my books

31May

Hypnotic Fantasy

Let’s face it: the sun is out in force, and there’s a deadline looming, and finding interesting things to say is not happening. So I’m just going to link to yet another lovely review at The Truth About Books. I like this one: it makes me sound like the Paul McKenna of fantasy (or this chap), in that I write “hypnotic” fantasy. Perhaps a new subgenre?

“Look into my eyes, look into my eyes, the eyes, the eyes, not around the eyes, don’t look around my eyes, look into my eyes, you’re under.”

Hugely intelligent, hypnotic new fantasy…

Nights of Villjamur is an extremely ambitious novel; asking for some serious cranial activity in order for a reader to get into its rhythm. The plotlines are extravagant and elaborately fashioned, with each individual strand eventually falling into its rightful place in the bigger picture and plenty of action, blood, gore and sex to satisfy the most ravenous of readers… an intelligent novel, with subtleties and nuances, darkness and starkness, depth and superficialities and mildly hypnotic; it will slowly wrap itself around you like the coils of a python – squeezing everything else out until only the story exists.

Read on

29May

SFF World Reviews “Nights of Villjamur”

I’m very, very chuffed with this review of Nights of Villjamur over at SFF World, one of the largest Science Fiction and Fantasy review sites on the internet. Here are a few snippets:

Imagine a book that reads like Joe Abercrombie, set in a Jack Vance-like Dying Earth and written with characters the equal of Moorcock and Mieville. Too good to be true? This book might just meet your expectations…

In fact, NoV is a great book, which takes old tropes and re-imagines them into something new and memorable. It is an assured tale written with style, intelligence and skill, written inside a fantastically set premise and brilliantly focused novel that shows all the strengths of the genre and relatively few of the weaknesses…

In summary, though, very highly recommended. Definitely my favourite fantasy of the year so far, in what is a very good year for the genre. This will be a ‘best of the year’ novel, unless I’m much mistaken.

Read the rest of the review.

This is a site I really respect, and means a lot. So, erm, woohoo!

28May

Reminder & Signed Editions

A quick reminder about my signing at Forbidden Planet next Thursday, 4th June from 6-7pm. Come. Bring friends. Bring friends’ parents. Bring old ladies off the street. Don’t make me the shifty looking guy on his own loitering at the back of the shop.

At the weekend I signed and quoted and lettered for a limited edition of Nights. If you want to look into more of these, email Carl Marsh on bigfootcomic [at] hotmail [dot] com for details.

And it appears that some venues have begun selling the book. Go! Leave nothing but the finest of five-star reviews. (I’m selfishly thinking of you earning yourself good karma by doing so.)

23May

DeathRay Reviews “Nights of Villjamur”

Nights of Villjamur received a great review in DeathRay science fiction and fantasy magazine this month. Here are a few highlights:

The author’s style pushes this tale closer to literary work than most fantasy fare and in particular there’s a pleasing depth to the characters… It’s to Newton’s credit that there’s not a cliché among them; he paints his cast to harbour some wonderful contradictions hidden beneath their official faces… Newton’s characterisations are backed up by an obvious understanding of how the world works and this colours his writing… The plot is also multi-threaded, with story lines occasionally overlapping and characters occasionally appearing in the background of each other’s situations like an episode of Lost… Overall, this is an impressive novel from a new fantasy author.

And it turns out there wasn’t any Cobra beer at the wedding I went to at the weekend, but it was good fun nonetheless. I’d never been to a Hindu ceremony before, but it was at this fascinating Hare Krishna manor/temple, just north of London. We had to sit down on the floor, cross-legged, for some time whilst watching what was a 5,000 year old ceremony. I’ll hopefully get some photos up soon.

20May

Review, Blurb, etc.

Civilian Reader got to grips with Nights of Villjamur. And they liked it:

Villjamur is a dark, hard place, populated by a cast of characters so varied and colourful it is almost impossible not to be drawn in. Newton is adept at conveying his characters’ emotions and states-of-mind through his prose. Battle or action scenes (particularly in the beginning) are written in a way to convey the chaos and confusion his characters are likely to feel, making the novel all the more immersive. His characters are equally strong and flawed, and one finds oneself caring about their plight and struggles, rooting for them throughout. There are plenty of surprises along the way, as the author slowly reveals more and more about his characters – some true shocks, and some pleasant or interesting surprises…

Filled with strange and bizarre creatures (the “garudas”, for example), Nights of Villjamur is an excellent book indeed, standing out with the author’s considerable imagination and inventiveness and attention to detail.

A recommended, very good start to a new series.

And a blurb, from star SF and Fantasy editor Lou Anders:

“Mark Newton is poised to be a power in the new fantasy”

Which is lovely.

I’m heading off to my cousin’s wedding at the weekend; it’s an Indian ceremony, which means… posh curry. I wonder if they’ll have Cobra?. One can only hope.

12May

Final Copy Of The Book…

Is at the post office because I wasn’t in during the day.

Reasons to break in and rescue it:

1) Getting my copy of the book now
2) Sleeping well
3) Feeling smug

Reasons not to break in:

1) Prison

3:1 in favour. I do not like waiting for things.

7May

Press Release: Two-Book US Rights Deal to Del Rey

PRESS RELEASE – TWO-BOOK US RIGHTS DEAL FOR NEW BRITISH FANTASY WRITER

Margaret Halton, Rights Director at Pan Macmillan, has sold US rights in two fantasy novels by UK novelist Mark Charan Newton to Chris Schluep for a good five-figure sum in US dollars.

World rights in the novels, which open with Mark’s mainstream debut NIGHTS OF VILLJAMUR (to be published in hardback in the UK in June 2009), were acquired by Peter Lavery at Tor UK from John Jarrold in 2008.

Chris Schluep said: ‘I am so excited to be publishing NIGHTS OF VILLJAMUR, which is an absolutely wonderful book, and I’m very much looking forward to launching the U.S. career of an important and talented new writer in the field. I’m convinced that Mark has a bright future ahead of him; he’s one of those writers that you come across only on occasion . . .’

‘Chris acted quickly and with great enthusiasm. Mark and I are delighted, and looking forward to working with him and his colleagues at Del Rey, who I know well,’ said John Jarrold.

1May

Forbidden Planet Signing, Thursday 4th June, 6 – 7pm

A press release from Forbidden Planet!

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Diary Date: Thursday 4th June 6 – 7pm

Forbidden Planet is pleased to announce a signing by Mark Charan Newton. He will be signing his astounding novel Nights of Villjamur the Forbidden Planet Megastore, 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8JR, on Thursday 4th June 6 – 7pm

Already making a name for itself as ‘a contender for the best fantasy novel of 2009’, Nights of Villjamur is Mark’s epic debut work. With a richly convoluted plot and a corrupt and decadent culture, the story is told from multiple points of view, each with a distinct voice and agenda. Gloriously complex and beautifully evocative, Nights of Villjamur sets a new standard in fantasy fiction writing.

Born in 1981 and now live in Nottingham, UK, Mark writes strange and highly erudite fantasy fiction and brings a new level of literacy and awareness to the genre. When not wandering the streets of Villjamur, you’ll find him enjoying books, guitars, geeks, cheap indie-music bars – or escaping the big city completely.

Forbidden Planet is the largest store of its kind in the world. Some of the biggest names in Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Comics and Cult Entertainment have come to our London Megastore for signing events, including: Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Terry Gilliam, Simon Pegg, William Gibson, Mark Millar, Guillermo Del Toro, Brian Froud and Stephen King.

For more news about our signings please go to: http://www.forbiddenplanet.com/Signings.html

Danie Ware
Tel: 020 7803 1890
Email: danie.ware@forbiddenplanet.com

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Note how I “enjoy”, amongst other things, geeks… (I think this was cut from the sidebar on the right, but hey, if you are a geek, chances are I will enjoy your company.)