Firstly, there is a new story up in the relevant section: please find Camouflage here. This is a Thorn Bug (1) story which, as the wretched creatures aren’t exactly at the heart of the kinden’s politics and strife, might seem odd. However, I have a sneaking fondness for the misbegotten little trolls, and so here we go.
In other news… we are slowing edging towards August 7th, and the release of Blood of the Mantis – in which, amongst a variety of other new things, there is a new map. The world of the insect kinden is pushed out another hundred miles or so, to reveal a large slice of the Empire, and the lands south of it. Meet the Exalsee (3), in fact, and its jostling city-states, whose peaceful traditions of factional politics and aerial warfare are about to become a new front in the conflict with the Empire. Find the new map here and visit Solarno before the Wasps turn up and make a mess of it.
As soon as arrangements are in place I will post up some signing details, but currently I’m looking to hopefully repeat February’s performance and hit the Reading Waterstones (4) probably Saturday the 8th, then the Garforth bookshop the week after and probably the Leeds Travelling Man the week after that. I’m open to considering other dates on the tour, as last time a few suggestions were posted. Interested parties should contact Chloe Healy at Tor on firstname.lastname@example.org.
(1) For those who are wondering, thorn bugs (in the real world) are bugs that look like thorns (2). Aren’t you glad I’m here to answer these perplexing questions?
(2) Ok, because I’m a pedant, order Hemiptera (true bugs), family Membracidae.
(3) In her Tough Guide to Fantasyland, Dianne Wynne-Jones points out that every fantasy map includes a large inland sea ringed by cities. The Exalsee is in no way a validation of this tradition. After all, it’s freshwater. No similarities whatsoever. Also, it was on the second map. Surely I get points for that?
(4) Why Reading? Because (a) that’s where I lived when Empire got signed up, and (b) a very nice person called Emmy-Lou Laird who, at that time, worked for the Waterstones there, set the signing up for me, and I’ve maintained the tradition ever since.