Thursday, March 26, 2015

Editing in Process: The Annihilation Score by Charles Stross

The Annihilation Score
Ace Books US
You still have an opportunity to purchase the ebook edition of The Atrocity Archives for $1.99, though I don't know how long this reduced price will be available. And if you haven't read this first book yet in the Laundry Files series by noted UK author Charles Stross, then you have a lot of reading to catch up on....

Because this July will see the publication of book six in the Laundry Files series: The Annihilation Score, from Ace Books, and also from publisher Orbit in the UK.

I actually began work on this project during the Christmas holiday season and continued working a few weeks into January.[1] But I held off on this blog post until Ace finally released the cover art, as I hoped to feature it as well. Unfortunately, the cover release occurred while I was in the middle of a hard deadline (a new short story collection from Bradley P. Beaulieu, for a future blog post) and thus another few weeks passed, and, well, here we are.

Orbit Books UK
The Annihilation Score (TAS going forward) is, as I have said, the sixth volume in the continuing Laundry Files series. I have been extremely fortunate to have worked now on all six volumes. If you click on this link, you'll be transported to a More Red Ink "Laundry Files" search, which will allow you to scan through the ten or so blog posts I've done with a "Laundry Files" tag. I haven't written about all the volumes but enough to pique your interest, especially if you are new to the world of the supersecret intelligence organization known as the Laundry (the original HQ shared a building with a Chinese Laundry, thus the name), and necromancers Bob Howard and his wife Dominique "Mo" O'Brien.

I would like to especially draw your attention to the first blog post, "Charles Stross: On Her Majesty's Occult Service," posted on December 10, 2009, in which I write about acquiring and editing the first two volumes in the series (The Atrocity Archives and The Jennifer Morgue) for indie publisher Golden Gryphon Press, all of which began in 2002. Beginning with The Fuller Memorandum, Ace picked up the series, as well as reprinting the first two titles as trade paperbacks. Ace then hired me because Charlie and I promised his editor at the time that I would ensure consistency across all three volumes. And, so far, Ace has brought me in for all the titles since. (Keeping fingers crossed his new editor at Ace is sufficiently satisfied to have me work on volume seven, which Charlie is currently in the throes of writing.)

As to keeping the world of the Laundry consistent across all the me, it's getting more difficult as the number of titles increases -- like a juggling act, with all six plates up in the air simultaneously, while my hands quickly turn physical pages or click a mouse to scan through files. While working on TAS I found myself looking up names, organizations, even specific uses of words in previous volumes, going as far back as The Atrocity Archives. When I began work on The Apocalypse Codex (book four), Ace required that I provide a comprehensive style sheet (see blog post "Doing Charles Stross's Laundry with Style"), which I have continued to do for each consecutive book; previous to that, I have my own editing notes.

Occasionally (albeit rarely) a tweak in the consistency meter is required when reality interferes with Laundry fiction, but other than these rare instances, the Laundry Files universe has remained relatively consistent throughout. It's a task that I take very seriously with each new book. While working on a book, I will email the author with questions, asking for definitions and clarifications, and to work through and refine small details. Often dozens (and dozens) of emails cross the aether (ocean?) between us.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

eBook Sale: The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross

The Atrocity ArchivesIf you read ebooks, and you haven't yet read The Atrocity Archives, the first volume in the Laundry Files series by Charles Stross, then what are you waiting for?

For a buck-99 you can't go wrong, though I have to admit I'm prejudiced: I acquired and edited the original hardcover edition of The Atrocity Archives for Golden Gryphon Press back in 2003. [You can read my lengthy blog post on acquiring both The Atrocity Archives and The Jennifer Morgue, volume 2 in the Laundry Files series.]

Of course, if you are already a fan of the Laundry Files, but don't yet have this first volume in an ebook edition, now is your chance to snag a copy cheap.

But don't wait too long: I have no idea how long this ebook will remain priced at $1.99. But for now, the ebook is available from just about everywhere at $1.99. Here are the links:
Amazon Kindle edition

Nook Book edition

Google Play Books edition

Apple iTunes edition

Think of the Laundry Files as "Lovecraftian spy thrillers involving a secret history of the twentieth century, although they are not set in Lovecraft's universe,"[1] in which magic is a form of applied mathematics. Our hero in the stories[2] is Bob Howard (not his real name, because to know one's true name....), a slashdot-reading, T-shirt wearing, computer geek who nearly destroyed the city of Wolverhampton by accident while developing a new graphics algorithm. Bob was then recruited (a term used loosely, as it was either "join us, or die") into the Laundry, Her Majesty's supersecret black intelligence agency.


[1] The Atrocity Archives on Wikipedia.

[2] Bob Howard has been the main protagonist through the first five Laundry Files novels; but that role changes in book six. See my next blog post....

Monday, March 16, 2015

Review Copies: Slow Bullets by Alastair Reynolds

Slow Bullets
The final review of the galley pages is now complete, and Slow Bullets will soon see print. The official publication date is June 9, but Tachyon Publications titles are typically available a bit early.

If you are a book reviewer and are registered with NetGalley, you may now request an electronic review copy of Slow Bullets. If you are a book reviewer but you are not registered with NetGalley, registration is free; you simply provide them with a personal profile as to who you are as a book reviewer.

If you are not registered with NetGalley and don't wish to do so, but you would like a review copy of Slow Bullets, you can email me at: marty[dot]halpern[at]gmail[dot]com -- provide me with your contact information along with a link to your book review blog (or, if your reviews appear at different sites, a couple links to said reviews), and let me know which format you prefer: PDF, MOBI, or EPUB. If you require a print edition of the Slow Bullets ARC, that can be arranged, but you'll need to inform me why a print edition is needed as there is an additional cost to the publisher for this.

For more information on Slow Bullets, you can read my "Editing in Process" blog post on February 9, 2015.