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Showing posts by: Bella Pagan click to see Bella Pagan's profile
Wed
Jan 29 2014 12:00pm

The Emperor's Blades Brian Staveley

This month Tor.com and Tor UK have published The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley, and we’ve been delighted by the response so far. It’s been wonderfully reviewed, fans seem so excited on twitter, etc., and it’s made a flurry of “Best of...” and “Most anticipated...” lists. We could just say - “it’s brilliant, read it.” Only we work with words, so we feel we have license to be a lot more verbose than that! Indeed, we’ve put together a list of questions no less, which Brian has been kind enough to answer.

See below for the best bits of writing a book while in Asia, what’s surprised him about the publishing process, and other insights into what being a debut author is all about. You can also get hold of the first seven chapters of the book for free here in the US and via SFX Magazine here if you’re in the UK. Now over to Brian...

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Wed
Nov 13 2013 6:00pm

Fiddlehead Cherie Priest Clockwork Century This month, Tor Books publishes the wonderful Fiddlehead by Cherie Priest, the last of her Clockwork Century novels, which have attracted so much critical acclaim over the last few years. Fiddlehead is a spy-packed standalone story, with a brilliant protagonist in the form of Belle Boyd. This irresistible alternative history adventure features spies, Abraham Lincoln, political machinations and one woman who can save the world from a deadly menace! (Read an excerpt here.)

Basically, it’s glorious, and Cherie has been kind enough to answer a few questions about her historical research, where the idea for Fiddlehead originated and her favourite “steampunk experience.”

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Fri
Oct 11 2013 2:00pm

The UK bound proof (or ARC) of Brian Staveley's The Emperor's BladesMany of the best bits of publishing jargon lie within the production process. So, being utter word-nerds all, we were delighted when Konrad and Rachael from the Pan Macmillan UK Production Department put together this handy glossary. If you were previously unacquainted with the delights of debossing, snot-glue, kiss-cutting or Sherpas, look no further. Jargon warning though—sometimes jargon does vary between the US and UK, and you do find some differences between different publishing houses. And if you like this, you may also enjoy our more general publishing jargon-buster here.

If you have any favourites from the list, feel free to let us know in the comments. Or if you have any other bits of publishing or work jargon you’d like to share, we’d love to hear it!

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Fri
May 24 2013 2:00pm

Publishing Jargon-Buster Ten Words UnpackedIn publishing, as in any other industry, we scatter our days with curious and unusual words which we take for granted. But even for us, new ones pop up to surprise us every now and then. Thinking of Blippar and Wibalin here—though I thought for a while that our books were bound with wibbling. Which made me laugh! Here to entertain and explain are ten bits of jargon, don’t use them all at once....

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Thu
May 16 2013 10:00am

Jeff Noon Cover Art

Tor UK’s 20th anniversary edition of Jeff Noon’s Vurt was published last month. And, as Jeff won the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Vurt in 1994, last week’s Arthur C. Clarke Award ceremony was a great time to look back. But as they say you judge a book by its cover, we wanted to take a look at the huge amount of work that went into this new cover look for Vurt, Pollen and Jeff Noon’s entire backlist. Curtis McFee is one of Jeff’s oldest fans and supporters, and has championed his work for years—immersing himself in Jeff’s books, designing his website and even creating a Vurt-based role-playing game.

Curtis McFee also put together a really fabulous new Vurt trailer for us. But here, we want to take a look at the new covers—look at the inspiration behind them, the creative process and various early drafts, plus what messages Curtis was trying to convey. We also wanted to find out how this creative duo met and forged the links that would lead us to this body of work today.

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Mon
Apr 29 2013 9:00am

Jeff Noon Vurt Audio Clips Competition Tor UKA few weeks ago, Jeff Noon came into the office to record some audio snippets of him reading from the imaginative thrill-ride that is Vurt. This was fun, as I’d only vaguely been aware that we had a recording studio! Cue wandering down some maze-like corridors to a part of the office I’d never even known was there, to a tiny cupboard-like room with (to my untutored eye) some rather retro-looking looking recording paraphernalia. But, this is where the magic happens! Jeff’s reading was rich, gritty and massively atmospheric. The surroundings fell away and I saw what his agent had meant, when she said his readings were really something special. I hope you enjoy the audio snippets embedded below (Audible has produced an audio version of the book itself). And there are pictures and links to other Jeff Noon content below that.

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Fri
Apr 19 2013 1:00pm

The London Book FairThe London Book Fair is a trade fair, meaning it’s primarily aimed at bookish professionals of various stripes. But, for those interested in discovering a bit more about publishing, there is also a lot of merit in wandering around the various stands and picking up on the atmosphere and seeing which publishers do what. There are sometimes free books or catalogues to be had. Also, and I never get time to see any of this, but there is also a huge programme of publishing industry talks, workshops and seminars that’s really worth checking out. There’s more info here.

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Tue
Mar 26 2013 9:00am

Commissioning Editor Team Tor UKAs part of our ongoing series on Team Tor jobs, I’m going to shine a bright light on some dark corners of publishing, perhaps banish a few myths and reveal some alternate realities. Or in other words, talk about being a senior commissioning editor in the field of science fiction and fantasy publishing. You’d think the clue would be in the job title, but these days “commissioning editor” implies a range of duties besides commissioning and editing. Some of those may even involve eating cake.

Tor UK’s editorial director Julie Crisp has already gone into the various aspects to being a commissioning editor, so I’ll run through these quickly here, before going into some more detail about some lesser-known parts of the job. The role does consist of many different aspects, so some rapid dashing from the left to right sides of the brain is needed on a daily (hourly?!) basis. It’s a position that combines creativity with the need to strategize and plan—as well as requiring you to unleash your inner pedant and pay attention to the details. But this is what keeps it exciting and every day is different.

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Mon
Mar 18 2013 4:00pm

Jeff Noon Vurt Writing InterviewTor UK is publishing an anniversary edition of Jeff Noon’s extraordinary Vurt out next month, so I wanted to post up something in advance to whet appetites. If it’s not enough that this edition contains a foreword by Lauren Beukes and three original Noon short stories.

Vurt was published twenty years ago, won the Arthur C. Clarke Award and has attracted praise from everyone from William Gibson to Geoff Ryman and Lauren Beukes, with fantastic reviews also received from The Times, Independent and many others. Vurt is a powerful story set in a near-future Manchester, where the barriers between dream and reality are mutable—and this leads its protagonists into more dangers than we could ever know.

Jeff is a true wordsmith and is known for his innovative approach to writing, so I asked him a few questions about writing, experimenting with prose and how he keeps himself fresh. Although as SFSite.com says, “Vurt was a breath of fresh air at the time it was published and it remains so today.” So over to Jeff....

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Sat
Mar 2 2013 1:00pm

An Evening at the Kitschies AwardsLast night, Tor in the UK were delighted to attend the fabulous Kitschies Awards, now in their fourth year. As usual the shortlists were interesting and informed and a great night was had by all—helped by that very fine Kraken rum of course. And you can see photos from the evening below. We were particularly delighted that author Frances Hardinge was shortlisted for the Red Tentacle: Best Novel category with her wonderful A Face Like Glass! And those great winning choices for 2012 were of course:

[Winners below]

Tue
Nov 27 2012 4:30pm

Five Questions With Cherie PriestThis month saw the U.S. release of The Inexplicables, the latest in Cherie Priest’s Clockwork Century series, out in the U.K. on Valentine’s Day 2013. High time we caught up with the Queen of Steampunk herself to ask a few whys and wherefores regarding her world. You can see the insights we gathered below. Cherie has also put together a wonderful collection of steampunk images for us here. If you haven’t seen it yet, it comes highly recommended. And now on to those questions....

1.) Why did you call your first Clockwork Century novel “Boneshaker”?

Because it’s a fun word. I saw it in passing, attached to a .gif of a friend of mine riding an old-fashioned bicycle—a “boneshaker” as they were called, for they were so hard on the rider. And I thought…man, if you didn’t know it was a bicycle, that word could reference all kinds of things! A weapon, a vehicle, a blend of coffee. And that’s when I realized what the name for Dr. Minnericht’s mining device ought to be. It was perfect! And even though the device itself barely appears in the book, everything that happens—to Briar or Zeke alike—happens because of it. So it only seemed right and fair to name my story after it.

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