winner, ARC of Jim Butcher’s SKIN GAME

Thanks to everyone for participating in the giveaway for the ARC (advance reading copy) of Jim Butcher’s SKIN GAME. It was fun to see what the trailer got people thinking. I’m debating adding up the Michael vs. Bazooka comments to see which one got the most mentions…

And the winner is… Maniah — congratulations!

As an aside, I discovered that our winner once produced a Harry Dresden pony mod — though she tells me she is currently closed to commissions. But she said it was okay to post a picture, so here it is. (click here if you want to see more)

win an ARC of Jim Butcher’s SKIN GAME

Jim Butcher’s SKIN GAME, the latest novel in the Dresden Files series, releases on May 27th. In anticipation, this authorized trailer debuted last week and now I’m giving away an advance reading copy (ARC).

To enter: Post a comment on this entry telling me what you find most intriguing in this trailer.

Only one entry per person. Domestic (US) and international entries accepted. This is for an ARC, not the hardcover edition. Contest starts now and runs until Friday, May 16th, 5pm Eastern (unless Harry doesn’t save the world this time). Winner will be randomly chosen.

happy release day!

Today is the official release day for Valour and Vanity by Mary Robinette Kowal!

After Melody’s wedding, the Ellsworths and Vincents accompany the young couple on their tour of the continent. Jane and Vincent plan to separate from the party and travel to Murano to study with glassblowers there, but their ship is set upon by Barbary corsairs while en route. It is their good fortune that they are not enslaved, but they lose everything to the pirates and arrive in Murano destitute.

Jane and Vincent are helped by a kind local they meet en route, but Vincent is determined to become self-reliant and get their money back, and hatches a plan to do so. But when so many things are not what they seem, even the best laid plans conceal a few pitfalls. The ensuing adventure is a combination of the best parts of magical fantasy and heist novels, set against a glorious Regency backdrop.

Kowal continues her creative Regency-set Glamourist Histories series with a clever, captivating plot that culminates in a magical heist storyline. Before we get there, though, we are treated to a touching examination of a loving marriage under duress and the connections and collaborations these extraordinary partners must create and reaffirm with each other and those around them in order to thrive. Combining history, magic and adventure, the book balances emotional depth with buoyant storytelling. — Kirkus Reviews

happy release day!

Today is the official release day for Steles of the Sky by Elizabeth Bear

Wrapping up Bear’s complex and beautifully rendered historical-fantasy trilogy (Shattered Pillars, 2013, etc.). Necromancer and blood-sorcerer al-Sepehr, head of the Nameless assassin cult, arranged to have his daughter Saadet impregnated by Qori Buqa, Khagan of the nomad horse-warrior Empire, whom he then murdered. Re Temur, Qori Buqa’s nephew and the true heir to the Khaganate, decides to raise his banner at Dragon Lake, site of the Khagan’s vast abandoned palace­but how to reach it? Perhaps his companions, the wizard Samarkar, Hrahima, a huge human-tiger Cho-tse warrior, and the silent monk, Brother Hsiung, can find a way through the magic doorways created by the extinct Erem Empire. But Erem magic is deadly poisonous­Brother Hsiung is already half-blind from attempting to study it. Edene, Temur’s woman, escaped from al-Sepehr by stealing a green Erem ring, which gave her command of the ghuls, a slave race created by Erem, and control of the toxic Erem magic and all poisonous creatures, but an evil presence within it whispers to her­and she’s carrying Temur’s child. She must also deal with a djinn who, appearing sporadically and unpredictably, sometimes offers help while admitting he’s bound, against his will, to al-Sepehr. Various other groups­wizards, warriors, empresses, survivors of the civilizations broken by al-Sepehr’s treachery­converge on Dragon Lake. These and other narrative strands progress and interact through fully realized characters whose personalities and motivations arise from the dazzlingly detailed cultures and landscapes from which they derive. If there’s a disappointment, it’s the bipedal tiger Hrahima, a vigorous presence whose background and motivations remain largely unexplored. Notably, apart from the hero and his antagonist, all the leading characters are women. It all adds up to an eminently satisfying conclusion. Considering the trilogy as a whole, the overused term masterpiece justifiably applies. — Kirkus, Starred Review

welcome to new client Seth Dickinson

I am so very thrilled to announce that Seth Dickinson has agreed to allow me to represent his novel and future works. He writes science fiction and fantasy and his short fiction has appeared or will soon appear in Clarkesworld, Analog, Strange Horizons, Lightspeed, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies, among others.

His most recently released story can be read free online at Clarkesworld: Morrigan in the Sun Glare. There’s also an audio version read by the amazing Kate Baker.

For those playing along in the query wars, Seth’s original contact to me was a traditional query which followed my guidelines exactly and included a query letter, the first five pages of his novel, and a synopsis.