Jack Of Ravens US Cover

Here’s artist John Picacio’s cover for the Pyr edition of Jack of Ravens, Book One of Kingdom of the Serpent. Out in March, with books two and three to follow in subsequent months.

For US readers, this is the final trilogy of the nine-book sequence that began with Age of Misrule. Jack Churchill returns, along with the Brothers and Sisters of Dragons, Fabulous Beasts, Celtic gods, Ragnarok, the Otherworld and the wrapping up of every single plot-thread wound over the series.

Can I suggest to all the readers who have been complaining about Gollancz’s failure to reprint the long-sold-out UK version to pick this up on import. It should be available on both Amazon and the Waterstone’s site.

The US Joins The Kingdom Of The Serpent

Just heard from my editor in the US, Lou Anders, that he’s bought the Kingdom of the Serpent sequence – Jack of Ravens, The Burning Man and Destroyer of Worlds – to be published shortly by Pyr.

For American readers, those books will finish off the massive story that began with World’s End in the Age of Misrule, a trilogy of trilogies covering more than two thousand years of human history, three worlds – this world, the Otherworld and the world beyond death – and our greatest mythologies.

Maybe I’ll stop getting all those emails now.

SF Site’s Best Books of 2009

I’m very gratified to see Destroyer of Worlds, Kingdom of the Serpent Book 3, sitting at number three in SF Site’s 13th annual Editors’ Choice Best Books of the Year.

It’s a prestigious list that gets a fair bit of attention. And frankly, the company is great: Daryl Gregory’s The Devil’s Alphabet at five, Julian Comstock: a Story of 22nd Century America by Robert Charles Wilson at four, The City and the City by China Mieville at two, and the hugely deserved Dust of Dreams by Steven Erikson in the top slot.

Here’s the SF Site review of the book and here’s a new review at the excellent NextRead site.

And as if by magic, the mass-market paperback of that book has just been published in the UK.

Hope Vs Optimism

Came across a quote today (from Rabbi Jonathan Sachs, used in relation to the US finally passing its health care legislation) which perfectly summed up the theme of Age of Misrule, The Dark Age and Kingdom of the Serpent:

“Hope is the faith that, together, we can make things better. Optimism is a passive virtue, hope is an active one. It takes no courage to be an optimist, but it takes a great deal of courage to have hope. Hope is the knowledge that we can choose; that we can learn from our mistakes and act differently next time. That history is not a trash bag of random coincidences blown open by the wind, but a long slow journey to redemption.”

Destroyer Of Worlds – New Cover

Here’s the new cover for the mass-market paperback edition of Destroyer of Worlds, Kingdom of the Serpent Book Three:

Destroyer of Worlds mmp

Pretty much the same as the hardback, although the blue is darker, less vibrant. The marketing department felt the more muted tones worked better on the bookshelf. I don’t know if I agree.

One Of My Favourite Places

Tenby Harbour
Tenby Harbour

Next month, Destroyer of Worlds, Book 3 of Kingdom of the Serpent is published in the UK, the final volume of my sprawling fantasy series which began with World’s End, Age of Misrule Book 1, nearly ten years ago. When the final edit was complete, it seemed only right that I return to the place where I first dreamed up the story, sitting by the side of the sea on the Celtic fringes of the UK.

It’s not like I’ve been any stranger to Tenby in Pembrokeshire, South Wales – I’ve been going pretty much on an annual basis since I was about seven, sometimes for a few days, sometimes a couple of weeks. For me, the place is damned near perfect for a writer looking for inspiration: winding streets with odd little shadowy alleys, colourful houses, medieval walls, a nearby castle (which featured, like Tenby, in World’s End) the best beaches in this part of the world, and a history of mystery and mysticism. It’s always been a place artists have visited, for much the same reasons – check out the great museum and art gallery if you don’t believe me.

As it’s the start of the summer, I thought I’d give it a mention here, and in a couple of posts to follow. If you’re ever down there, take a look – you won’t be disappointed.

Megalithomania!

“THE NEWTON stone is a small, rather unassuming pillar in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. On one side is faded, ancient writing, on the other a curling snake and cylindrical patterning. Many would say that it is a typical example of a Scottish standing stone.”

One, shall we say, creative opinion, for the meaning behind the designs is detailed here. The truth, of course, is being defined in The Kingdom of the Serpent.