The Lowest Heaven anthology, in which I have a short story, gets a nice review in the Guardian. Pretty chuffed that mine was picked out as a highlight – ‘a sly tale’, in fact – especially as I don’t often write short fiction. If you want a copy of the book, here’s a list of where to get one.
news & reviews
A very cool launch at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich for The Lowest Heaven anthology. It tied in nicely with the fabulous Visions of the Universe exhibition, which had me in a kind of ten-year-old awe. Great to meet loads of new and old faces. Better write-ups here and here. Thanks to Jared and Anne!
A little while ago I started up a Facebook page, but have decided that I can’t be bothered with it – I didn’t like its functionality, not to mention the way it would constantly try to get you to pay for advertising, and I ended up cross-posting loads to my normal profile anyway. So I’ll close it down pretty soon. Feel free to add me here; be prepared for even greater levels of nonsense.
Luke Scull, Seth Patrick, Paul Cornell, Jeff Noon, John Gwynne, Francis Knight, Benedict Jacka, S L Grey, Sarah Pinborough, Stephen Deas, James Barclay, Ben Aaronovich, Mike Carey, Linda Carey. Louise Carey, David Wingrove, Chris Beckett and more.
There will most probably be wine. Don’t be shy.
I’ll be at the Wantage Literary Festival on the 3rd of November with Ben Aaronovitch, Mark Chadbourn and Mary Hoffman. The panel is a general fantasy and science fiction discussion, so there should be some pretty broad chatter.
We’re actually, and rather bizarrely, going to be having the panel at Wantage’s Shush nightclub at 3.30pm, that most coveted of DJ slots. Bring your glow-sticks.
Anyway, more details here – come and say hello.
There’s a lovely review of The Broken Isles over at Fantasy Faction:
As always in a Mark Newton book, there are many underlying issues that get the reader thinking as they read along. The differences in culture and racial discrimination inherent in people is prominent in the dealings with the newly arrived peoples fighting alongside the Empire, and the Malum-led rebellion at these newcomers being allowed to settle…
The Broken Isles is the best conclusion to a series I have read in a good while, and it is all down to Mark’s fantastic characters, intriguing story-weaving and deft hand at handling important issues inherent in his work.
Read the rest. It’s always nice when readers spot the key thrust of the novel – in this, bringing two cultures together, the prejudices that invokes in people etc – but I’m also glad that the ending was deemed satisfying. Bringing everything together was probably the hardest bit of the job for me.
The Broken Isles is now out – well, earlier in the week if you’re on Amazon. There are extracts of The Broken Isles and The Book of Transformations over at the Tor UK blog. The direct link to the new extract is here. And here’s the blurb from the back of the book:
War spills into the Boreal Archipelago, as two rival cultures bring their eternal battle into this adjacent realm.
Fresh from a military victory, Commander Brynd Lathraea plans to rebuild the city of Villiren, where he is confronted with a dilemma. There are friendly forces who have no other choice but to live alongside his own people, and their numbers will be required to fight in the looming conflict. The commander turns politician as he seeks to build bridges and embrace mysterious new technologies to further his ambitions. However, many in Villiren are sceptical of aliens coming to their city, tensions run high, and even the dream of a peaceful future brings with it inevitable clashes of beliefs.
Meanwhile, Villjamur has been destroyed. A vast swathe of refugees from the legendary city are now on the run from an immense alien presence in the sky. Villages are being cleared and people are dying en masse. And Inquisitor Fulcrom finds himself at the helm of an operation to aid the refugee exodus to the coast, but it’s a race against time before this threatened genocide is complete. Ancient civilisations line up on the field of battle. Exotic creatures and a possible god walk alongside citizens of the Empire. As the Legends of the Red Sun series draws to a close, there will be one final and immense conflict to decide the fate of multiple cultures forever.
There’s also a brief, but open interview with me over at Civilian Reader:
Writing a coherent fantasy series with a satisfying ending is an immense challenge. I had to cross-reference things I was thinking or doing four years ago, which is not easy. Also, I didn’t want to drag it out – I wanted it to end cleanly. So it was a logical challenge that I’m not used to – the previous books had a greater degree of creative freedom, whereas this was somewhat restrained by what I’d done before. I like to think it was rewarding, too.
Well, it’s now online for people to listen to. This features me reading a short dystopian SF piece (with an environmental leaning, as you’d expect) on Radio 4 – bizarrely, it’s actually my first reading full stop. I start my piece towards the end of the show, and there’s quite a bit of general discussion and other readings beforehand.