Thursday 28 April 2011

The Arthur C Clarke Awards!

Hey yo,

So I went to the Arthur C. Clarke Award in Picadilly last night. We weren't in the running - this time - but we'd been invited, so it'd be rude not to accept.

And a good time was had by all. The ceremony was short and sweet, which is nice. Lauren Beukes' Zoo City won, which I think was richly deserved. And I wandered over to the after-party at the Picadilly Institute right after, where some kind of drinks were enjoyed and I caught up with people, or as it may be, met people I had previously only spoken to on the interweb.

Pictures were a hard ask, in the darkness of the bar, and I wasn't sure I was allowed pictures of the ceremony (I got in quite late and couldn't ask), so you've just got a couple here.

The venue was the Apollo Cinema at Picadilly. It was interesting actually sitting in a cinema for an awards ceremony. Felt a little odd.

Here's proof I was at Picadilly. 'Cause, you know, there's no way I could have just pulled this shot off the net or something.

The remarkable Dave Monteith of Geek Syndicate fame, interviewing the equally remarkable Tom Hunter, the compere of the award, for the podcast.

Believe it or not, this is Lauren. I did say it was dark.

Our own Scott Andrews, who had discovered it was a free bar shortly before this shot.

So, good time had by all. Congratulations to Lauren on her award!


Wednesday 27 April 2011

Pax Britannia: who says democracy doesn’t work?

While first-past-the-post may or may not be done away with in modern Britain, in the steampunk world of Pax Britannia it’s still very much alive – and author Jon Green is giving you the chance to have your vote on his nightmarish vision of an alternate Blighty!

Jon is searching for a motto for the terrifying troops of the Frankenstein Corps from his new Ulysses Quicksilver book, Anno Frankenstein, due out in May.

Having previously run a mini-competition to choose a motto for the Corps, Jon has whittled a shortlist out of the suggestions and is giving you a week to vote for the one you like best – and you could win a very unique prize most befitting a tale of stitched-together soldiery!

Pop along to his blog and vote now!

Tuesday 26 April 2011

News from your Editor in Chief

So yes... sorry for my lack of postings of late. Last few months have been somewhat hectic what with becoming a daddy with the birth of our daughter Maia, and then being buried in copy-editing for weeks on end on my return to the Solaris/Abaddon towers.

But news! I have news and things!

This weekend I shall be at World Horror Con in Austin, Texas. I shall be in attendance from Friday morning, through to Sunday. On Friday afternoon between 1-3pm, I will be listening to pitches and on Saturday at 10am I will be on a panel about what editors want. I shall be traveling with Mr Gary McMahon author of the brilliant forthcoming Concrete Grove for Solaris, so come seek us out and lavish on us praise and beer.

In other news, I'm delighted to be welcoming back Paul Finch to the Abaddon stable, with a book in the Malory's Knights of Albion series to be published in 2012. Paul is a prolific gent at the moment, hard at work on not only novels but Doctor Who audios and film scripts.

And that's all from me for now. Until next time...

Happy reading.

Tuesday 12 April 2011

The hunt is on for knights in shining armour!

Are you chivalrous enough to be a Knight of the New Round Table – and win the chance to be a real knight for the day?

To celebrate the release of the new Knights of Albion series of Arthurian adventure, Abaddon Books is on the hunt for ‘knights in shining armour’ to sit on a 21st Century King Arthur’s Round Table – and they could win the chance to be a real knight for a day.

As part of the hunt, a real knight in shining armour ventured out onto the streets of London – and caused a few stares – as he searched for chivalrous candidates, even managing to do a little wooing of his own!

Whether it’s rescuing a princess from a dragon or just opening doors for your beloved, wannabe Sir Galahads can tell us why they should earn a place at Arthur’s side by going to

The most chivalrous are in with a chance to win an exclusive day of training from experts at a specialist jousting facility where they’ll undertake the essential training that no aspiring knight would be without – from swordplay to donning armour. The day will be crowned with a thrilling live demonstration of jousting.

The Knights of Albion is an exciting new series based on the ‘rediscovered’ second book by Thomas Malory, author of the Le Morte d'Arthur. The first in the series, The Black Chalice, follows wannabe knight Alymere, who discovers the foul Devil’s Bible – said to have been written in one night by an insane hermit – which leads him to seek the unholy anti-Grail know as the Black Chalice.

About the Series
‘Uncovered’ in the parish church of St. Barbara and St. Christopher in the summer of 2006, the Salisbury Manuscript (British Library Add. MS 1138) is the only extant copy of Sir Thomas Malory’s The Seconde Boke of kyng Arthur and also His noble Knyghts, apparently written at Thomas Caxton’s request after Malory’s release from gaol. Deep controversy surrounds the book, which is claimed by some to be a contemporary forgery, possibly written by Caxton himself. In March 2010, Rebellion Publishing announced that it had secured exclusive rights to publish the modernisations of the stories...

Abaddon’s eighth shared world, Malory’s Knights of Albion will regale our readers with totally original stories set in King Arthur’s time, exploring the stories of the less well-known knights – like loyal Sir Alymere – or telling previously-unknown events from the lives of beloved characters close to Britain’s greatest king.
With courage and courtesy close to its heart, the series promises to deliver the best of heroic, chivalric adventure, often with a dark or surprising twist.

About the Author
Steven Savile has written almost thirty novels and short story collections, including The Hollow Earth, Temple: Incarnations, Laughing Boy’s Shadow, Houdini’s Last Illusion, Angel Road, and the graphic novel Fragrance of You (with artist Robert Sammelin). He was a runner up in the 2000 British Fantasy Awards, a winner of a 2002 Writers of the Future Award, and nominated twice for the Scribe Award, in 2006 (for best novel adaptation) and the 2008 (for best young adult novel).

Friday 8 April 2011

Pornokitsch Gives You... Anno Mortis!

Hey all,

As you probably remember, the fine folk at have spent all week bringing you the best, worst and most interesting of Romeiana... Romana?... Romanesque?... stuff about Romans, in their week-long feature, "V Days of Rome."

It's gone brilliantly well, as near as I can tell, with loads of blogposts, reviews, an enormous interview with Sophia McDougall, and competitions and giveaways on their Facebook page. So very well done, Anne and Jared. It's been a blast.

Anyway, today they have a spate of Anno Mortis-related shenanigans! There's the downloadable free sample already mentioned (it's Chapter Sixteen, by the way, with all the zombies and zombie tigers and chariots and stuff), a review of the book (actually, kind of a re-review, since as Jared points out it was one of the first books they reviewed, back in the day), and until midnight tonight you can win a signed first edition of the book on their Facebook page by answering the question, "What caused the fall of Rome?"

Check their shiznit izout.

The book comes together in a complex mash-up of classical mythologies that, in my case, really did benefit from a re-read. If the "what" (zombies) is unveiled early in Anno Mortis and the "how" (evil bugs) soon follows, the "why" is kept a tight secret until the final pages. There are a lot of players involved, both mortal and immortal, and it takes an explosive chain of conclusions to reveal them all. Needless to say, the stakes are not only much higher than just Rome, but also more personal. What a god wants, the whole world may have to give.

To freely lift from my own original conclusion: "All said and done, Anno Mortis is a massively entertaining - and oddly educational - romp. From sieges to orgies; tigers to chariot races; it pulls out all the stops in providing unceasing fun." And as a footnote, Anno Mortis isn't just another chapter in a passing fad. Good pulp is timeless, and this pulp is very, very good indeed.



Monday 4 April 2011

Pornokitsch's "V Days of Rome"

Salve all,

I don't know if you already follow the good men and women (or, alright, the good man and woman; it's a modest outfit) at It's a kind of nerd-culture, reviews, interviews and general geek crap site, with an unhealthy fixation on low-fi sixties pulp romances and a recurring feature on crappy eighties fantasy and horror movies. It's also Jared Shurin and Anne Perry, who are wonderful people and deserve your endorsement.

At any rate, they are currently running a feature called V Days of Rome all this week, which will emphasise all things Roman, including reviews of gladiator movies and of Roman historical (or alt-historical) fiction novels, interviews and guest-blogs from authors involved in Roman-themed projects, free downloadable content, and giveaways of signed books all week long.

And we're involved! If you get on there now, you can download a free sample chapter of one of the climactic scenes from Rebecca Levene's Tomes of the Dead: Anno Mortis, and they assure us they will be reviewing the book later in the week, and giving a signed copy away on their Facebook page.

And they've just posted up Masques & Lies, a totally new and exclusive Pax Britannia story by yours truly. This has never appeared in press, even in the bonus story in the back; it's there for you, now, in support of Pornokitsch.

So go and check it out, and keep checking it out all week as they update with new and awesome content and competitions.



Friday 1 April 2011

Wanted: Real-Life Monsters!

Hey all,

Right, we’re setting aside our scepticism for a moment. As a rule, we’re pretty secular, rational, twenty-first century people, here at Abaddon Towers – as I think you have to be, to publish books about zombies, aliens, and steam-powered robots – but there are enough people out there who are convinced about the existence of the supernatural in this world, or even that they are supernatural creatures themselves, that it’s got to be worth suspending your doubts and taking a plunge.

Which is why we’re looking for real-life monsters to write books for us. If you are a genuine Haitian zombie, or a vampire hunting among the social elite of Paris, and you think you can write a book, then get in touch with us!

We appreciate that the inhuman, posthuman and superhuman communities are traditionally very reluctant to come out and make themselves known, and we can promise total anonymity. But we do need all our writers for this project to definitely be supernatural beings, and may ask you to (discreetly) provide proof. We also recognise that these communities are small, so it may be that the number of monsters interested in writing a book – and able to do so with flair and confidence – may be small, but if you’re out there, we want you.

What we need from you is a pitch, including a chapter breakdown and writing sample, for our latest project, which we haven’t given a title yet, but which we’re tentatively calling “Ultranormal Romance” (or “Urban Mundanity”). Some ideas we’re knocking around at the moment include a series of books set in a world in which accountants have risen up and destroyed civilisation; a love story between a normal girl from the big city and a tortured dentist on the run from his own kind; and an alternate history in which Gordon Brown is still the Prime Minister. These are rough guidelines only; if you have a similar pitch in mind, get in touch and we can workshop it.

So get in touch, and your name might be on the cover of one our most exciting new series in 2012!