So… this happened. The High King’s Vengeance landed on the British Fantasy Society’s Best Novel shortlist, alongside Jen Williams’ The Silver Tide, Adrian Tchaikovsky’s The Tiger & The Wolf, and Joanne Hall’s The Summer Goddess.
If you squint a little, you can just see HKV behind that collection of excellence. A fifth-level swashbuckler trying to stand toe-to-toe with epic-level rogues and sorcerers. I’m a trifle overawed. Quite honestly, I feel like Guy Fleegman (Sam Rockwell’s character from Galaxy Quest) – simultaneously ecstatic and gloriously out of place, an imposter who really isn’t an imposter yet feels completely like one. I have no doubt that a few beers will help sort that out. But meanwhile, group hugs and whooping congratulations for everybody on the combined shortlists, the wonderful Grimbold team, and massive gratitude to everybody who put HKV way up there on that pedestal.
“I’m just jazzed about being on the show, man.”
Thank you all very much!
And that’s not the only good news – my publisher, Grimbold Books, is up for Best Independent Press at the same awards, alongside such small press powerhouses as Fox Spirit Books, TTA Press (Interzone, Black Static), Alchemy Press, and NewCon Press. A much deserved nomination for Sammy, Zoe, and all the rest of the crew too! And double hurrah for Joanne Hall and her co-conspirator Roz Clarke for the Best Anthology-nominated Fight Like A Girl! And to Nadine West and Sammy Smith for their short story nods! And Evelinn Enoksen for her Best Artist nomination!
Tell you what, Fantasycon is going to be fun this year… 🙂
Good news! (Because there’s not much of that around these days, so let’s take what we can!)
Terra Nullius, a forthcoming anthology from Kristell Ink Books, edited by Kate Coe and Ellen Croshain, will include a brand new story by yours truly.
Terra Nullius: land belonging to no-one. An anthology of speculative fiction that explores the colonisation of our Solar System and far beyond, where pioneers carve out a new existence under other stars. New worlds and new challenges, with alien races and strange technology, but also the many facets of human emotion during the struggle to make a new home…
My story, Escape, looks at a team of far-future explorers discovering a long-lost colony world from the first, pre-hyperspace diaspora. Of course, not everything is as straightforward as the exploitative explorers expect…
Other stories in the anthology will include:
Regolith – Nina Johnson A Salt Moon – Jessica Reisman Reaper – Matthew Pederson Terra Incognita – Jessica Rydill The Chlorophyll Run – Erica Eastick Countdown to Deliverance – Thomas Spargo My Sister’s Grave – Jonathan Oliver Tap – Shaun Brassfield-Thorpe Wind and Stars and All Creation – Gregor Hartmann No-Name – John Bayliss The Brides of Rack and Ruin – Jill Hand First Contact – Will McMillan-Jones
Now that’s a fantastic line-up of new and established names, and I’m looking forward to reading them all! Oh, and there’s already artwork for the anthology – check out this fantastic Nele Diel cover art, and look out for Terra Nullius later on this year!
While we’re on the subject of reviews, you can see a piece where Heir to the North is effectively dissected by its own sentient book cover over at Michael R Fletcher’s site¹. No, really, that picture is more than capable of speaking a thousand words. Sometimes, in fact, it’s a struggle to get the damned thing to shut up.
(It’s also eligible for the British Fantasy Awards, if you enjoyed it and are that way inclined, but you need to hurry because the extension for voting runs out tomorrow.)
And because you should always start the week the way you mean to carry on, there’s a wonderful, gosh-I’m-embarrassed review of HKV on Goodreads from Teresa Edgerton, whose Goblin Moon and Hobgoblin Night set the high standard for elegance and Regency-style fantasy of manners back in the 1990s (and which are now available once more from Tickety Boo Books, and yes you should buy them). The full review is linked here, but this paragraph is probably why the cat is looking at me funny right now:
But what makes this book special, I believe, is the characters, who are well-drawn, many-sided, and believable. Even those we thought we knew reveal new sides of themselves under the press of circumstances, and Poore handles these developments so well that none of it seems too convenient or too contrived, but rather the inevitable outcome of who these people truly are, their past experiences, and the choices they face.
No pressure for the ongoing project AoT1 then, eh? 🙂
Apart from the fact that this offer is not unlimited? This special offer, to celebrate the Legend Award long-listing of HKV alongside fellow Grimbold epics The Summer Goddess and The Sky Slayer, will not last forever. Like the Age of Talons, it will soon be glorious history.
The David Gemmell Awards are among the most respected awards in fantasy fiction, and their longlists alone could fuel a good-sized TBR pile for several years straight. This year the Gemmell Awards will be hosted by my sort-of-home convention Edge-Lit, in Derby, on 15th July. The longlists are open to public vote, as of today, and will be so until 31st March.
Last year, Heir to the North was nominated to the longlist of the Legend Award by some extremely generous and lovely people. That was brilliant. 🙂
This year, The High King’s Vengeance is on the Legend longlist, alongside my fellow Grimbold authors Joanne Hall (The Summer Goddess) and Joel Cornah (The Sky Slayer). But not only that – my cover artist, Jorge Luis Torres (whose portfolios you can find here and here) is on the longlist for the Ravenheart Award too.
Your votes may, or may not, make a difference – but if you enjoyed any of the longlisted books last year (mine in particular but yes, other choices are available) then please go vote.