my books


The postman brought me many copies of the US edition of Nights of Villjamur, published by the delightful people Random House (Ballantine).

Though I’m not usually interested in the business of doing giveaways, because I’ve so many copies, I am going to give away THREE of these fine editions.

But you have to work for it.

In the comments section, simply tell me why you should get a copy. The three most entertaining/guilt-tripping/weird entries, chosen purely on a whim by me, will win one of the copies. You can ask for whatever you want to be written in it – be it a simple signature or whatever.

And what the hell, I’m in a generous mood, let’s open this worldwide (and no, I won’t pick winners from down the road).

Keep it clean, people.

By Mark Newton

Born in 1981, live in the UK. I write about strange things.

27 replies on “Giveaway!”

Fine. A challenge. Why I should get a US copy. In English, for once, so the English can understand. OK, maybe American, but still.

I should get a signed, personalized copy because I live over 4,000 miles away from you and thus cannot be inconvenienced to stop off and regale you with my thoughts on Gene Wolfe’s works in terza rima. Only fair that a copy of the finished book be mailed to me.

Furthermore, it should be personalized and quotes from Led Zep songs and perhaps C.L. Moore could be included because I know of much that you enjoy outside of composing ditties in your sleep.

Finally, there needs to be a bit of a threat. If a copy is not forthcoming, all of the gray squirrels will band together and start chewing on the plants in your garden until I am appeased.

How’s that for compelling reasons?

Hi Mark
I would like to receive a copy of this book because I like the fantastic, the strange and authors with strange middle names that no-one seems able to pronounce!
And by the way I’m not an internet crazie!!!

Thanks a lot.
Oh, if I win a copy, then write me something from your wonderful mind inside!

Hi Mark, I would like a copy of Nights of Villjamur to help me return to own time. I was left behind by my brethren on a jaunt to the late twentieth century. Unfortunately, due to a miscount after leaving Pizza Hut, I was forgotten about and left behind in the toilets (I told them we should have paired up in to buddies). I have been stuck here ever since. I need your book to place a message in and leave it in a pre-arranged location. When they receive this message they will then know to come back and find me. It has to be your book as we agreed on that before departing – Nights of Villjamur is an important cornerstone for our society. Obviously the wait for you to write and publish your novel has been excruciating, but I have taken comfort in your excellent twenty-first century facilities and foodstuffs. Could you please write – “To the brethren of Sean: he’s here! Yours, Mark Charan Newton”


This is quite simple, really. I work as a clerk in a very tiny bookstore specializing in fantasy/sci-fi books. Note the word “tiny”. Our coffee-machine is placed on the toilet as that’s the only free spot. Seriously.

I get all my books from my job though we seldom get pretty versions like the ones you’re so temptingly dangling in front of my nose. Especially not signed. NEVER signed.

And lets be honest, the odds of you arriving to the far north of Norway to sign books…it’s probably not very big, is it?

Did I also mention that I had to get my copy of Nights of Villjamur -used-? Yep. I did. We sold out really fast, had trouble getting more sent over, got fewer than we ordered and there was no end to the mess. My copy looks like it was chewed on by a crazed racoon and more importantly: it does not at ALL look nice when it stands side-by-side with City of Ruin.

Hopefully this heartbreaking story of a girl with an obsession for matching and pretty editions of books, who is drinking coffee made in a BATHROOM and sells your (and others, too!) books for a living will work. 😉

Well, I’m going to go for the guilt trip…
I was told I would be receiving a copy of Nights of Villjamur to review- but, it never arrived. I wasn’t too surprised since most publishers don’t like sending books all the way over to Israel but I was still disappointed as I had really looked forward to reading it. Though an autographed copy from the author himself would certainly help ease the disappointment…

I think that I should have a copy of your pretty-state-side books because I have been without coffee, cheese and red meat, eating rabbit food style salads every day, and only vegan chocolate for three weeks – and all of this just in the hope that someone would give me a free book for it.
(Am I pulling the heartstrings yet?)
VC x

Alright, I’ll give this a go (although I’m afraid I’ll be neither particularly entertaining nor guilt-tripping and I cannot tell the weird part on a website):

I’d love to have a copy because I would give it to my brother’s partner who loves fantasy but, as for all I know, is not yet aware that your books exist (how shocking! ;)).
My brother, on the other hand, dislikes Fantasy and would never give “such a thing” to him.

I have to give this a try- I mean, I’ve been wanting this books since I saw the review @ Un:Bound, and I live in NY, so I have not been able to get a copy…

Why should I get it? First because I am me, what other reason should there be? Worry not, I am coming up with more-
Also… becauseeeee if zombies do exist and I am to become one, I want to do so after reading this book, really… (Did you say something about weird why’s?
Another thing… I want to see if you are safe from Pink-curly hair- and sparkly WerePonies! =) *snort* yeah… that is =)

And what do I want for what I want when you send it to me after I win?

-To Ale (In her Den of Sin),
(Whatever message you want to write)
For being so cute, adorable, and my biggest fan (even without reading the book yet)
From The Diva to be,
Mark (your signature =P

What do you think?

LOL- But really, I am dying to read this book- and so excited that it is coming out soon in the US! *grin*

Hey Mark. 🙂

Why should I get a copy? Well, for one, it would go a long way to rounding out my collection (which will be growing as of next month, when CoR and NoV arrive in SA)of your work (still going to track down a copy of The Reef, had no idea it took place in the same world, albeit much, much earlier); second reason, I think the only other author that has received as much coverage on the blog is Peter V Brett (looking forward to your review of his work, and vice versa); three, you did hold a page saying that you love my blog 😉 ; fourth, I think I’m the only person who has ever introduced myself to you TWICE, 🙂 ; and lastly, not only am I thousands of miles from the UK, but I’m thousands of miles from the US, too, so I’d probably be the only South African who would have a copy of the US Nights of Villjamur. 🙂

Hope that all made you chuckle, at least. 🙂

Dear Mr. Newton,

I’m going to be totally honest about my response. I feel you deserve it. I’ve hidden this from the public, but that doesn’t make it any less true. In fact, it’s very true indeed.

Ten years ago I was diagnosed with a very rare disease called librania neuroitus, which is an affliction of the brain. The disease is so rare that I am the only person to have been diagnosed with it. The symptoms include an innate desire to eat the pages from books, which, I might add, is a terrible thing for a book lover like myself because now my entire library has been ruined and I’ve been forced to replenish my book coffers and store the new books in a special location that is not made immediately known to me. There are other symptoms, but I won’t bother you with them.

The last ten years have been a trying time, but I have used the time well. I have dedicated myself, in secret, to researching this disease in order to find a cure. And I have found it in the most unusual of places: your book.

Only through the arrival of a signed copy of your book, with an inscription wishing me well and possibly a doodle of an amoeba wearing a viking hat and carrying a silly looking sword, can I be cured of this affliction. I won’t bore you with the details of how I know this will work (you will, of course, find the irony of this whole situation rather humorous, as I have). Needless to say, I will be attempting to publish a five-hundred page book detailing my research entitled “The Great Book Disease: Finding the Cure For the Worst Disease In Human History” under the pseudonym Virgil G. Coddlefoot. I will furnish you with a copy of the final product as a fair exchange, if you so desire.

That is why I want a copy of your book, and I thank you kindly for the opportunity to finally acquire the cure for this terrible illness.

Thank you very much for your time.


P.S.: Everything written above is absolutely, 100% true. I cannot stress that enough. I would not make up such a ridiculous story to get a book. Never.

Hi Mark,

I should get a copy of your book because they (the big bookstores here in Malaysia) don’t have it in stock and I want it bad and a book of this magnitude usually costs a bomb here. And to make everyone else cower in fear, I live the farthest of them all. 🙂

I’d be very very very happy if you could sign it for me (I’ve never had a signed book before).

I deserve a copy, because I will treat the book like a holy relic. I will read it and cherish it and when the time comes for review, it will receive the best possible treatment ever. It will be segemented and serialized.

Who doesn’t want that coverage, eh?

Hi Mark,

I believe that I should receive a US copy of your book because as a US citizen I have had to suffer through the torture of hearing all you Europeans rave on about your books. It has been a constant pain the back of my mind knowing that people across the big blue are enjoying your books, while I have to wait till it is finally published here.

Chase Collins

I could say that I deserve your book which I’ll review on my blog which gets ten whole visits per week.

Instead, I’ll go with the truth. My mother’s maiden name is Villjamur. Her mother, my grandmother, is now 127 years old and ever since I was 2 weeks old I told her I was going to be a writer, and that I’d publish a book with her as the main character. I can’t do this now, since you went and stole her name for a fictional city… but, if you send me this copy of which you speak, I can tell her it’s my very own book. She can only read through a magnifying glass now, and never more than one word a time, so she won’t realize that it’s not my book. Also, as she has arrived at such a rarefied age, we fear she may not make it until the release of your book here in the US at the end of the month. Please, consider this plea not for me, but for the sake of mamamutti Vanoosi Villjamur.

Hello, Mark. I have been on and off about ordering your book from the UK for months now every time I read another rave review. Instea, I’ve decided to patiently wait, and wait, and, well, wait some more, till it finally becomes available here in the US. I will buy the book regardless of whether I win one, of course, but it would still be nice. Really enjoy your blog, by the way, link to it all the time from SF Tidbits on SF Signal.

Ready for the guilt? I live in Saigon and a couple of weeks ago I had a motorbike accident: I ripped a chunk out of my knee – you could see right down through layers of flesh to the bone, it was disgusting – which required surgery so now I can’t really walk; I broke my collar bone which means my right arm has to be immobilised for a month in a huge arm immobiliser harness that is far too hot for this climate and my collar bone (oh, I regret not appreciating how pretty collar bones can be back when I had a nice straight pair) has healed crookedly with a big lump in the middle that isn’t at all attractive. Also I cracked a rib but I don’t have gory details for that one, it just hurts like hell.

I’m from Bradford so you shouldn’t feel too sorry for me being stuck with serious injuries in a developing country. I’ve been pretty au fait with hospitals, surgeries, needles, drains etc. since I had kidney failure a few years ago so I didn’t expect to miss my mum or anything. In fact, since coming out of hospital, I do miss my mum because mums, unlike well-meaning but socially far too active housemates, don’t get bored running round after you and forget to bring you food. It’s lunchtime; I’m hungry; I’m eating dry corn flakes out of the box.

That all this has no connection or relevance to you, your book, impending ice ages or Russell Brand with a sword is OK. It’s entirely acceptable for me to expect people I don’t know on the other side of the planet to feel my pain. I’m stuck in bed watching a Grey’s Anatomy boxset even though I discovered about a fifth of the way into the first episode that I don’t really like Grey’s Anatomy and reading old, free stuff on my ereader which I dislike (the ereader that is) to the point of feeling a bit of my soul die every time I turn a ‘page’. It’s better than having nothing to read, which is pretty much the alternative in Vietnam, but it’s so aesthetically unpleasing I would shamelessly try and guilt almost anybody out of a real physical copy of an actual book that I’d actually want to read. Did I mention it’s my birthday in two weeks?


P.S. I had to laboriously type this whole thing with just my left hand.
P.P.S. I am not left-handed.

My little girl would love to read NOV but she’s only six weeks old so I’m not letting her anywhere near my copies! She may have also said that she wanted her own signed copy but that could have just been a random gurgle, would you take that risk though…?

Please send Hope a book so she stops looking reproachfully at me and crying…

Hrmmm. I should receive this because I have been hearing good things about it forEVER, but living in the US as I do (yes, sigh, I know), I have had to be patient, which is not something I’m very good at. And this way I won’t have to wait for the paperback. Also, did I mention all of the good things that I’ve heard about it? Plus it has that nice robin’s egg blue color which will stand out on my shelves, which is always an important criterion.

I live at the end of the earth (ie Australia) where my people suffer from coffee-induced hallucinations that we live in a land under the despot of a ruler, the Sun, and are subject to its whims. In the short and infrequent months of torrid rain and almost-sub-zero temperatures, sent by the Sun’s mortal enemy, Winter, we must seek refuge in air-conditioned houses (where, upon stepping outside, we discover it’s warmer outside than it is inside).

To strike a balance between these opposing forces, or merely to block them out, I would love a copy of your book.

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