The Italian edition of Nights of Villjamur, “Le notti di Villjamur”, is out now in Italy, published by Gargoyle Books. Author copies arrived yesterday, and very handsome editions they are too.
For completists or those looking to start the series, there’s a new edition of Nights of Villjamur which will be published on the 25th of October. Look for the above cover art (I’m sure Amazon will have it updated soon). I also think that ebooks will be updated with the new version, so acquiring the new edition might vary depending on your chosen device. Let me know if you have any problems with that and I’ll chase it up.
There are about 200 minor alterations, all in all. Some of the more unusual words have been cut out and replaced. The occasional bad sentence has been removed. Swearing has been reduced. Ultimately, they’re to make for a smoother reading experience. It’s not a full re-edit by any means, but it’s certainly allowed me to get rid of the worst of those first-novel excesses.
What would I do differently in my first novel, Nights of Villjamur, if I had the chance to do it again?
One of the issues I had with the original was the use of occasional esoteric language in order to reflect a disconnect with a culture of the far future. That, I suspect, failed – and instead created a disconnect with a few readers instead. So in the edition that comes out in a couple of months, I’ve managed to iron out well over a hundred of these instances, as well as making some other minor alterations – for example, I’ve toned down the swearing, and taken out the c-word. Loads of swearing isn’t big and isn’t clever. There.
Read the rest over at Pornokitsch.
I am the man of many covers. From the 25th October, Nights of Villjamur and City of Ruin will be reissued with new artwork on the front, to fit in with the rest of the series and to finally have one cohesive look.
There’s more, though: I’ve actually made quite a few (over a hundred) changes to Nights of Villjamur. Call it the ambitions of a first-time author, call it crap writing, but there were a few points of the text in this book that I believed caused a clunky experience. I’ve managed to iron many, many of these out, thankfully. It’s only a word or two here, a line there – not a complete re-edit, mind you, but enough to give me peace of mind that the most ridiculous of the excesses have now been removed.
Yeah, that book I wrote, lots of reviews, you thought I’d stopped talking about it by now, right? Wrong!
Set in a far distant future where several different intelligent species co-exist and remnants of long-lost technologies provide the “magic powers” by which cult leaders impress the masses, this is epic fantasy strongly tinged with science fiction. At its best, I was reminded of Jack Vance or Gene Wolfe… this is a promising start to a series worth pursuing.
The book reminding anyone, let alone Lisa Tuttle in a national newspaper, of Vance and Wolfe is perhaps the Coolest Thing Ever.
If you were sick of reading my words… if you were sick of looking at my overly posed pictures… if you were sick of watching me… then you can listen me talk in this podcast with author Gail Z. Martin. One of the main subjects we talk about is that joyous conversation topic of death. (One of the themes of my book, in fact.) It was recorded quite a few months ago now, before the release of the book.
Edit: I’ll also be recording another one at the weekend for the Unbound! review site.
Hey, kids. I’m back online with full support from Apple after my recent debacle with the Chardonnay. I really didn’t think I could become more of an Apple fanboy, but I am… Did anyone break the interwebs while I was away having cream teas in the country? Were there any of those pesky flame wars and existential crises?
Anyway, Julie from Pan Mac emailed me earlier today to say that Nights of Villjamur was going to have to be reprinted, which was rather lovely to hear. I mean, it’s not the bestseller lists by any means – it’s my hardcover debut, after all! – but it’s certainly better than having the novel stink out the shelves.
Dark Wolf Fantasy Reviews has a very thorough review of Nights of Villjamur:
I was caught in the spell of “Nights of Villjamur” but the end of the novel didn’t bring my release and I was left wondering about the outcome of its story. Mark Charan Newton shows in his novel a great potential, for him as a writer and for his fantasy series, “Legends of the Red Sun”, and I believe that he can sit without question in the hall of the new names of epic fantasy writers and bring his contribution to a great new generation of such authors.
I do so hate not bringing about his release – I never like to leave people in such a state, I feel like such a floozy.
Meanwhile, Liz at My Favourite Books also reviews Nights of Villjamur.
Nights is an epic fantasy chock full of fresh, off the wall ideas, yet Mark manages to keep the heady cocktail of cultists, flying soldiers, zombies, diabolical politicians, albinos and genocide under tight control, nimbly weaving the various storylines together into a satisfying whole.
Read the rest. Thanks, Liz!
Nights of Villjamur was reviewed in today’s Guardian, and this is the full review:
Villjamur is under siege from the encroaching ice age. Refugees threaten to overwhelm the city and stability is undermined from within by scheming chancellors. After the suicide of the emperor, Captain Brynd Lathraea is charged with bringing back the emperor’s daughter from self-imposed exile, to be installed as a puppet empress. Meanwhile Randur Estevu, a country lad with vaunting ambitions, comes to Villjamur seeking immortality. The first instalment in The Legends of the Red Sun series is a dark epic which shows its debt to Gormenghast: death stalks the shadows and scheming, idiosyncratic characters have their own agendas. This is fantasy with vast scope and ambition, and while the prose would have benefited from judicious compression and excision, the novel is a complex, eldritch vision with great potential.
“While the sun over Villjamur is dying, Mark Charan Newton’s star as a writer is burning with a fierce talent.”
How lovely – thanks, Stephen!