A couple of people have asked me recently what’s going on with Head of State, and why it’s not out yet, so I thought I’d just post this to save time. Basically, the simple answer is that books take time to get published, and it’s still happening.
It can take up to a year from delivery of a manuscript to the book finally appearing. I delivered the second draft of my book in February, but there were several books “in the queue” ahead of mine (Obverse is a small publisher) — a Sexton Blake novel, Paul Magrs’ book on the Doctor Who annuals, two anthologies edited by Philip Purser-Hallard, and a Faction Paradox anthology edited by Kate Orman. Two of those have been released now, two (including the one with a story by me) will be released in the next month, and Obverse’s Facebook has just posted that the FP anthology is going back to Kate Orman for a final check of the text before that, too, is published.
That means my book is at or near the top of the pile. Which doesn’t mean that a release date will be announced tomorrow or anything — it’s entirely possible that Stuart (the editor) will want me to make more changes to the manuscript before it’s released. This is, after all, a first novel, and an insanely ambitious one, and publishing’s an iterative process. But I’ve received my advance, I’ve seen roughs of the cover painting, and everything is proceeding according to plan.
So for those of you who have been worried that it’s been a while since I posted anything about the book, don’t be — it’s just that publishing takes time. But it’ll be worth it, I hope.
The City of the Saved houses every human being who ever lived… but some of its immortal Citizens need more.
For the Remakers, one fiction above all exerts its fascination: a character existing in countless interpretations, many of them now recreated in the flesh and in business together as the Great Detective Agency.
These are their tales.
In the Agency’s annals, the City’s many Sherlock Holmeses solve the Case of the Pipe Dream, experience the Adventure of the Piltdown Prelate and explore the strangely clichéd Mansion of Doom. A Watson falls in love; a Moriarty goes missing; and Holmes comes face-to-face with his arch-nemesis, the sinister Dr Conan Doyle…
Edited by Phil Purser-Hallard, who created the City for the Faction Paradox line, with artwork by Blair Bidmead, this third in the City of the Saved series and is a little more…focused…than usual…
You’ll all know how much I rave about Phil Purser-Hallard, both as a writer and as an editor, and he’s edited two books coming out from Obverse Books next month, Iris Wildthyme On Mars, which I’ve not read, but which contains stories by many of my friends and shoud be great, and this, which I have read and know is superb.
If you like Sherlock Holmes, eschatalogical science fiction dealing with the nature of reality and identity, the Doctor Who/Faction Paradox universe, or just good stories, you’ll like this. If you don’t, buy it anyway because it has a story by me in it, The Adventure Of The Piltdown Prelate, that I think is the best thing I’ve ever written except my forthcoming novel. (NB I don’t make any more money if you buy it unless I misread the contract — I’ve already been paid. Just buy it because it’s a good set of stories).
Just to whet your appetites a little. The book is still being edited, and there may be rewrites ahead, so these may not all be in the final book, but here are ten sentences chosen at random…
These Mal’akhim are spoken of throughout Araby in dark whispers and legends, and are capable of taking the shape of a man, but are neither human nor ensouled, and should they go without the human blood on which they make their beastly repasts, they soon begin to decay into a foul slurry.
If you think being a pretty, skinny little girlie gets you hit on by too many repulsive men, you need to try being a pretty (if I do say so myself — I *am* fucking fabulous), skinny little girlie with a British accent in the Midwestern US, attached to a political campaign which acts like a gigantic Strange Man Magnet.
While my illustrious colleague hath told a tale of the past, of Allah’s creation of the universe, and of the war between Jannat and Jahannam, my tale, no less fantastic, is a tale of the present, of a far-off, distant land, many leagues from here.
They’re treating Matt Nelson like he was Zac Efron (look, I have a little sister who was way into High School Musical, don’t judge me) or someone, and it’s a bit freaky.
Sometimes you couldn’t tell how nutty they were for a while — they’d be talking about normal stuff like how we should go back on the gold standard or something, and then they’d start in on how the Republican and Democrat parties were really fronts for two rival groups of aliens who secretly controlled the world, or how there was a mad god trapped in the centre of the earth that was controlling everyone’s thoughts.
“I mean he’s the Antichrist, Dave.”
It has been suggested by some that I should put down for posterity an account of the circumstances behind my induction into the organisation to which this missive, written currente calamo but not, I hope, to be taken as evidence of cacoethes scribendi, is dedicated, and which it is meet not to mention, at least in terms which the profane masses will readily comprehend.
There may be some confusion here, though, and Civitata may be an aspect of sakīnah, a word which means a blessing sent by Allah, but with overtones of “dwelling place” or sanctuary.
The typical Democratic voter, even those who support him, says “he’s a nice enough guy, I guess” and little else (the Republicans say “he’s a Communist atheist who wants to sell out our country”, but then they’d say that about Ronald Reagan these days).
On one side there’s a group of… I was going to say “people”, but in one sense they’re something closer to what you’d get if you crossed the Greek gods with the mathematics department at Cambridge University, while in another they’re more like laws of nature but with very slightly more personality.
The second volume of my Beach Boys essays is now available in paperback, hardback, and all non-Kindle ebook formats. It will be available within a few hours on Amazon for the Kindle (US link, UK link).
As always, with all my books, the ebooks are DRM-free. Also as always, the paper copies are priced so that when the paperbacks get sold through Amazon I’ll only make as much from them as I do from the ebooks (I make more if you buy them from Lulu).
If you do buy them — thank you. And please let your friends know and leave a review.
Proper update soon.