Voyager US |

How I Destroyed the World, Nick Cole

Out now, our digital updated edition of Nick Cole’s fabulous post-apocalyptic novel THE OLD MAN AND THE WASTELAND.

To celebrate, Nick tells the story before the story and how his doomsday unfolded.

How I Destroyed the World:

Every book has got to begin somewhere.  Often the circumstances, though seemingly fantastic, say as found in a Space Opera, are still pastoral.  Setting is the way life is, and the characters within have only ever known it that way.  But in the world of Post-Apocalyptic fiction, or PA fiction, the change from pastoral to doomsday is part of the tale.

And that’s where readers of PA find the sweet spot…

They want the world turned upside down, shaken not stirred and served into a cracked martini glass at a roadside fortress gas station where everyone wears leather, drives souped-up Dodge Chargers and carries a shotgun.  Maybe.  Or at least some of them do.

But first we’ve got to depart the regular gas station, and that 44 oz. Big Gulp we can have any time we want.  Or, life as we currently know it.  To do that, the PA writer needs to set the stage.  The opening act is the final act.  Or simply put, the world’s got to go.

So for those who read this blog, I’ll outline how I blew up the world.  I don’t do this in the book, The Old Man and the Wasteland.  So, here’s how it all went down…

We start with a new 9/11.

A terrorist cell manages to poison most of lower Manhattan with a dirty bomb and then a Mumbai-style ambush against first responders.  After a week, the last of the terrorists have been killed and the casualties are enormous and mounting, due to radiation sickness.  Manhattan is finished and a global capital is effectively terminated.

An American President, politically moderate before the attack, shifts wildly to the militant-right as the nation calls for a bloodletting. American forces airstrike three middle-eastern capitals: Damascus, Tripoli, and Tehran.  An American expeditionary force lands in North Africa with the intent of a Sherman’s March to the Sea-style invasion in an effort to devastate the Muslim world.

Mid-invasion, a charter airliner flashing the correct Homeland Security transponder codes, explodes at high altitude over the Northern Hemisphere of the Unites States.  The powerful EMP disables most everything from cell phones to toasters to early warning radar detection systems (Unless they happened to be switched off at the time of the pulse.)  Within hours the city of Dallas experiences a high yield, low altitude nuclear explosion delivered by terrorist cells operating out of Mexico and piloting drone aircraft.

The next day, it’s Seattle.

Miami.

Pittsburgh.

For the next two weeks, a city a day is destroyed by drone-piloted, nuclear weapon carrying aircraft.

Emergency services are strained and collapse.

American citizens abandon their cities en masse.

A coalition of Muslim countries announce that the drone strikes, funded and powered by Chinese technology stolen from U.S. developers, will continue until the American Army, currently driving toward Saudi Arabia, surrenders completely.

The President of the United States authorizes a full scale nuclear strike by bomber aircraft against all the major capitals of the Middle East.  Bombers receive their codes and commence their attack.

A Chinese fleet preemptively strikes the Northwestern United States.  The President authorizes the use of T-LAN nuclear ordinance to repel the invasion.

China launches her entire nuclear arsenal in response to the loss of her fleet.

America retaliates with all her silo-based nuclear weapons.

Russia invades Central and Western Europe.  Nuclear weapons are exchanged by France, England, and Germany against targets on their own soil and in Russia.

Pakistan and India exchange nuclear weapons.

The world is beset by raging wildfires, disease, and starvation at heretofore unimagined levels.  Within months, darkness due to the ash cloud that surrounds the earth, a mini ice age descends across much of the planet.  A nuclear winter ensues.

Pictured from space by the few remaining Satellites that still circle the planet, the Earth is much the same, but gone are the lights of cities and civilization that once burned in the night.  Only the occasional large-acreage forest fire, burning out of control, can be seen in the night.

Thirty-eight years later a survivor departs his village at dawn.  He will either find something of use to his village or never return.  His only companions are the words and wisdom of Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea.  Thus begins The Old Man and the Wasteland

 

 

 

 

 

Voyager Australia, Voyager UK |

The Daylight War: Trailer sneak preview

After working with the incredible Larry Rostant again for the cover of The Daylight War, we were thrilled to be able to work with another fantastic artist, Dan Kitchener, for a book trailer.

The trailer is coming soon, but in the meantime, have a look at these amazing sketches Dan did of Arlen and Jardir…

Arlen - The Daylight War

Jardir - The Daylight War

 

What do you think? We can’t wait to share the full trailer with you – make sure you follow us on Facebook or Twitter to find out when it’s released!

Voyager Australia, Voyager UK |

Q&A with Peter V Brett

Thanks to everyone who submitted questions earlier this month! Find out more about Peter’s writing, his inspiration and a hint at what happens AFTER The Daylight War

The Daylight War

1. Where do you get your inspiration to start writing?

Everywhere. My own life experiences; the comics, books, music, movies and television I enjoy; people I know, etc. This is the nature of art. We absorb the art of others, filter it through our experience, and create something new that clay.

2. How long do you spend writing each day?

That depends. When I am in the zone and focused, I produce around 1,000 words a day. Other times, if I am on promotional tours or otherwise occupied, I can go frustrating weeks without significant progress. I have become a small business in many ways, and at this point, more than half of my work time is taken up with keeping that running. My assistant, Meg has been a huge help in that regard, freeing me in many ways to make 2013 much more productive than the previous couple years.

3. Do you have a plan for your characters when you start writing, or does it evolve as you write?

I have a very meticulous approach to story structure, probably much more so than most other writers. When I began writing, I used to freewrite, which is to say I just sat down and started writing prose, making the story up as I went along. I would jot down cool ideas as I had them, but mostly I just let the prose take me where it would.

This was a terrible approach. A lot of very successful authors freewrite, but for me it tended to make the story wander away from the main narrative thread, losing tension as I explored whatever path my current mood took me down. Looking back, it’s no wonder that no one was interested in the books I wrote in that fashion. For all the good stuff they contain, there are deep flaws.

I have since begun writing what I call stepsheets, which are detailed breakdowns of every chapter in the form of bulleted lists where I describe chronologically all the pertinent events, background/worldbuilding I want to thread in, character motivations, and bits of dialogue I want to include. This is done for the entire novel, often before I have written a single paragraph of actual prose. It allows me to step back and view the story as a whole, moving parts around to allow for proper pacing and flow without having to do a ton of rewriting later. Only when that skeleton is adamantium strong do I begin slapping meat onto it.

This is a long and arduous process. For instance, the stepsheet for Daylight War was over 200 pages, and a completely separate file from the 850 pages of prose in the final novel. However, I feel it is a process that consistently delivers the results I want, so I can’t complain even if it means I write slower than other authors. I think of the story of the grasshopper and the ant, and do what works for me.

4. Why did you choose to follow a different protagonist’s point of view in each chapter?

It’s interesting to note that the original draft of the Painted Man was entirely in Arlen’s POV, and he first met Rojer and Leesha as adults when he rescued them on the road. It didn’t work, and made it really difficult to tell the full story. Giving Rojer and Leesha their own perspectives was, I think, what really made the book work. Leesha’s story, in particular, took off. She practically writes herself.

With Desert Spear, I wanted to get away from those characters a while to tell the other side of the story. I knew people thought of Jardir as a villian, but that was only a surface impression from seeing a few of his actions out of context. Giving his full story not only vindicates him and his point of view in many ways but it also sheds a darker light on some of Arlen’s own actions.

In Daylight War, we see Inevera get the same treatment. Mysterious and terrifying in Desert Spear, we once again go back and get to know her life in detail. I think by the end she may well be everyone’s favorite character.

5. Do you draw any inspiration from real life historical events?

All the time. I am always reading world news, and studied a lot of older work in the process of wtiting these books, including Sun Tzu’s Art of War, The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi, accounts of King Leonidas of Sparta’s war with Xerxes, Skaka Zulu’s conquest of Africa, and the Tokugawa Shogunate. I also did a fair amount of research into world religions, but that’s always been a hobby of mine. I have a nicely growing collection of the Men-at-Arms and Warrior books from Osprey publishing, which are wonderful references for historical arms and armor. I also use Wikipedia all the time to answer quick research questions.

I love fantasy because it gives writers an opportunity to pull interesting facets from history and real world culture without the need to adhere too strictly to actual events. Every culture in the world has its own mythologies that define it in many ways. That’s something that has always fascinated me.

6. Is there a language of wards? Do they have a sound and could they be spoken?

No, though there are grimoires to catalog them and their various effects. Many wards have had their meanings lost over the years.

7. Has becoming an author led to any experiences you didn’t expect?

So many. Getting published is surreal enough, but seeing some of the amazing things my fans do for the creative contests on my blog are breathtaking. Before being published, I had barely left the US, and then only to the the UK and Canada. Now I have been to Portugal, Poland, France, Australia, Germany, and all over the US. adding stamps to my passport has been incredible. I hope one day to visit every one of the 20 something countries I am published in.
And let us not forget Author D&D. I am still geeking out about it: http://youtu.be/uFy8wWQ1tdw. This year’s game is being edited as we speak!

8. What were your favourite books last year?

One of the most unexpected and difficult aspects of being an author (and an active parent of a child under 5) is having unfettered access to almost any book I want, often well before its release date… and no free time to read them. It reminds me of the old Twilight Zone episode “Time Enough, At Last” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_Enough_at_Last) where Burgess Meredith is a book lover who is constantly thwarted from reading.

That said, I did manage to sneak in a few this year. On paper, I read Mark Lawrence’s King of Thorns and CS Friedman’s Legacy of Kings, both authors who I love and have written blurbs for in the past.

I also read an early electronic draft of Myke Cole’s Fortress Frontier, which drops in the next week or so. It is the follow-up to last year’s Control Point, and is even better than the first book.

If you are a comic book fan, I read some great stuff this year, including Locke & Key, Invincible, Walking Dead, Fables, and Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre.
I listen to audiobooks while I exercise, and really enjoyed Year Zero by Rob Reid and Timeless by Gail Carriger, as well as Dominion, a Coldfire novella by CS Freidman that brought back all the stuff I loved about that series.

9. Any hints as to what will happen in book four?

Shit gets real. Human v. human violence finally comes to a boil even as the demons make a concerted effort to stamp humanity back down into the mud.

Pre-order The Daylight War

Voyager US |

EVER AFTER Goes Online TONIGHT: Kim Harrison U-Stream Event

EVER AFTER by Kim HarrisonKim Harrison‘s 1/23 event at University Bookstore will be live-streamed online, so you can be a Hollows insider regardless of where you are! Follow this link to tune in tonight, at 7 pm PDT–and if you “click to experience the power,” you could sign-up for a signed copy of her latest book, Ever After!

And for those of you who want to go out and experience an Ever After event in person, here are all the stops on Kim’s tour:

Seattle: January 23, Wednesday, 7:00 PM (PST time)

University Bookstore
4326 University Way
206-633-6443

This event will be live streamed so viewers at home can get in on the fun. If you join the chat room, you might have the chance to ask Kim a question.

UStream Kim Harrison at University Books, 1/23  

Portland/Beaverton: January 24, Thursday, 7:00 PM

Powell’s Books
Cedar Hills Crossing
Beaverton, OR
503-228-4651 X 5855

San Diego: January 25, Friday, 7:00 PM

Mysterious Galaxy
7051 Clairmont Mesa Blvd
858-268-4747

Please call the store to reserve your copy and your place in line. If you don’t get a ticket, don’t worry about it! Just come anyway. Kim will stay till all are signed.

Phoenix: January 27, Sunday, 2:00 PM

Barnes and Noble
Desert Ridge Marketplace
21001 N Tatum Blvd
480-538-8520

Denver: January 28, Monday, 7:30 PM

Tattered Cover Book Store
Lower Downtown Store
1628 16th St
303-436-1070

From Tattered Cover’s website: Free numbered tickets for a place in the booksigning line will be handed out beginning at 6:30 pm. Seating for the presentation prior to the booksigning is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis to ticketed customers only. Can’t make it to the signing? Request an autographed copy here: books@tatteredcover.com

If you don’t get a ticket, don’t worry about it! Just come anyway. Kim will stay til all books are signed.

Houston: January 29, Tuesday, 6:30

Murder By the Book
2342 Bissonnett St
713-524-8597

From MBTB’s website: Ever After goes on sale January 22. Line Numbers for the event will be available starting that day. If you preorder a copy of the book, we’ll pull a line number for you on January 22. The talk is free to attend, but a copy of Ever After must be purchased from MBTB in order to obtain a line number and get anything signed. Event info

Austin: January 30, Wednesday, 7:00 PM

Bookpeople
603 N. Lamar
512-472-4288 x 411

Store’s posted event guidelines

Dallas: January 31, Thursday, 7:00 PM

Barnes and Noble
Lincoln Park
7700 W Northwest Hwy
214-739-4101

10% of booksales will go to a local charity Plano Family Literacy.

Raleigh NC: February 2, Saturday, 3:00 PM

Quail Ridge Books
3522 Wade Ave
1-800 672-6789

Asheville NC: February 4, Monday, 7:00 PM

Malaprops Bookstore
55 Haywood St
828-254-6734
1-800-441-9829

Cincinnati OH: February 5, Tuesday, 7:00 PM

Joseph Beth
2785 Dixie Hwy
Crestview Hills, KY
859-912-7860

Lansing MI: February 8, Friday 6:00 PM

Schuler Books
Eastwood
2820 Towne Center Blvd
517-316-7495

March 16, Saturday: Southwest Florida Reading Festival (more info)

March 22-23 Virginia Festival of the Book (more info)


Voyager Australia, Voyager UK |

Read an extract of The Daylight War

There are less than three weeks until Peter V. Brett’s The Daylight War is published in the UK and only a few days until it is out in Australia. Want to get started before it hits the shelves?

The Daylight War begins long before Jardir and Arlen meet, before Arlen becomes The Painted Man or Jardir pronounces himself the Deliverer. It begins in the Great Bazaar, and follows the beautiful and enigmatic cover model for the book – Inevera – when she is just a small child…

Pre-order The Daylight War now in hardback or eBook

Voyager US |

EVER AFTER out now!

EVER AFTER by Kim Harrison It’s here! EVER AFTER is out today–Congratulations Kim! Finally you can read the 11th novel in the New York Times bestselling Hollows series (and find out what’s happening to the demonic ever-after, what Ku’Sox has up his sleeve, and see what is going on between Rachel and the ever-intriguing Trent Kalamack.)

Kim is touring for the next two weeks too–her full tour schedule and information on signings is here.

Can’t make a signing? We’re livestreaming her University Bookstore signing in Seattle tomorrow, 1/23/12, at 7pm PST.

Voyager US |

Signed Copies of EVER AFTER by Kim Harrison!

EVER AFTER by Kim HarrisonNicola’s Books is doing a signed-copy drive for Ever After! When you pre-order from Nicola’s Books, you get an autographed copy shipped to you (even overseas!) by 1/22/13 (when the book goes on sale)—but orders need to be in ASAP. There’s some more info on Kim’s site, and here’s a link to the pre-order page.

And here’s another reminder: if you can’t make it to any of Kim Harrison‘s events–DON’T PANIC! Kim will be U-Streaming her event at the University Bookstore in Seattle on 1/23. Save this link and tune in on Wednesday, 1/23, at 7 pm PDT–and if you “click to experience the power,” you could sign-up for a signed copy of Ever After!

Voyager US |

Kim Harrison’s EVER AFTER tour

Ann Arbor: January 22, Tuesday, 7:00 PM

Nicola’s Books
2513 Jackson Rd (Use Jackson Ave for your GPS)
734-662-0600

Nicola’s would like to ticket this event. Tickets are free and you don’t have to buy the book there (but why not since they are the kick-off store) but the sooner you call, the closer to the top of the line you will be. If you don’t get a ticket, don’t worry about it! Just come anyway. Kim stay till all are signed.

Seattle: January 23, Wednesday, 7:00 PM (PST time)

University Bookstore
4326 University Way
206-633-6443

This event will be live streamed so viewers at home can get in on the fun. If you join the chat room, you might have the chance to ask Kim a question.

UStream Kim Harrison at University Books, 1/23  

Portland/Beaverton: January 24, Thursday, 7:00 PM

Powell’s Books
Cedar Hills Crossing
Beaverton, OR
503-228-4651 X 5855

San Diego: January 25, Friday, 7:00 PM

Mysterious Galaxy
7051 Clairmont Mesa Blvd
858-268-4747

Please call the store to reserve your copy and your place in line. If you don’t get a ticket, don’t worry about it! Just come anyway. Kim will stay till all are signed.

Phoenix: January 27, Sunday, 2:00 PM

Barnes and Noble
Desert Ridge Marketplace
21001 N Tatum Blvd
480-538-8520

Denver: January 28, Monday, 7:30 PM

Tattered Cover Book Store
Lower Downtown Store
1628 16th St
303-436-1070

From Tattered Cover’s website: Free numbered tickets for a place in the booksigning line will be handed out beginning at 6:30 pm. Seating for the presentation prior to the booksigning is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis to ticketed customers only. Can’t make it to the signing? Request an autographed copy here: books@tatteredcover.com

If you don’t get a ticket, don’t worry about it! Just come anyway. Kim will stay til all books are signed.

Houston: January 29, Tuesday, 6:30

Murder By the Book
2342 Bissonnett St
713-524-8597

From MBTB’s website: Ever After goes on sale January 22. Line Numbers for the event will be available starting that day. If you preorder a copy of the book, we’ll pull a line number for you on January 22. The talk is free to attend, but a copy of Ever After must be purchased from MBTB in order to obtain a line number and get anything signed. Event info

Austin: January 30, Wednesday, 7:00 PM

Bookpeople
603 N. Lamar
512-472-4288 x 411

Store’s posted event guidelines

Dallas: January 31, Thursday, 7:00 PM

Barnes and Noble
Lincoln Park
7700 W Northwest Hwy
214-739-4101

10% of booksales will go to a local charity Plano Family Literacy.

Raleigh NC: February 2, Saturday, 3:00 PM

Quail Ridge Books
3522 Wade Ave
1-800 672-6789

Asheville NC: February 4, Monday, 7:00 PM

Malaprops Bookstore
55 Haywood St
828-254-6734
1-800-441-9829

Cincinnati OH: February 5, Tuesday, 7:00 PM

Joseph Beth
2785 Dixie Hwy
Crestview Hills, KY
859-912-7860

Lansing MI: February 8, Friday 6:00 PM

Schuler Books
Eastwood
2820 Towne Center Blvd
517-316-7495

March 16, Saturday: Southwest Florida Reading Festival (more info)

March 22-23 Virginia Festival of the Book (more info)

Voyager UK |

The Explorer is out in the UK

Published earlier this month in the US, James Smythe’s The Explorer is now out in hardback in the UK. To add to the amazing quotes we shared earlier this month, there has been EVEN MORE early praise for this dark, SF thriller, including…

‘A wonderful examination of coping with loss, time and death.’ – SFX Magazine gives it 4 1/2 stars

‘A thriller of deep-space exploration with overtones of the best 70s space-based SF’ – The Guardian features it in their round up of 2013 SF predictions

The Explorer earns a “can’t miss” recommendation for its mind-bending, heart-wrenching, avalanche of a reading experience.’ – SF Signal is a fan

‘…one of the most gripping novels that I’ve read in 2012. Dread, claustrophobia and unease permeate this imaginative, bleak masterpiece. The Explorer was easily my favourite sci-fi novel of the past year, possibly my favourite of all time, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.’ Starburst Magazine gave it 9/10

‘Utterly gripping, terrifyingly claustrophobic, heartbreaking. Literary sci-fi of the best kind.’ Alex Preston (author of The Revelations)

‘James Smythe’s Explorer unfolds like fractal origami. Elegant, streamlined, complex and beautiful.’ Tom Pollock

‘a perfect crossover between literary fiction and science fiction’ Booktrust

‘a head-scratching mystery, a powerful, dangerous vision of the future, and a beautifully-written drama about humanity and what we strive for, all wrapped up in a spaceship-shaped puzzle box. It’s mind-bendingly good. Read it at once.’ Will Hill

‘A suffocating lonely sad and brilliant paean to no one being able to hear you scream in space.’ Nikesh Shukla, author of Costa First Novel Award-shortlisted novel, Coconut Unlimited

‘even if you’re not a fan of sci-fi, or think you’re not, you’ll still find a lot to love about The Explorer. In many ways the space setting and sciency conundrums are incidental; this is at heart a novel about a man pushed to the very edge of his endurance, who must somehow find the mental fortitude to carry on.’ Page Plucker

‘The story is not only entertaining but captivating. In the later stages of the book the plot twists and turns – sometimes back on itself – and through its complexities there actually is a romping good space travel yarn.’ Dog Ear Discs

‘absolutely loved this book, gripping and clever; it kept me up reading late into the night.’ Curiosity Killed the Bookworm blog

‘It’s a taut, claustrophobic, frankly unnerving exploration of grief, memory, self-knowledge, and what it really means to go where no one has gone before both physically and psychologically… I found Smythe’s writing to have a rare power to move. The Explorer is a profound and deeply impressive novel which I urge you to read.’ Words of Mercury blog

‘a taut psychological thriller, that draws on fear of the unknown and the debilitating effects of isolation…. Smythe’s control of the tension is, by and large, spot on. ‘The Explorer’ is reminiscent of Stephen King’s early short fiction… The novel’s conclusion is expertly constructed, and the denouement jaw-dropping. It’s the closest thing I have seen in literature to a ‘Sixth Sense’ type reveal, that will have you thumbing back through the book, to check all the pieces were there. I can assure you they are, and you won’t quite believe you missed them. Things are even left open for a sequel, and such is the open nature of the tale, it could be taken in any number of directions. I can’t wait to see which one the author chooses. If The Testimony marked James Smythe as an author to watch, then The Explorer demands that he is one to follow. An excellent novel.’ Quicksilver Reads blog

‘The whole book is a sort of reflection of ourselves, of society, set against the back drop of space, whilst also being a superb work of science fiction in the traditional sense.’ The Opinionated Geeks blog

The Explorer is a modern Sci-fi novel that grips the reader from the start. It traps you inside a spaceship and does not let you go, you feel the oxygen levels plummeting, you’re cold and starving, while a error message keeps popping up on the screen. There isn’t much time left. What would you do?’ Read, Write and Read Some More blog 

So – have you read it yet?

The Explorer is out TODAY in hardback and is also available as an eBook.

Pick it up at your local store or order it today from Amazon or Waterstone’s.

James is doing two events later on this month:

Wednesday 30th January – 7pm
Event with Ben Johncock for Waterstones11-17 Castle Street, NR2 1PB, Norwich. Tickets available in store or on 0843 290 8519

Saturday 26th February
Q&A with Nikesh Shukla at the Review Bookshop, 131 Bellenden Road, SE15 4QY. For more information 0207 639 7400

Voyager US |

EVER AFTER Mystery City and Event U-Stream!

The time is nigh, Hollows fans! Kim Harrison‘s eleventh Rachel Morgan book, Ever After, will be released soon (on 1/22!), and Kim will kick off her extensive tour extravaganza! Check out the stops she’ll be making here. However–if Kim isn’t coming to a city near you, you’ve still got options.

Kim Harrison's Mystery City Campaign

For starters, if you live in or around either Atlanta or Minneapolis, you can vote to bring Kim Harrison to you! The first of these two cities to reach 150 pre-orders becomes the last stop on Kim’s 2013 tour! Pre-orders can be placed via Togather–so if you want Kim Harrison to come to your city, make sure to place your order here!

Also, Kim Harrison’s 1/23 event at University Bookstore will be live-streamed online, so you can be a Hollows insider regardless of where you are! Save this link and tune in on Wednesday, 1/23, at 7 pm PDT, live from University Bookstore in Seattle–and if you “click to experience the power,” you could sign-up for a signed copy of Ever After!

And lastly, as Kim likes to say, don’t panic, Hollows fans–we’re only on Book 11!