Very brief post to say: I have release dates for both of my novels coming out next year. Huzzah, I say.

Guns of the Dawn, my sort-of-Napoleonic/Regency fantasy, is being released on Thursday the 12th of February, and for the first time ever I will be in Forbidden Planet on the evening of that very day, signing books for all and sundry. Or possibly just sundry. I guess it would be expecting a bit much for all to turn up. No longer will I skulk like Gollum through the staff section to sign stock furtively, shying away from the prying torches of the deputy managers. I shall sign them openly, and in full view of the public. I’m not ashamed.

But yes, if you’re a Londoner, or are for some reason passing through the Unreal City(1) on that evening, for Heaven’s sake drop in and let me sign something for you. If I don’t shift some books for them they’ll lock me in with the Groppler again.

And! Children of Time, my beautiful SF novel, which I have just finished the final round of edits on, has been bumped up the list a bit, and will now be released on Thursday 4th June. Which, as I don’t think anyone had any idea of the original release date, probably lacks impact as an announcement, but it’s basically coming to you a month earlier than planned.

(1) Unreal city / Under the brown fog of a winter dawn / A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many / I had not thought death had undone so many. TS Eliot, man. Goddamn Ts Eliot. More specifically, The Waste Land. That poem crops up crazily often in a certain kind of fantasy. Powers loves it. It’s even referenced in Welcome to Night Vale. I studied it for A-level, and I loved it, but you know what? I was Reading It Wrong. Mr E would probably not have approved. I did not know the numerous languages he apparently assumed everyone fit to read his pome(2) should know. I did not get the allusions he was spinning, or at least had to have them explained to me by the teacher. I read it straight, with no allusions whatsoever, as a piece of spectacularly evocative weird-ass fantasy. I think he could just about maybe lived with, say, a respectable magical realism take, but in my head I did such unspeakable things to his work of literature. I mean, according to teacher, when he said, I will show you fear in a handful of dust, it was obviously a reference to Eliot’s dislike of communism (3). To me it was just, like, Holycrapwhat? Fear in a handful of dust. That’s some serious goddamn dust right there, Mr E. And that bit where the woman’s talking to someone about her nerves being bad, in my head her interlocutor was some ghostly disembodied voice, some Ariel-style supernatural servitor/tormentor. Why? Because it’s right there in the way it’s written, if you’re me and you’re a fantasist and you have no allusions. That poem is a serious piece of grade A mind-blowing New Weird some seventy years ahead of its time, if only you lack the required education to appreciate it like what it was wrote for. Anyway, I digress.

(2) Yes, a typo, but I’m gonna leave it there. It gives a charming sense of brutish mispronunciation entirely apposite to the ignorance I’m exaggerating.

(3) The dust was red, you see.

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