Posts Tagged Sixty-One Nails

Sixty-One Nails Re-Released

I am delighted to announce that from today you can purchase Sixty-One Nails from Amazon Kindle. The book will be available from other sources, but this is the first step to getting the books back in circulation. There will be more news on the other books in due course as work is already in process to get those published and available too.

Amazon Kindle 3rd Edition: Sixty-One Nails

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A Star at PW

It’s not often that I feature a review on my blog.  I keep track of reviews and sometimes copy extracts into my reviews page for those who want to browse them, but I don’t tend to post them.  When the reviewer is Publisher’s Weekly, though, it gets my immediate attention.

Sixty-One Nails Mike Shevdon. HarperCollins/Angry Robot, $7.99 (432p) ISBN 978-0-06-199406-7

Spinning British folklore and history into a one-step-over-from-reality vision of the streets underneath London, Shevdon’s debut introduces the supernatural Feyre and their complex relationship with the human half-breeds created to maintain the fertility of the dying Feyre races. Niall Petersen, renamed Rabbit by those who know true names have power, awakens from a heart attack and finds himself in the care of the mysterious Blackbird. His previously unknown Feyre heritage has puts him in the sights of the human-hating Untainted. It also makes him uniquely suited to defending the barriers keeping the Feyre from the human world. An impressively accessible hero, Niall anchors the reader on a journey of discovery that feels constantly off-balance but never jarring. Comparisons to Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere are both inevitable and erroneous; Shevdon’s grittily believable, charmingly described underworld packs a dark punch all its own. (June)

If you don’t know Publisher’s Weekly then you’re probably not in the business.  It’s an insider’s journal and probably one of the most respected literary publications on the planet.  Given that this review was June, I obviously missed it, but I found a reference to it in Locus Magazine and just had to follow it to the source.

To get a starred review is a rare privilege; they are not easily come by. Hence you’ll forgive me for front-paging a review on this particular occasion.

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FantasyCon & US Reviews

FantasyCon 2010

We’re mere days away from FantasyCon, and I’m really looking forward to heading off to Nottingham.  It’s a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet new ones.

I’ll also be signing copies of The Road to Bedlam on Saturday from 12 until 1pm in the Dealer’s Room along with Colin Harvey, who will be signing copies of Damage Time and Andy Remic who will be doing likewise with Soul Stealers.  At 3:30 I am booked to do a live reading – just after Ian Whates, so it’s worth coming along for the hour.

In the meantime, reviews of Sixty-One Nails have started to appear in the United States – this one hot off the presses: ~

Shevdon’s blend of history and folklore creates a rich picture of a London that is both real and full of magic. The plot is quick and though the book is a little hefty, I finished it in all of two days (and that was with a movie break to watch all three parts of the Red Riding trilogy, too!).  The Courts of the Feyre is a world that I happily got lost in and can’t wait to return to. Really and truly amazing stuff, folks. I just can’t recommend this book highly enough.
~ No More Grumpy Bookseller

Thanks to Becky for the great review – I hope she likes the sequel as much.

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Looking Forward, Looking Back

Sixty-One Nails

Early next week, Sixty-One Nails will be released in the USA and Canada and the sequel, The Road to Bedlam will be released in the UK and Australasia, giving us an excuse for a double celebration here at Shevdon Manor.

Due to the global nature of publishing, there are already fans in the US who are spreading the word and looking forward to the release of The Road to Bedlam in the US in late October, but they won’t necessarily have seen some of the earlier articles on the background and history to Sixty-One Nails, and I thought it was worth posting some links to articles that new readers might find interesting.

Red Light District in a Convent Garden is an article on the history of Covent Garden, one of the main locations for Sixty-One Nails, proving that truth can sometimes be more surprising than fiction.  This is a genteel area in the heart of the West End now, but it has a seedy past.

Temple and the Templars looks at the history behind the Inns of Court and the area around the Royal Courts of Justice, showing how the forge in Tweezers Alley came to be there and charting the rise and fall of the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon.

Lethal London looks at the underground rivers that flow beneath the streets of London, hidden from view in all but the most obscure of locations, including the river that flows openly through the basement of an antiques shop.  Though the Thames may be London’s famous river, it is by no means the most dangerous.

Quit Rents Ceremony 2009 is an account is the ceremony held annually at the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand in London, which I attended so that I could watch the testing of the knives and the presentation of the nails and the horse-shoes.  It’s a fascinating event, and highly recommended if you happen to be in London in October.

There are other articles with a historical leaning to be found under the History link in the sidebar; please feel free to explore and browse.  I will be posting some articles on the background to The Road to Bedlam in the near future, so keep an eye out for those.  There is also an RSS feed for those using that service.

Sixty-One Nails will be released in the United States of America and Canada on August 31st 2010, and The Road to Bedlam is released in the UK and Australasia on 1st September.  It’s going to be an exciting week.

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SF Site Interview

As the title implies, it was my great pleasure to be interviewed recently for SF Site by the lovely and charming Sandy Auden for her column: News Spotlight. The full text of the interview is here, but since then I’ve had more time to reflect on my answers and, consequently, wanted to share a small extract and expand a little on what I meant.

Sandy asked me the question, “Would you change anything if you could go back?” My answer looked back at Sixty-One Nails and forward to Road to Bedlam and other work.

…Somewhere, then, I will have shot myself in the foot. I don’t know where yet, but I’m going to have written something that means that the story cannot go where I want it to go. That’s the thing I would go back and change, when I find out what it is.

It was a good question, and I hope not too glib an answer. I was reminded of an interview with Ian Rankin who writes the extremely successful Inspector Rebus novels.  When asked what he thought he might have done differently, he said he would have made Rebus younger and a less senior policemen at the beginning, giving him more scope to develop as he grew older. I wondered at the time whether his stories of a more optimistic, healthier, less cynical Rebus would have been anywhere near as successful.  Rankin’s readers love Inspector Rebus for who he is, not who he was.

I was also asked in the interview why I chose to show so little of Niall’s background before the adventure started. If we knew him better at that point, wouldn’t we be more aware of the changes in him as they happened? My answer talks about how Niall’s life has become a cycle of work, eat and sleep, how he is disconnected from life and how dying really doesn’t make that much difference to him. His story starts when he dies.

It’s interesting for me to look back and see that Blackbird does not give him a choice. She doesn’t ask him whether he wants to be revived.  If she had, I wonder what he might have said?  His life had lost all meaning, all hope. Maybe he doesn’t want to go on? But then something truly extraordinary happened, something he couldn’t possibly have predicted.

He is shown another life.

To some extent, I think this is the same as with Rebus – where he was before isn’t as interesting. If we saw Niall when he was at work, when he was watching TV in his flat, when he dried his dishes and turned the lights out to go to bed on his own, would that help us to understand who he could become? Niall’s choice isn’t whether he dies from a heart attack or not, Blackbird doesn’t give him that option. She pulls him back into life and shows him, however briefly, a very different sort of existence to the one he’s used to.

For me, the real story begins when he decides he wants to keep it.

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Fly, Robot, Fly!

Lovely to see so many friendly faces at the Angry Robot Launch at Forbidden Planet on Saturday. A fantastic time was had by all and it was great talking to friends old and new. The Forbidden Planet crew did a great job of managing the chaos. In particular, thanks go to Danie for being such a delightful and charming host.

Amidst the mayhem, the wonderful Dan Abnett was busily signing copies of Triumff, his swashbuckling alternate-elizabethan romp. Statuesque Andy Remic was charming fans of Kell’s Legend without the aid of a giant two-headed axe, and Colin Harvey had shaken off the man-flu to power up the starship Winter Song for a recidivist Icelandic SF planet-freezing powerhouse. We even managed to sign a precious few advanced copies of Sixty-One Nails – now don’t you wish you were there?

All of this was helped along splendidly by Angry Robot’s masked avenger, Lee Harris,and the robot mastermind, Marc Gascoigne.

And gentlefolk of England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves a’cursed they were not flapjack fed

…and there’s video to prove it (courtesy of LoudMouthMan.com)

Angry Robot Books @ Forbidden Planet from nik butler on Vimeo.

Onward.

Sixty-One Nails: 17 days and counting.

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