To extend the incredibly complicated case I made in the first 2015 edition of the British Fiction Hitlist, a new year means a bunch of new books means a raft of new cover art, and boy oh boy! Do I have a couple of lovely lookers for you?
Yes. Yes I do.
See, in the last week, Tor UK has unveiled the final frontispieces for a pair of eagerly-anticipated new books: namely one novel, by Temeraire’s Naomi Novik, and one collection of short stories by China Mieville, the incomparable author of The City & The City and my favourite trilogy of all time: the Bas-Lag saga.
But first, a look at Uprooted. If you’ve been paying attention, not only will you have heard about Novik’s new novel, you’ll also have read the first chapter in full. Pretty bloomin’ good it was too!
Here’s the official cover copy:
Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.
Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.
The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.
But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.
Uprooted is slated for release in the UK in May. Just a couple of months later, in late July, Three Moments of an Explosion: Stories by China Mieville will see store shelves.
Here’s how Tor UK’s editorial director Julie Crisp introduces the book:
Crossing genres in a single stride and demolishing preconceptions and stereotypes with a mighty blow, this is an author whose writing you can’t fail to be entertained and challenged by. Three Moments of an Explosion is a wonderfully intelligent and engaging collection featuring stories with sentient oil rigs, flying icebergs and a ladder into space…
I’m afraid we don’t have an official table of contents for the collection quite yet, but the Out There Books blog has a list of likely candidates and an analysis of the stories referenced in the cover and in Crisp’s description. Count on the Three Moments of an Explosion including ‘The Estate,’ ‘Covehithe,’ ‘Polynia,’ ‘The Rope is the World’ and, of course, the titular tale—which, while you’re waiting, you can find out more about in this early edition of the Short Fiction Spotlight.
Niall Alexander is an extra-curricular English teacher who reads and writes about all things weird and wonderful for The Speculative Scotsman, Strange Horizons, and Tor.com. He’s been known to tweet, twoo.