Underground Reading: The Wandering Earth by Liu Cixin
Why we need to ask "What if?" by Jeff Norton

Causing Pandemonium: Sales and Souls

Cover%20-%20smokeThe latest news from our tiny corner of the publishing world.

Given that there is big something going on in London, and we've just published an amazing collection of London-based science fiction, we've gone ahead and connected the dots. Pandemonium: Stories of the Smoke is now on sale for a paltry £2.49 ($2.99, gringos) - an offer that will end in September, when the travelling hootenanny show picks up and moves on. Smoke contains 17 original stories, written award-winners and talented new voices from all over the world. Plus, illustrations from the amazing Gary Northfield. 

Speaking of time-limited offers...

If you order the hardcover, limited-edition of Lost Souls before 1 August, we'll throw in the Kindle versions of both Lost Souls and Crossroads for free.  

Here are five fun-facts about Lost Souls to get you excited:

1. It may be our prettiest book yet. Our goal with Lost Souls was to make a printed object with a properly regal feel. I think we've achieved it. Aubergine covers, faun end-papers, gold embossed titling. Plus a lovely Caslon typeface and some gorgeous period decorations. And the Vincent Sammy art... 

2. Two of the authors aren't dead. (Dun dun DUN!) Stories of the Apocalypse contributors David Bryher and Osgood Vance both make an appearance. In Mr. Vance's case, we had found a book that was a perfect fit with the collection... but the writing was appalling. John N. Reynolds' A Kansas Hell needed a great deal of love, and Mr. Vance volunteered for the job.

Mr. Bryher had the larger task. Franchun Beltzarri's "The Devil's Age" is a properly bonkers piece of Basque folklore. But the original tale was is no more than a transcription, a few hundred words long, tops. We asked Mr. Bryher to write a new fairytale, based on Beltzarri's story. He excelled himself with a brilliant, morally ambiguous, darkly hilarious tale - somewhere between Angela Carter and Tom Holt. We couldn't be more delighted.

3. Lost Souls contains about 5,000 words of original content. And that's not counting the two stories mentioned above. Anne and I wrote introductions to each of the stories, giving a little background about the authors' lives and why we chose each tale for the collection. These aren't full-on blog posts (we have a blog for that), but they do give a little context. 

4. The print edition has extra... stuff. To be honest, this was an accident. We needed the stories to start and finish in the right place, so we threw in a few bits and bobs that we stumbled across while doing our research. Contemporary reviews, cheeky quotes, supporting evidence... just stuff that, like the introductions, helps explain the lostness and soulfulness of the selections. We took these out of the eBook edition.

5. Did we mention the Vincent Sammy art? Six full-page black & white illustrations. They're yummy.

Tempted? You can pre-order your copy from the Pandemonium website, it ships in mid-August.

Looking past Lost Souls and Crossroads... 

Submissions for 1853 close on Wednesday, 1 August. <1,200 words of weird alternate history, set outside North America and taking place in the year 1853. Judging by the stack of emails (do emails stack?) we got this morning, it was a very busy weekend for a lot of great writers. But it is not too late to join them... 

1853 is one of four publications coming out in November: 1853 (chapbook of weird alternate history), A Town Called Pandemonium (numbered edition hardcover & ebook anthology of shared-world Weird Western wackiness - more on that soon), our fourth novelette and, finally, a sneaky project that we're not announcing quite yet.

More about all that in our next update, plus, some news about this year's Stocking Stuffer and next year's anthologies...