On the Road: Tor/Forge Author Events in August

Deadout by Jon McGoranLock In by John ScalziThe Ultra Thin Man by Patrick SwensonCopper Magic by Julia Mary Gibson

Tor/Forge authors are on the road in August! Once a month, we’re collecting info about all of our upcoming author events. Check and see who’ll be coming to a city near you:

Saturday, August 2

Julia Mary Gibson, Copper Magic
Horizon Books
Traverse City, MI
1:00 PM

John Scalzi, The Human Division
Barnes & Noble
Beavercreek, OH
2:00 PM

Glen Hirshberg, Motherless Child
Borderlands Books
San Francisco, CA
3:00 PM

Brian Herbert, The Little Green Book of Chairman Rahma
Writers’ Workshoppe
Port Townsend, WA
7:00 PM

Wednesday, August 6

Jon McGoran, Deadout
Launch Party at the Morris Arboretum
Books provided by Big Blue Marble Books
Flourtown, PA
6:00 PM

Thursday, August 7

Julia Mary Gibson, Copper Magic
Saturn Books
Gaylord, MI
6:30 PM

Brian Herbert, The Little Green Book of Chairman Rahma
Eagle Harbor Book Co.
Bainbridge Island, WA
7:30 PM

Friday, August 8

Julia Mary Gibson, Copper Magic
Between the Covers
Harbor Springs, MI
2:00 PM

Jon McGoran, Deadout
Barnes & Noble
Willow Grove, PA
6:00 PM

Saturday, August 9

Jon McGoran, Deadout
Farley’s Bookshop
New Hope, PA
1:00 PM

A.M. Dellamonica, Child of a Hidden Sea
Barnes & Noble
Amherst, NY
2:00 PM

Julia Mary Gibson, Copper Magic
McLean and Eakin Bookstore
Petoskey, MI
2:00 PM

Terry Goodkind, Severed Souls
Barnes & Noble
Henderson, NV
5:00 PM

Sunday, August 10

A.M. Dellamonica, Child of a Hidden Sea
Barnes & Noble
Rochester, NY
2:00 PM

Jon McGoran, Deadout
Moravian Bookshop
Bethlehem, PA
2:00 PM

Tuesday, August 12

Patrick Swenson, The Ultra Thin Man
University Bookstore
Seattle, WA
7:00 PM

Wednesday, August 13

Tracy and Laura Hickman, Unwept
Indy Reads
Indianapolis, IN
3:00 PM

Thursday, August 14

Patrick Swenson, The Ultra Thin Man
Third Place Books
Lake Forest Park, WA
7:00 PM

Friday, August 15

Jon McGoran, Deadout
Edgartown Books
Edgartown, MA
7:00 PM

Tuesday, August 19

L. A. Campbell, Cartboy Goes to Camp
Books of Wonder
New York, NY
5:00 PM

Wednesday, August 20

Patrick Swenson, The Ultra Thin Man
Powell’s Books
Beaverton, OR
7:00 PM

Thursday, August 21

Julia Mary Gibson, Copper Magic
Elk Rapids Historical Society
Elk Rapids, MI
7:00 PM

Thursday, August 21-24

Kevin J. Anderson, The Dark Between the Stars
Chicago Comic Con
Chicago, IL

Saturday, August 23

Julia Mary Gibson, Copper Magic
Island Bookstore
Mackinac Island, MI
1:00 PM

Gary Kriss, The Zodiac Deception
Barnes & Noble
Norwalk, CT
2:00 PM

Sunday, August 24

Julia Mary Gibson, Copper Magic
Island Books & Crafts
Sault Ste. Marie, MI
2:00 PM

Tuesday, August 26

Julia Mary Gibson, Copper Magic
Sault Ste. Marie Library
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada
2:00 PM

John Scalzi, Lock In
Brazos Bookstore
Houston, TX
7:00 PM

Jon McGoran, Deadout
Mystery on Main Street
Brattleboro, VT
7:00 PM

Wednesday, August 27

Stephen Baker, The Boost
Bank Square Books
Author Luncheon
Mystic, CT
12:00 PM

Julia Mary Gibson, Copper Magic
Snowbound Books
Marquette, MI
1:00 PM

John Scalzi, Lock In
Book People
Austin, TX
7:00 PM

Thursday, August 28

Patrick Swenson, The Ultra Thin Man
Mysterious Galaxy
San Diego, CA
7:00 PM

John Scalzi, Lock In
Quail Ridge Books & Music
Raleigh, NC
7:30 PM

Friday, August 29

John Scalzi, Lock In
Flyleaf Books
Chapel Hill, NC
7:00 PM

Friday, August 29-September 1

Kevin J. Anderson, The Dark Between the Stars
Dragoncon
Atlanta, GA

Saturday, August 30

Jon McGoran, Deadout
Buffalo Street Books
Ithaca, NY
2:00 PM

Patrick Swenson, The Ultra Thin Man
Brian Herbert, The Little Green Book of Chairman Rahma
Borderlands Books
San Francisco, CA
3:00 PM

John Scalzi, Lock In
Decatur Book Festival
Decatur, GA

Throwback Thursdays: Ian C. Esslemont on Collaboration

Welcome to Throwback Thursdays on the Tor/Forge blog! Every other week, we’re delving into our newsletter archives and sharing some of our favorite posts.

The world of the Malazan Empire is beloved by many, many fans—for good reason. The world, co-created by Ian C. Esslemont and Steven Erikson, has been well developed over the course of many books and multiple series. Now, with the publication of Assail, a new Malazan novel, we thought we’d dive into our archives and share a piece that Esslemont wrote in May of 2011. In it, he explains how his long-time collaboration with Erikson works. We hope you enjoy this blast from the past, and be sure to check back every other Thursday for more!

In a recent interview I commented that Steven Erikson and I have often been approached by people expressing surprise, even disbelief, at our long-standing collaboration in a co-created world (The Malazan Empire). These comments always come as a surprise to us because in retrospect the process seemed an entirely natural one. It simply unfolded organically—we worked the world out together, bouncing ideas off each other and laughing an awful lot in the process.

In many ways writing is actually a profoundly lonely and isolating undertaking. For me it was a privilege and a pleasure to have someone to share the material with. And I benefited enormously. I hope Steve did so, too. And I’m sure the product, the stories themselves, benefited as well. The give and take, the topping of ideas and undermining of each other’s characters’ goals, all added an extra layer of complexity and—dare I say realism—to so many threads. So many times one of us picked up what the other had added only to turn it completely inside out, or reverse it entirely, all to the surprise and enjoyment of both. I remember one particular immortal exchange between us (one that has yet to see print) wherein I explained that the paranoid Kellanved, then owner of a bar named Smiley’s, was spying and listening in on his employees by drilling holes in the floor of his office over the bar. Later, Steve had Dancer come upstairs, see Kellanved with his ear pressed to a hole and his bum in the air, and promptly kick him across the room. We threw that scene at each other across a table in Victoria, B.C.

After those early years the material lay fallow for quite a while. Yet the dream of writing never went entirely away for either of us. In the end it was Steve’s stubborn determination (and extraordinary talent!) that dragged it through to its eventual realization. Then, even though time had intervened, it was the natural thing to simply pick up the material once again knowing full well what had to be done. And since then, for me, it has all been a matter of attempting to do justice to what we begun. All I hope to do is give fullest depth and emotional truth to what we created.

This article is originally from the May 2011 Tor/Forge Newsletter. Sign up for the Tor/Forge newsletter now, and get similar content in your inbox every month!

Goodreads Sweepstakes: Last Plane to Heaven by Jay Lake

Last Plane to Heaven by Jay Lake

About Last Plane to Heaven: Last Plane to Heaven is the final and definitive short story collection of award-winning SF author Jay Lake, author of Green, Endurance, and Kalimpura.

Long before he was a novelist, SF writer Jay Lake, was an acclaimed writer of short stories. In Last Plane to Heaven, Lake has assembled thirty-two of the best of them. Aliens and angels fill these pages, from the title story, a hard-edged and breathtaking look at how a real alien visitor might be received, to the savage truth of “The Cancer Catechisms.” Here are more than thirty short stories written by a master of the form, science fiction and fantasy both.

This collection features an original introduction by Gene Wolfe.

Enter for a chance to win here!

(Ends August 27)

Also, don’t forget to check out our other sweepstakes!

The Washington Post Reviews Full Fathom Five by Max Gladstone

Full Fathom Five by Max Gladstone“This is the best kind of urban fantasy, filled with diverse characters and thought-provoking philosophies.”

Max Gladstone’s Full Fathom Five has been reviewed in The Washington Post!

Here’s the full review, from the July 22 issue:

In Max Gladstone’s “Full Fathom Five,” the island of Kavekana contains a pool in the center of the world where made-to-order idols are held in safekeeping for customers. A priest, Kai Pohala, realizes something is terribly wrong when an idol not only wakes up, but screams, “Howl, bound world,” and dies. When Kai’s Order covers up the incident, Kai undertakes a secret mission to find out how the idol became sentient. She soon suspects a larger conspiracy as the deaths mount and some people are entombed in stone. Meanwhile, she encounters Izza, a street kid who is a master storyteller and gang leader. Perhaps Izza’s stories hold the key to understanding the idol’s warning cry and stopping the ever-growing list of disappeared friends, priests and poets. A daring rescue attempt reveals betrayals by gods and humans alike, while separate narratives create a dynamic portrait of Kavekana’s twisted socioeconomic system that turns myth into a moneymaking juggernaut. This is the best kind of urban fantasy, filled with diverse characters and thought-provoking philosophies.

You can read the full article here.

Full Fathom Five was published on July 15.

Strong at the Break eBook is Now on Sale for $2.99

Strong at the Break by Jon LandThe ebook for Strong at the Break by Jon Land is now on sale for $2.99!*

About Strong at the Break:
Fifth-generation Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong returns in an adventure with roots in a gunfight where her father shot down the cult-like leader of a separatist church.

Two decades later, that man’s son, Malcolm Arno, has become head of a militia movement bent on unleashing chaos and anarchy across the country. With all the guns and money he needs to wage a second Civil War, nothing seems to be standing in Arno’s way. Until he runs afoul of Caitlin Strong.

Already mired in one investigation of drug smuggling over the U.S.-Canadian border and another involving an Iraqi war veteran who claims the army is trying to kill him, Caitlin finds herself embroiled in the search for the kidnapped son of former outlaw Cort Wesley Masters. When the missing boy’s trail leads to Malcolm Arno’s Texas compound, the three cases converge in an explosion of violence that will put Caitlin to the ultimate test.

From the frozen rivers of Canada to the desert wastelands of Mexico, the stage has been set for a battle like none Caitlin has ever faced before, where the stakes are nothing less than the survival of America as we know it.

*sale ends August 29

Interview with W. Bruce Cameron

The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man by W. Bruce CameronThe Midnight Plan of the Repo Man, the latest novel by New York Times bestselling author W. Bruce Cameron, goes on sale October 28th. We had the chance to ask Bruce a few questions about his exciting new novel.

Your new novel The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man is a departure from your recent novels that revolved around dogs and their humans.  What made you decide to head in a new direction?

I’m not sure this is a new direction.  In my new novel the main character has an important and complex relationship with his dog.  It’s just that this novel isn’t only about that relationship.  With more than 70 million dogs in our country, I’m surprised we don’t see more of them cropping up in everyday literature.  I mean, I get why 007 doesn’t have a Lhasa Apso, but if it is a story about a modern family, shouldn’t somebody want a dog?

I have always been drawn to books that have a fast paced plot and quirky, interesting characters. I also have always enjoyed taking a humorous look at people and their foibles–that’s why I had a humor column for more than a decade, as well as a couple of humor books that were published before I started publishing novels.  Also, though I am very manly in an acquired-taste sort of fashion, I do like a good romance in my fiction—not the kind where the guy meets a woman and thirty seconds later they are naked and panting, but real, true, awkward, funny, exciting romance.  So this book, The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man, isn’t so much a departure as it is a combination of what I like to write: Relationships with dogs, humor, manly romance, and a fast-paced, interesting plot line.

Do you identify with any of the characters in The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man?  Are their experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I certainly identify with Ruddy McCann, except that I’m not a big guy who was once in the running for the Heisman.  I did, however, nearly win the Old Mission junior high school table tennis championship (two years running)!  Ruddy has what I call “nerves of stupidity”.  That’s what it takes to be a repo man, and some of the wild risks he takes in the novel are similar to a few of the crazy things I did.

The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man is a story of redemption and putting one’s life back together after a tragedy. But there are also a lot of humorous moments woven in.  Was this difficult to achieve?

The hard part when describing things humorously is to avoid making everything a joke. A lot of times I had really funny punch lines come to me, which, had I included them, would have taken the reader out of the novel, and brought them into reading a bunch of jokes. It’s the fine line that any writer walks when using humor. The best technique to avoid falling into the trap is to love the characters and poke gentle fun at them instead of making crass jokes at their expense.

The harsh cold landscape of Michigan in early spring offers an affecting and powerful backdrop for the angst of your protagonist, Ruddy McCann. Was this intentional?

What you have to understand about northern Michigan is that when spring finally arrives, it is one of the most glorious events ever.  So yes, Ruddy and northern Michigan are both grey, cold and ice bound.  And both emerge by the end of the book into glorious, happy, sunnier times.

Okay, answer honestly—is there a dog in The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man?  If so, what kind of role does he/she play?

I’m laughing at the idea I would answer this one dishonestly.

If The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man is made into a movie, which actors do you envision in the leading roles?  Who would be the voice of Alan Lottner?

Armie Hammer as Ruddy McCann, Robert Downey Jr. as the voice as Alan Lottner, Lizzy Caplan as Katie.  I would play the fantastically handsome writer (makeup by Oscar winning special-effects makeup artist Rick Baker).

Have any other authors inspired your work?

Yes, I am really impressed with Andrew Gross, Lee Childs and Joseph Kanon for fast paced plotting, interesting protagonists, and making location part of the story.  Michael Connelly’s ability to weave complex mysteries influenced me to try to make a murder be both interesting and motivated by complex factors. Dave Barry can write humor better than any existing author.

Goodreads Sweepstakes: Tut: The Story of My Immortal Life by P. J. Hoover

Tut: The Story of My Immortal Life by P. J. Hoover

About Tut: The Story of My Immortal Life: Tut: The Story of My Immortal Life is a funny, fast-paced novel for young readers by P.J. Hoover which chronicles the mischievous adventures of King Tut, now an immortal eighth-grader living in Washington, D.C.

You’d think it would be great being an Egyptian demigod, but if King Tut has to sit through eighth grade one more time, he’ll mummify himself.
Granted the gift of immortality by the gods—or is it a curse?—Tut has been stuck in middle school for ages. Even worse, evil General Horemheb, the man who killed Tut’s father and whom Tut imprisoned in a tomb for three thousand years, is out and after him. The general is in league with the Cult of Set, a bunch of guys who worship one of the scariest gods of the Egyptian pantheon—Set, the god of Chaos.

The General and the Cult of Set have plans for Tut… and if Tut doesn’t find a way to keep out of their clutches, he’ll never make it to the afterworld alive.

Enter for a chance to win here!

(Ends August 26)

Also, don’t forget to check out our other sweepstakes!

Lock In by John Scalzi on LibraryReads’ August 2014 Top Ten List

Lock In by John Scalzi

John Scalzi’s Lock In has been selected for the August 2014 LibraryReads Top Ten List!

LibraryReads says:

“There’s been a good run of fantasy and science fiction books this year. Joining the list of great fantastical reads is John Scalzi’s Lock In. Scalzi is best known for his military SF (especially the Old Man’s War series), so his latest is a change of pace. A blending of SF and police procedural that hits every note just right.”

Click here to see the full list.

Lock In will be published on August 26.

Fuzzy Nation eBook is Now on Sale for $2.99

Fuzzy Nation by John ScalziThe ebook for Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi is now on sale for $2.99!*

About Fuzzy Nation: Jack Holloway works alone, for reasons he doesn’t care to talk about. Hundreds of miles from ZaraCorp’s headquarters on planet, 178 light-years from the corporation’s headquarters on Earth, Jack is content as an independent contractor, prospecting and surveying at his own pace. As for his past, that’s not up for discussion.

Then, in the wake of an accidental cliff collapse, Jack discovers a seam of unimaginably valuable jewels, to which he manages to lay legal claim just as ZaraCorp is cancelling their contract with him for his part in causing the collapse. Briefly in the catbird seat, legally speaking, Jack pressures ZaraCorp into recognizing his claim, and cuts them in as partners to help extract the wealth.

But there’s another wrinkle to ZaraCorp’s relationship with the planet Zarathustra. Their entire legal right to exploit the verdant Earth-like planet, the basis of the wealth they derive from extracting its resources, is based on being able to certify to the authorities on Earth that Zarathustra is home to no sentient species.

Then a small furry biped—trusting, appealing, and ridiculously cute—shows up at Jack’s outback home. Followed by its family. As it dawns on Jack that despite their stature, these are people, he begins to suspect that ZaraCorp’s claim to a planet’s worth of wealth is very flimsy indeed…and that ZaraCorp may stop at nothing to eliminate the “fuzzys” before their existence becomes more widely known.

*sale ends August 29

Starred Review: The Ultra Thin Man by Patrick Swenson

The Ultra Thin Man by Patrick Swenson“Pig Latin, an exotic drug, a comic strip, and a retractable penis add colorful detail to a showdown that puts love and sacrifice at the heart of the self.”

Patrick Swenson’s The Ultra Thin Man got a starred review in Publishers Weekly!

Here’s the full review, from the June 2 issue:

This splendidly lively SF debut alternates between the narrations of Alan Brindos and Dave Crowell, two irreverent gumshoes who work for the Network Intelligence Organization of the eight-world Union in the year 2113. Crowell sends Brindos to the planet Ribon, the site of a devastating antimatter attack, to investigate the apparent suicide of human Dorie Senall, who was possibly affiliated with Terl Plenko, an alien and terrorist. Swenson provides Shakespearean riffs on identity as Brindos is transformed into a Plenko clone and becomes a target for the NIO. The race for a key that nobody can identify pits Brindos, Crowell, and friends against alien manipulators of identity seeking to control the Union by substituting copy “thin men” for genuine individuals. Pig Latin, an exotic drug, a comic strip, and a retractable penis add colorful detail to a showdown that puts love and sacrifice at the heart of the self.

The Ultra Thin Man will be published on August 12.