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Showing posts by: Ian Tregillis click to see Ian Tregillis's profile
Dec 3 2013 11:00am

Something More Than Night (Excerpt)

Something More than Night Ian Tregillis Check out Ian Tregillis’s Something More Than Night, available now from Tor Books! Part Dashiell Hammett and part Thomas Aquinas, Something More Than Night is a noir detective story starring fallen angels, the heavenly choir, nightclub stigmatics, a priest with a dirty secret, a femme fatale, and the Voice of God.

Somebody has murdered the angel Gabriel. Worse, the Jericho Trumpet has gone missing, putting Heaven on the brink of a truly cosmic crisis. But the twisty plot that unfolds from the murder investigation leads to something much bigger: a con job one billion years in the making.

Something More Than Night was named a Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction Book of 2013. Be sure to read their spotlight piece for more on how Ian Tregillis decided to stretch his skills with an angelic noir!

[Read an excerpt]

Mar 29 2013 3:30pm

Necessary Evil (Excerpt)

EXCERPT: Necessary Evil Ian TregillisTake a peek at the stunning conlcusion to Ian Tregillis’ Milkweed trilogy, Necessary Evil, out on April 30:

12 May 1940. Westminster, London, England:  the early days of World War II. 


Raybould Marsh, one of “our” Britain’s best spies, has travelled to another Earth in a desperate attempt to save at least one timeline from the Cthulhu-like monsters who have been observing our species from space and have already destroyed Marsh’s timeline. In order to accomplish this, he must remove all traces of the supermen that were created by the Nazi war machine and caused the specters from outer space to notice our planet in the first place. 

His biggest challenge is the mad seer Gretel, one of the most powerful of the Nazi creations, who has sent a version of herself to this timeline to thwart Marsh.  Why would she stand in his way?  Because she has seen that in all the timelines she dies and she is determined to stop that from happening, even if it means destroying most of humanity in the process. And Marsh is the only man who can stop her.

[Read more]

May 15 2012 10:00am

The Coldest War (Excerpt)

The sequel to Ian Tregillis’ Bitter Seeds, The Coldest War, comes out July 17. Here’s a special peek at what’s coming:

In Ian Tregillis’ The Coldest War, a precarious balance of power maintains the peace between Britain and the USSR. For decades, Britain’s warlocks have been all that stands between the British Empire and the Soviet Union—a vast domain stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the shores of the English Channel. Now each wizard’s death is another blow to Britain’s national security.

Meanwhile, a brother and sister escape from a top-secret facility deep behind the Iron Curtain. Once subjects of a twisted Nazi experiment to imbue ordinary people with superhuman abilities, then prisoners of war in the immense Soviet research effort to reverse-engineer the Nazi technology, they head for England. 

Because that’s where former spy Raybould Marsh lives. And Gretel, the mad seer, has plans for him.

As Marsh is once again drawn into the world of Milkweed, he discovers that Britain’s darkest acts didn’t end with the war. And while he strives to protect queen and country, he is forced to confront his own willingness to accept victory at any cost.

[Read more]

Jun 8 2011 4:15pm

Wild Cards Author Q&A: Ian Tregillis

Q. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your experience with Wild Cards.

A. After finishing graduate school, I moved from Minneapolis to northern New Mexico to start a new job. Newly transplanted, and feeling more than a little isolated and culture shocked, I decided it was time to finally indulge my burning desire to write.

Little did I realize that New Mexico is the science fiction capital of the universe.

In 2005 I went off to the Clarion workshop, which changed my life. While there I had the good fortune to meet Walter Jon Williams, a long-time New Mexican. He invited me to join Critical Mass, a local group of science fiction and fantasy writers. So before I knew it, I was in a writing group with Walter, George Martin, Melinda Snodgrass, Daniel Abraham, Sage Walker, Vic Milan, John Miller... In other words, Wild Cards central.

After I’d been in the group a few months, Melinda asked if I’d be interested in talking with her and George about the new Wild Cards project. I jumped at the chance! A few weeks later, I met the man most people think is George R. R. Martin in a dimly-lit Santa Fe restaurant. I remember little of the evening; Melinda spiked my drink. Three days later, I woke in the cargo hold of a Dutch tramp steamer bound for Surabaya. I spent the next 87 days cowering from the captain’s whip when I wasn’t scrubbing the feet of sweaty, jowled Turkmen. On the 88th day I heard the dreaded click-thump, click-thump of George’s artificial leg when he emerged from his gilded stateroom for the first time in three months.(The real George R. R. Martin walks on a stone leg carved from the tomb of Ramses II.)He loomed over me, adjusted his bejeweled eye patch, and said, “You got spirit, kid.” Then he proceeded to explain the new Wild Cards project while the albino raven on his shoulder screeched obscenities at me.

Q. Tell us about the inspiration behind your story for Inside Straight.

A. Wild Cards stories can be a little bit like laws and sausages... sometimes it’s better not to know how they’re made.

I wanted to tell a story about a good-hearted guy who is deeply misunderstood. How do you win people over when they’ve already decided you’re despicable, and when you’re too shy and inarticulate to argue otherwise? Also, I’m always fascinated by characters who make the difficult choice to do the Right Thing.

Q. Ian, getting back to that tramp steamer for a moment, what could George Martin possibly do in that gilded stateroom for three months at a time?

A. His many appetites are too terrible to mention. The least shocking is his propensity for smashing Faberge eggs with a sledge hammer, an activity he carries out gleefully each vernal and autumnal equinox.


Apr 21 2011 1:55pm

My Sarah Jane: Remembering Elisabeth Sladen

Over the past year or so, the presence of Doctor Who in the offices has grown massively. New writers have come in with a pre-existing love for the show and others have discovered just what it was they were missing. The end result being an office that will talk at length about anything Who-related.

When the news came on Tuesday of Elisabeth Sladen’s passing, we stopped cold. This was Sarah Jane Smith, vibrant and indomitable, how could she be gone?

To say Sladen was adored is an understatement, and we simply couldn’t stay silent in this regard. Below the cut, you’ll find tributes to Elisabeth Sladen gathered from the staff and contributors here at, here to share their own memories and thoughts on the lovely Ms. Sladen.

Forever our Sarah Jane.

[Read more]

Jun 8 2010 9:30am
Original Story

What Doctor Gottlieb Saw

This story is also available for download from major ebook retailers.

“Do you suppose it’s possible to murder God?”

Gretel was Gottlieb’s most troubling patient. She was clairvoyant. She was also, he feared, quite mad.

He paused in the midst of jotting a note in her file. Capping his fountain pen and setting it on the desk, alongside the blotter, gained his scattered thoughts a few seconds to catch up with her. “I beg your pardon?”

“If He is omniscient and infallible, then surely He would see the moment and manner of His own passing. Knowing this, and being infallible, He could prevent it. Yet to do so would imply His prescience was imperfect. While not doing so would mean He is not eternal.” She sighed.

Gottlieb said, “The death of God is a metaphor. It isn’t meant as a literal, corporeal death. It represents the overthrow of God through modern man’s diminished need for external sources of wisdom.”

Nietzsche was required reading at the farm. But only the approved works, of course.

Feb 1 2010 6:40pm

So We Have This Plot Hiccup, And This Deadline...

(Or, “How Fast Can You Write, Kid?”)

In my previous post as a guest blogger here at, I touched on some of the brainstorming and planning that goes on behind the scenes when writing Wild Cards novels. I’ve written for three Wild Cards novels, and each  has been a unique experience. (“Unique” means many different things, depending upon the book in question.) In this post, I thought I’d say a little bit about my experience with Inside Straight, which is the first novel of the Committee Triad, and also where my first Wild Cards story appeared. (That is, my first Wild Cards story to be published, not the first WC story I sold to George. But that’s a tale for another post.)

Inside Straight launched the Committee Triad via a pair of interleaved stories. The first story followed the filming of a television reality show called “American Hero.” The second story involved a genocide taking place halfway around the world from Los Angeles. Oddly enough, when co-editors George Martin and Melinda Snodgrass started assembling the book—by interleaving individual chapters written by separate authors, according to an overarching outline—they found these story lines didn’t mesh together seamlessly.

There had been some concern about this possibility during the plot break. But sometimes we need to see the details of a problem, the shape of its teeth and the color of its fur, before we can fix it.

[And sometimes, the solution isn’t rewriting.]

Jan 26 2010 1:42pm

Almost Like We Planned It

My fellow Wild Cards co-author (and fellow guest blogger, and all-around good guy) Daniel Abraham has posted about the weird style of collaborative writing that happens inside the invisible floating mountaintop fortress that is Wild Cards Headquarters. He compared the experience of writing in a shared universe collaboration to a rugby scrum, and that comparison is apt. (As far as I can tell. I’m not, you know, the rugby type. By which I mean I bleed easily.)

But I’d like to elaborate on something Daniel said in his first post, because it touches on a facet of collaborative writing that is often overlooked, yet occasionally essential and (at times) surprisingly rewarding.  I’d like to talk about the beginning of the collaboration process: the plot-breaking session.

And you thought Daniel was kidding about that huge meeting deep in the heart of rural New Mexico.

[A plot break isn’t merely a brainstorming session.  It’s carefully choreographed chaos.]