenstein Wallpapers!

Hey all,

As we've previously mentioned, the design for the upcoming seventh Ulysses Quicksilver book, Jonathan Green's Pax Britannia: Anno Frankenstein, features an ass-kicking piece of internal art for the section headers: a grotesque, steampunky, "vitruvian frankenstein."

And if you were paying attention, you'd also remember that we promised you a wallpaper based on the image, lovingly rendered on a parchment-effect background, to be made available closer to the release date.

Well, it's closer, and here it is!

Hand-drawn, rendered and digitally en-parchmented by our very own Pye Parr, the Pax Britannia Vitruvian Frankenstein Parchment Wallpaper is now available for download in a variety of sizes. Choose from the below:


(And why not add to your fine book and handsome desktop a signed promotional Anno Frankenstein poster, now available in the Genre for Japan charity auction?)


Tuesday 29 March 2011

Paul Kane Signing at Waterstones!

Wotcher all!

Just a quickie to remind you that Paul Kane, the author of the Hooded Man books in The Afterblight Chronicles (including the latest, Arrowland, pictured) will be signing copies of his books and generally being accessible to the public on:

Saturday 2nd April

...which is this very weekend!

He will be at the fine Waterstones in Sheffield, at:

24-26 Orchard Square
South Yorkshire
S1 2FB

Be sure and drop in to give him some love.


And for a little more Hooded Man love, download this free promotional comic strip adaptation of the opening of the first book, Arrowhead...

...and for a little more Paul Kane love, do drop by his and Marie's Genre for Japan auction for a chance at picking up some signed copies of his rarer works.



Genre for Japan: Git Chore Bids In!

Hi all,

Well, if you've been looking out at blogland and Tweetland this past week or so, you're no doubt aware of Genre for Japan, the charitable auction being organised by Amanda Rutter, Lou Morgan, Alasdair Stuart, Ro Smith, and our very own Jenni Hill.

So naturally Jenni's rattled the bars on some of our authors' cages, and they've been absolute stars.

If you haven't already, you need to go on the auction's Item Index right now (you'll also note a "categories" box on the right, near the top of the page, if you're looking for something specific, like *ahem* "Abaddon Books") and place some bids - bidding is only open until Sunday, so you'll miss out if you leave it too long - but I would be remiss if I didn't urge you to consider some of our chaps' lots:

Mike Wild, author of the Kali Hooper books in the Twilight of Kerberos series, has put up signed copies of the four books currently out (including The Trials of Trass Kathra, which is only just out on the shelves now). The winner of the lot will also be commemmorated in a dedication to the upcoming fifth book.

Scott Andrews, author of the St. Marks' School trilogy in The Afterblight Chronicles, has also put up a signed set, along with a named character in his next book.

Jonathan Green, author of the Ulysses Quicksilver books in the Pax Britannia series, is offering a named part in his upcoming Quicksilver book, Time's Arrow. He's also offering, in a separate lot, a signed promotional Anno Frankenstein poster, signed by both himself and the designer, Pye Parr.

Not to be outdone, Al Ewing, author of the El Sombra books in the Pax Britannia series, is offering not one, but two named (speaking) parts in the third El Sombra book, Pax Omega.

They're not actually Abaddon books, but Paul Kane, author of the Hooded Man books in The Afterblight Chronicles, is offering signed copies of three of his celebrated horror books.

And Chuck Wendig, author of the upcoming Tomes of the Dead: Double Dead, is offering up both an e-book of his self-published collection, Irregular Creatures, and a detailed critique of a short work.

Finally, Jon, Jenni and I are all offering our editorial services to writers who want to know how to add some polish to their stories and (hopefully) render them more publishable. This is an outstanding opportunity if you're still unpublished and hoping to "break in."

So. Not that we're competitive or anything - obviously any money raised on any lot is brilliant - but if you could see your way clear to bidding on some of these lots, that'd be champion.

(And go look at Solaris Books's contribution, as well!)



Thursday 17 March 2011

Black Chalice Out Now!

Steven Savile's in good company, between George R. R. Martin, Patrick Rothfuss and... Ron Hubbard? Guess you can't win 'em all.

We've been sent this photograph this morning, taken in Barnes and Noble, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, because The Black Chalice is out now in North America and all over the world! You can find it in the fantasy section in your local bookshop or for sale online, and the ebook will be coming out very soon!

Son of a knight and aspirant to the Round Table, Alymere yearns to take his place in the world, and for a quest to prove his worth. He comes across the foul Devil's Bible – written in a single night by an insane hermit – which leads and drives him to seek the unholy Black Chalice. On his quest he will face, and overcome, dire obstacles and cunning enemies, becoming a knight of renown; but the ultimate threat is to his very soul.
Malory’s Knights of Albion: The Black Chalice
is the start of an exciting new fantasy series of never-before-seen Arthurian adventures.


Monday 14 March 2011

Back Up On iTunes!

Hi all,

The much-anticipated (seriously; for, like, six months) return of the Abaddon & Solaris Books Podcast to the iTunes Store is finally here!

Find it here on iTunes, or go to the Store and search for "Abaddon and Solaris."

If you were already subcribed previously, you'll need to resubscribe.

You can also just go here to look at the feed direct, or to subscribe using an RSS application, like Outlook.



Gods of Manhattan Book Giveaway!

Wotcher all,

Graeme Flory over at Graeme's Fantasy Book Review is giving away some copies of Al Ewing's Pax Britannia: Gods of Manhattan. All you have to do to take part is tell him you're interested. Head on over to his blog to enter the comp!



Thursday 10 March 2011

Podcast Episodes You Need To Catch Up On

Hey all,

So now that I've explained why you haven't heard anything from the Podcast for a bit, here's a little bit of an update on the 'casts you will have missed if you weren't already subscribed to us on iTunes.

Buckle your seatbelts...

Podcast #7: To the End of the Line

In the run up to the publication of Solaris Books' anthology of underground-travel-themed horror, The End of the Line, Editor-in-Chief Jon Oliver (who also edited the anthology) invited contributors Pat Cadigan and Adam LG Nevill to join him in the studio and talk about the book and their ideas on horror.

We also went to the pub with them later.

Podcast #8: A Year in Publishing

Editor-in-Chief Jon Oliver, Junior Editor Jenni Hill, and Desk Editor yours truly tuck ourselves away in the studio to look back on 2010 and ahead to 2011.

Podcast #9: The Welcoming Party

A time of welcomings. We welcome our generally mic-shy Account Manager Ben into the booth, we welcome our new PR Coordinator Michael Molcher to the company, and we welcome Jon and Ali's new baby Maia Oliver into the world.

Left to Right: Me, Ben Smith, Jenni Hill and Michael Molcher.

If these images and words intrigue you and you haven't already heard them,



The Abaddon & Solaris Books Podcast (Update)

Hi all,

You may have been wondering what's been going on with the podcast for about six months, and you would be right to do so.

The reason we haven't announced any new podcasts is because, while we have been recording them and posting them, they haven't been going up on the iTunes Store, and that's the main link we use to direct people to the 'cast.

The reason for that is that the automated systems at iTunes got the link mixed up, somehow, and the tech support at Apple has been unable to resolve the issue for us (this isn't necessarily a criticism of Apple, you understand; it seems to have been an odd problem). We could have just posted the RSS link directly, of course, but the solution always seemed to be one more step away, so we wanted to leave it until we had the problem fixed.

Of course, weeks turned into months, with no result, so we should have just gone ahead. Apologies to those of you who look out for these posts to listen to the 'cast.

If you've been subscribed, you should have received the last two 'casts, so I hope you enjoyed them. The old link has been cancelled now, in the final (at the end of a loooong process) attempt to fix the problem, so now you'll all have to use the new RSS feed directly until the new link goes up in iTunes.

Which, I'm glad to say, should be a week or so away now! We've finally solved the problem (basically we gave up on the old podcast and started a totally new one; something else we should have just done right at the start) and the new 'cast should be available on iTunes shortly. I'll be sure and post about it when we do.

Until then, then, here is the

You can listen to the latest episodes directly here, and the new iTunes link will be posted soonish.

Keep reading
for the run-down on the most recent episodes...



Hey all,

Another quick round of reviews, not for any one title:

First off, Kerl at Un:Bound has offered up an enthusiastic review of Mike Wild's Twilight of Kerberos: The Engines of the Apocalypse:

With a full complement of bad, bad jokes, magic, intrigue, redemption and a smidge of drunken dimension hopping, the book remains a bouncy if slightly quirky read from end to end.

Secondly, Kerl seemed to like Paul Finch's Tomes of the Dead: Stronghold even more:

For a book where it’s hard to decide if there are “good guys” and if so, who they are, Tomes of the Dead: Stronghold is some good old zombie smushin’ read, with some of the most interesting ideas for use for the brainless dead I’ve seen in a while combined with some interesting little historical details that have obviously been well researched before publishing.

Thirdly, Greenspan at the Midwest Book Review was very impressed by Jon Green's Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus:

A riveting read of three novels that should definitely prove quite fascinating, The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus is a volume that will prove very hard to put down and very highly recommended.

Finally, George Wilhite at The Horror Review has clearly enjoyed our very newest zombie book, Toby Venables' Tomes of the Dead: Viking Dead, which has only just come back from the printers!

Fans of both horror and fantasy will enjoy this novel. It evokes the historical period well and has a nice fast pace. There is a very original twist in the final chapter explaining the origin of the draugr and at least two other nice twists I did not see coming.

So give them blogs some love and check 'em out.



Friday 4 March 2011

Review Backlog: Gods of Manhattan

Hi all,

As I've just explained over at the Solaris blog, Jenni and I have been so busy - since, basically, the start of November - with our editing and proofing, that we've only really been able to occasionally jump on the blog. I know Jenni's been slightly more helpful than me at keeping you updated; I've been rubbish.

Anyway, inevitably, my "reviews" email folder has been spilling over in this time, with reviews and stuff we've found on the internet, and since I know you're faintly ambivalent always thrilled to hear about reviews, I've decided to try and catch up with them a bit - not in order, but grouped by title.

Second update: Al Ewing's Gods of Manhattan. All of the Pax Britannia books are a whole bunch of fun, and this is no exception. Pretty much everone who's read this book has loved it.

Here are some of the people who have...

SF Site's Nathan Brazil was "in luck" when he received the book, writing:

"The story is a curious coupling of the straightforward and the subtly devious, playing with archetypes and sometimes using them like blunt instruments, but also blending in conceptual complexities and cunning plot twists. Most of all, Gods of Manhattan is a book in which the characters are written in such a way as to make the reader feel as if one has always known them."

I get the feeling it wasn't entirely Total Sci-Fi Online's Brigid Cherry's cup of tea, but she still obviously felt it was well done:

"This is real pulp material, the stuff of brooding humour, gritty violence and all-out action, with rugged (super)heroes and sarky dames."

Emotionally Fourteen's Brad Harmer evidently thought it was a hoot:

"The action scenes are fantastically well written, and you can actually feel each and every impact as it strikes home. If this was a comic, it would be written and drawn by Mike Mignola. It plays into the conventions of the superhero story, without ever being hampered by them."

Finally, Graeme Flory of Graeme's Fantasy Book Review gave it an extraordinary 9 and three quarters out of ten:

"I can’t emphasise enough how much fun I had with Gods of Manhattan, a read with no pretensions other than to give its reader a ride like never before. Not only does it succeed but it does so in some style."

So lots of good responses there. What are you waiting for? Go and buy it!