Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Welcome to a new world...


Weirdspace: 
The Devil’s Nebula

by Eric Brown

Launches 29th May (US and Canada) and 21st June (UK)

£7.99 (UK) ISBN 978-1-78108-022-1
$7.99/$10.99 (US & CAN) ISBN 978-1-78108-023-8

Also available as an ebook


Starship Captain Ed Carew and his small ragtag crew are smugglers and ne’er-do-wells who regularly thumb their noses at the Expansion, the vast human hegemony encompassing thousands of worlds.


Well, until they’re caught.


They face a simple choice – work for the Expansion or face death.


So they must travel through the territory of the inscrutably alien Vetch in pursuit of a human vessel that set off for the strange worlds of the Devil’s Nebula one hundred years ago. Why are the Expansion authorities so eager to track down the ship and can Carew’s crew survive the journey through Vetch territory into the weird space beyond?


Renowned SF author Eric Brown creates a brand new shared universe for Abaddon, a cosmos-spanning theatre full of looming threat, intergalactic politics, intriguing characters, sinister worlds, and taught action. 


“Eric Brown spins a terrific yarn.”
SFX on Guardians of the Phoenix

Monday, 16 April 2012

So what's coming this year from Abaddon Books?

Our April, May, June and September releases. Beautiful, no?






Thursday, 12 April 2012

Read the first chapter of Pax Omega TOTALLY FOR FREE!

So, you've heard from the author and you've got the chance to win a copy yourself, but how about whetting your appetite with a little Pax Omega action?


Well, we're giving you the FIRST CHAPTER absolutely and totally free ... and you can read it right here!


That's right, words direct from Al Ewing's brain to your eyes.


Don't tell us we don't treat you nice, eh?


Pax Omega is out this week in the UK and Ireland, and next week in North America.

GIVING QUESTIONS, DEMANDING ANSWERS: The Al Ewing interview


He is the wizard of weird, the imam of imagination, and the kaiser of cosmic plot - he is Al Ewing.


Pax Omega is his third and latest tome for our Pax Britannia series - the world's longest-running series of Steampunk novels.


This epic novel, which spans all of time, features Ewing's anti-hero El Sombra and is a rollicking mega-bite of meaty goodness...


We caught up with Al to discuss the universe of Pax Omega, the vast enemy of writing that is the internet, and the mating rituals of dust mites...


* What were the particular challenges you faced in writing for an established universe?


It's an established universe, which means it's somebody else's universe, which means I have to find spaces in it that haven't been colonised and use them. Fortunately, Jon Green left me plenty to work with - I've been allowed to pretty much run amok in the Americas - and when I had the realisation that the past and future of his world was open to me to play with as well - within reason - it meant that I could address a question that's been bothering me from the start: what is Steampunk? And how far can you push it before it becomes something else?

* Tell us a bit about Pax Omega and why people should buy it.


It's the big finish of the story I've been telling since I started writing novels. It's got El Sombra's final battle with Hitler in it, for a start, and it's not going to be what you expect. It ranges from prehistoric Earth to the year One Million AD, and tells a coherent story despite that. I can honestly say that in my personal opinion this is the best book I've ever written, so if you already enjoy my stuff I think you'll be in for a good time.

* Tell us a bit about your writing routine.


I wish there was a routine! If I had a routine I could stick to it'd solve all my problems. I think 'having a routine' is number one on the lists of Things To Do To Be A Real Writer that people put up on the internet all the time. Basically, I load up on coffee or sugar-water and sit down and bang at the keys until life gets in the way. Life's been getting in the way a lot lately, to the extent that I feel I need to reevaluate my whole way of working in order to cope with it. It's like time's sped up while I wasn't looking, which probably means that I need to pay a lot more attention to those lists. 


It doesn't help that I'm easily distracted by fascinating/appalling cultural things happening, but without that mindset, my work wouldn't be what it is. It's a matter of controlling that urge to absorb information, making it work for me rather than vice versa. I make up for it as much as possible by writing deep into the night, although as I get older it gets harder on me to do that. Night's still my favourite time for serious writing, though.

* What are your five favourite novels?


Off the top of my head and subject to change:
The Three Stigmata Of Palmer Eldritch, by Philip K Dick
Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
Breakfast Of Champions, by Kurt Vonnegut
Breakout, by Richard Stark
The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe, Douglas Adams


Although I could fill the whole list with Dick (fnarr) or Vonnegut or Stark, quite frankly.

* What advice would you give to new writers hoping to break into the field?


There is no one way to break into the field. Do what you do best, and hopefully over time people will notice. Be yourself. Try not to be a bad person. If you are a bad person, try to improve. Start small, and finish what you start. Synchonicities are your friend. Don't depend on them, but don't ignore them either. I'm making a list, so I'll stop.

* Pax Omega spans the length of the life of the universe – what could possibly be more epic?

At this level, the market demands non-linear value. We take it down to a novel about a single exchange of pheromones between two dust mites living in a carpet in Spokane. That one will probably take me several years to write.


Pax Omega is out this week in the UK and Ireland, and next week in North America.

The Pax Omega UNIVERSE-SPANNING GIVEAWAY!


Doc thunder – the gold-bearded, bronze-muscled Hero of New York – in his last stand against a deadly foe whose true identity will shock you to your core!


El Sombra – the masked avenger, the laughing killer they call the Saint of ghosts – in his final battle against the forces of the ultimate Reich!


The Scion of tomorrow, the steel-clad locomotive Man, in a showdown with cosmic science on the prairies of the Old West!


Jacob Steele, the time-lost gunfighter, defends the 25th Century against the massed armies of the Space Satan!


And a deadly duel of minds and might between the Red King and Red Queen in the mystery palaces of One Million AD!



Sounds cool, eh? Yeah, you KNOW it does. 


And YOU could be diving into this amazing battle that spans the whole of time head first!


To celebrate the release of the awesome Pax Omega by the equally-awesome Al Ewing, we are GIVING AWAY 15, yes FIFTEEN, copies of the book to lucky readers who answer a very simple question:


What was Ada Lovelace best known for?


Answers on a computerised postcard, preferably featuring fluffy kittens, should be sent to abaddonsolaris@rebellion.co.uk. You have until Monday to enter, so best get on that, eh?


Pax Omega is out this week in the UK and Ireland, and next week in North America.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

A beginning and an end - the battle that spans ALL OF TIME begins!

What do you call a novel that begins at The Beginning and ends at The End?


Pax Omega.


Writer Al Ewing is a supreme master of the written word and his latest for the Pax Britannia series is a mind-blowing epic that spans ALL OF TIME!!!


This week is Pax Omega Week here at Abaddon Towers, and we'll be giving copies away to celebrate the book's release in the UK, as well as having a chat with Mr Ewing himself...


Stay tuned!

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Follow us online...

Yes, you too can utilise the power of the internet for GOOD, not EVIL! Join us in our holy quest to bring the best in genre fiction to the ignorant masses by following us on various social media outlets...

Become our 'friend' (don't worry, we won't come to your house and trample mud on your carpets or anything .... maybe) on Facebook!

Alternatively, or in addition to, why not follow us (no cliffs or cults involved) on Twitter?

Abaddon Books - using social media to spread words, glorious, glorious words, since ... ooh, ages ago!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

GIVING QUESTIONS, DEMANDING ANSWERS: Paul Finch

A new Empire has risen in Rome, and the Emperor is determined that Britain shall kneel before him. But when legendary King Arthur hurries his knights to court, the Black Wolf of the North brings more than just his sword…

One of Arthur’s most stalwart supporters, Sir Lucan comes from his cold northern home along with his beautiful wife, Trelawna, for among the delegates from Rome is her lover.

The world stands poised on the brink of a terrible war, in which the fates of lives and hearts will play as great a role as those of nations. This is the theatre in which the Black Wolf of the North must finally come of age as a warrior and a man – because for Lucan there will be a war within this war.

This is Dark North.

Representing stories from the true Dark Ages, Malory’s Knights of Albion brings the dark underbelly of the Arthurian dream to life with tales of blood-thirsty revenge, Godless wastelands and unholy missions.

We talked to author Paul about Dark North, his advice for would-be writers, and which Arthurian knight he'd like to be...

Q: What were the particular challenges you faced in writing for an established universe?

A: There were more challenges than I expected. The Arthurian mythos is colossal. Not only are there numerous written accounts of the adventures of Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, from many different periods of history and many different countries, but quite a few of them contradict each other - with regard to times, places, relationships, and so forth. There are extensive and in-depth scholarly debates about so many of the 'facts', which shows how seriously it is taken. In addition, it exists solidly within the popular imagination and extends far beyond the realms of academe. So, all things considered, it has a very large audience who you know you won't be able to hoodwink easily. There was certainly no room for guessing at stuff. Any time I was dealing with known events, known characters, known locations and so on, I had to take extra large steps to ensure that I wasn't moving out of sync with the established narrative.

Q: Are the Dark Ages a setting you were already familiar with, or did you have to do a lot of research?

A: Thankfully I'm very familiar with the Dark Ages. My history degree focused on the Medieval Age, the Dark Ages and the Ancient World. I took those exams a long time ago, admittedly, but I've maintained my interest ever since. Many of my previous written works have been set in various periods of that violent, mist-shrouded era we loosely term the 'Dark Ages'. Of course, in a Dark Age setting, Albion, Arthur's realm, is very anachronistic. It is always presented in the established Arthurian canon as a kind of High-Medieval society. Fortunately for me, I'm pretty well-read on that period too. (We had a bit of fun with that latter detail actually - in Dark North, when the Romans return to Britain, they expect to find everyone living in mud-huts and hill-forts, and instead encounter a world of medieval splendour).

Q: Tell us a bit about Dark North and why people should buy it.

A: Well ... at the risk of blowing my own horn, if you want epic battle scenes, terrifying monsters, bitter rivalries and heartbreaking romance, this could be one for you. Though I like to think it goes a bit further than that.

Dark North concerns an attempt to reconquer Britain by the reinvigorated Roman Empire, and the resistance to this, which is inevitably led by Arthur and his knights. This would be a massive tale in itself, but I always think that the best stories are those that work on the human scale. As such, the war between Arthur and New Rome - and it's a whopper, as ancient wars go - only really serves as the backcloth to the more emotional drama of Lucan and Trelawna. Sir Lucan, the Black Wolf of the North, is the fierce warrior who guards Arthur's northern marches. He has mellowed over the years since his marriage to the lovely and charming Trelawna, but when she absconds with her lover - a Roman officer - on the eve of war, a much darker pesonality reasserts itself - to the dismay of his squire, Alaric, who soon fears for his master's soul.

When the war actually starts, it quickly becomes a personal vendetta for Lucan. However, while Dark North is not just a war story, it's not just a revenge story either. I've gone out of my way to make the human emotions as realistic and as complex as possible - it isn't simply about heroes and villains, this book. I also make a big effort display the hardship in general of life in the Middle Ages, especially within a martial society, the main emphasis of which is on winning honour and renown. We touch on other issues too - religion, politics, chivalry, loyaty, etc - in an effort to create a living, breathing world. I suppose what I'm trying to say that, while Dark North is a big action-adventure, I also hope it's quite a grown-up one.

Q: Tell us a bit about your writing routine.

A: I don't like sitting at the computer all day, so I often dictate into a Dictaphone while walking the dog or kicking a football around the garden. I then type the notes up later. Of course, that's rarely the final draft, but it helps get the story down on paper, which I always think of as the toughest part of the job. I also use the Dictaphone when I've got a piece that I feel may be ready to go. I read this 'finished version' onto tape, and then play it back through earphones. This tactic always helps me - not just in noting and correcting literals - but in ironing out bits of clunky text, repetition, cliche, and so forth. It's a simple strategy, which I'd recommend to anyone. If any part of what youv'e just written sounds crap, that's because it probably is - the good news is you found it before anyone else did. In terms of hours, I try to stick closely to the 9-til-5 rule and keep weekends free if I can, but neither of those are always possible. At least, as a self-employed writer, it doesn't matter too much if you start late or finish early.

Q: What are your five favourite novels?

A: To date they are: The Wolfen by Whitley Strieber, Grendel by John Gardner, The Saxon Tapestry by Sile Rice, Legion by William Peter Blatty and A Kestrel For A Knave by Barry Hines.

Q: What advice would you give to new writers hoping to break into the field?

A: Learn from your mistakes. It amazes me how many newcomers to the writing game fall at this first hurdle, thereby condemning themselves to a career-long lack of success. You simply can't afford to assume that you are always so right and your work so good that no-one else must have a negative opoinion on it. None of us likes harsh crticism, but it serves a purpose if it alerts us to something we are doing wrong. You may not necessarily agree with what the critics are saying, but at least consider it - anyone who feels that their work is already perfect, has the wrong temperament for what can be an emotionally bruising game. LIkewise, if one editor after another rejects your work, - and trust me, we've all got enough rejection slips to wallpaper our bedrooms with - look carefully at what they are saying. Again, you may not like it, but it could be the difference between you getting it right the next time or failing again.

Q: If you were a Kight of Camelot, which knight would you be?

A: Well ... in Dark North, Sir Gawaine is a larger-than-life character, very popular socially, but also a prolific drinker and party animal, and a wild and successful womaniser. We're only dreaming here, right? Okay ... I'd be Gawaine.

Dark North is available now in paperback in the UK and North America, as well as in digital format through Amazon.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

The True King of Britain?

The Domesday Book
BREAKING NEWS!

Abaddon Books is extremely proud to announce that the author of the latest Malory's Knights of Albion title, Dark North, has recently been discovered to be the direct descendant of none other than King Arthur of Britain himself.

Researchers at Salisbury University, where interest in the historical basis for the British legendary king has been revived by the discovery of Malory's controversial "Second Book," have been able to piece together "the most thorough picture yet" of Arthur's lineage, through his bastard son Mordred, thanks to information unearthed during the investigation of the new manuscript.

The page where the "missing link"
in Arthur's lineage was found.
"We pretty much broke down around the eleventh century," said Dr. Becker Balisovitch, visiting Salisbury from the University of Southern California, "until a chance discovery in the Domesday Book set us back on the trail."

The Domesday Book, a huge survey of every land and tenant in England and Wales conducted in 1086 for the purpose of determining tax obligations, contains many of the names of landowners and their residences of their time. It is largely considered one of the most useful existing resources on Medieval England.

"The line breaks down in about 1050, with the Lord of Metterham. We knew where he lived, we knew what land he owned, but we didn't know his name! But the Domesday Book shows the Lord's name as 'Fynche,' and sets us back on the trail."

Paul Finch: The True King of Britain?
A trail that leads, ultimately, to author Paul Finch, a former police officer and radio scriptwriter.

"There are lots of candidates still alive, frankly," says Balisovitch, "but Mr. Finch is the strongest, according to our research. If there is such a thing as a living descendant of King Arthur - and, truth be told, it's a muddled old line and there are a lot of assumptions in there - then he's it."

Finch has no immediate plans to claim the throne of England. "To say I'm gobsmacked is the understatement of all time," says Finch. "At first I didn't take this seriously, but then I began looking at some of the clues that have been around me all my life. The name of my home town, Wigan, in the old British language, means 'battles'. In addition, the river running through our town is the River Douglas - remember the river Arthur defeated the Saxons on in an epic engagement - the River Dhu-Glas? I always knew there was something there.

"Course, I'm not at the stage yet where I want folk to bow before me. That will come when we get a little more hard evidence."

Dark North is in stores now. The first three readers to email abaddonsolaris@rebellion.co.uk with the answer to the following question will receive free copies of the book:

Q. What is the name of the printer who first published Malory's Le Morte D'Arthur?