King Rolen's Kin Video

Rowena has sent us this fantastic video she's had made to promote the King Rolen's Kin series.

King Rolen's Kin from Daryl Lindquist on Vimeo.

Post the Fourth: Solaris authors at the World Horror Con!

Brian Lumley signing for all his many, many fans at the con!

Vincent Chong, cover artist for Shine, poses with his shiny, shiny creation. Shine is being launched at Eastercon next weekend!

Ian Whates, author of The Noise Within (coming out from Solaris in May) with his writing-group pal Ian Watson, author of the Spielberg movie AI: Artificial Intelligence

Some scary looking chap and, no, wait, the scary-looking one is Andy Remic

Conrad William in 'The Reading Cafe,' reading from the novel he'll be writing for Solaris next year...

Jon Oliver and Ellen Datlow, editor of the Poe anthology, out for lunch

Ellen on the Women in Horror panel moderated by Maura McHugh


See previous posts and photos from the World Horror Con over here. Now comes with added Neil Gaiman!


First post: Live-blogging from the Brighton World Horror Con! (click links for photos!)

Thursday: Jon and I jumped in the van yesterday morning, got to Brighton with very little hassle and met Ian Whates, author of The Noise Within, while unpacking the van. Not how I wanted my first meeting with Ian face-to-face to go but oh well! "Hi Ian...argh...tooo many boxes...argh."

We checked in, met Paul Kane doing his kick ass convention organising thing in reception, got our goodie bags and headed over the the dealers' room, where Weston Ochse signed a load of books for us, saved us from falling posters and gave us a present from Arizona.

Jon and I then did the Pitch Black rights fair, where we heard lots of exciting new ideas from up and coming authors for new Solaris and Abaddon Books, and also popped in to see Weston on a panel defending the living dead from the undead.

I met Paul Cornell in the bar and fangirled at him for a bit about his Captain Britain and MI13 series for Marvel Comics, and we ran into the Angry Robot chaps, who watched Gary McMahon's panel with us (Lee Harris poking me in the back of the head all the way through and blaming it on Mark Morris - here he is looking guilty) before we all headed out for a curry with Simon Bestwick, author of Abaddon's Tide of Souls, too.

Just had breakfast looking out at the sea and now we're in the dealers' room purveying our wares...

Shine Reviews

Wotcher all,

Loads of reviewers have been hassling Jetse de Vries for copies of his upcoming Shine anthology (here's that beautiful Vincent Chong cover again), and the first few reviews are coming in now...

  • Charles A. Tan (Twitter @charlesatan) the Bibliophile Stalker, has written this very measured review.
    Charles writes "what I want to highlight are the stories that grabbed me by the balls, so to speak. Originally, I didn't think this anthology would contain much of them, but by the time I read the closed the book, the number of memorable stories was surprising."

  • Genre webzine Sci Fi Wire (Twitter @scifiwire) has posted "Sick of the Apocalypse? Check out 16 futures worth living in!", another very reasoned look at the book.
    "Shine isn't all rainbows and flowers," the Wire explains, "but luckily it isn't all policy wonks riding their ideological hobbyhorses either. Have I mentioned the thrash-metal dinosaurs?"
You go ahead and mention the thrash-metal dinosaurs, dude. They really can't be mentioned often enough.

There should be many more reviews on the way. Keep a weather eye out here...


Video and 'The King's Bastard'

Gail's created a youtube video to promote the climactic novel in 'The Necromancer Chronicles', Dark Lady's Chosen.

If you loved 'The Necromancer Chronicles', get ready for some exciting new high-action high-drama fantasy later this year, with Rowena Cory Daniells' new series, 'King Rolen's Kin'. The first volume, The King's Bastard, comes out this summer!

It's so good that our Editor-in-Chief is currently keeping it all to himself! Hand some of that swords n' sorcery goodness over here, Jon, mate... please? No? Oh, okay then. You're the boss.


New commissions ahoy!

Good afternoon

Well, things certainly don't slow down at Solaris. In fact, I've just commissioned 5, yes 5, new books from a couple of very talented authors.

Fans of The Age of Ra and The Age of Zeus will be pleased to know that I've commissioned two new novels from Mr James Lovegrove, the first for release in 2011. These are Redlaw, a science-fiction, vampire tale that promises to be dark, compelling and exciting; and Dust, an apocalyptic science-fiction story on a grand scale. Of course, we also have The Age of Odin hitting shelves early 2011. It's a great pleasure to be continuing working with James. He's a superb writer and a joy to edit.

Also, I have commissioned one of the very finest horror writers in the UK at the moment to write a horror/urban-fantasy trilogy. This starts with The Concrete Grove in 2011 from the brilliant Gary McMahon. Gary has worked with us before, penning the superb Tomes of The Dead: Hungry Hearts for Abaddon Books. Gary's new series will be dark, gritty, intelligent, mysterious and moving.

Anyway, that is all for now. Much to look forward to.

Happy reading!

Jonathan Oliver

Paul Cornell's Short Story

Hi all,

You may or may not know, but Paul Cornell - noted novellist, Doctor Who writer, comic book author and raconteur - wrote a short story for us, in The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction, Volume Three.

Anyway, the story, "One of Our Bastards is Missing," has been getting some attention and scuttlebutt recently, so Paul asked us if we could post it up here for you kids to read.

So here it is. Give it a read, tell us what you think of it.

And Hell, you never know. Deadlines for Hugo nominations are up this Saturday...


Work-In-Progress Blogging

Hey guys,

(Three posts in one day! Will the joy never cease?)

Conrad Williams, author of the excellent Decay Inevitable, has decided to write one of the confounded new "Work in Progress" blogs about his upcoming Solaris book, Loss of Separation.

He'll be keeping us up to date on progress, posting word counts, and generally talking about the book as he writes it.

The blog is here, and the first post is here.

So won't you go and follow him, and give him some love.


Poe Goodness

Hey kids,

Poe, Ellen Datlow's anthology of short horror stories inspired by the classic American author Edgar Allan Poe, has been critically acclaimed over and over and listed in "Best Of" lists all over webland, and now it's starting to show up in the awards lists. Two recent accomplishments are:

Dark Scribe Magazine's third annual Black Quill Awards were announced last month, and Poe won the "Readers' Choice" in the Best Dark Genre Anthology category. This is a fairly new award, but already becoming an influential achievement, so congratulations to Ellen and her authors for that one.

Most excitingly, the Horror Writers' Association has announced the nominees for the coveted Bram Stoker Award, and Poe's been nominated in the "Superior Achievement in an Anthology" category (I also note that Ellen's in there twice, with a Lovecraft anthology for Dark Horse Books, so well done, Ellen). This is pretty much the big one, and even just being nominated is a serious achievement. Fingers crossed for the announcement.

Awesome results all round.



Hey doods,

Some quick reviewspam for you:

Some great reviews there, so take a look at them, and if you like anything, remember you can buy it right off our site.



Praise and Previews

The ladies at The Book Smugglers have posted an introduction the the steampunk genre to kick off their 'Steampunk Week' event. They've also highlighted a few books which define the genre, including, we're pleased to hear, Tim Akers' Hearts of Veridon.

"'Hearts of Veridon' by Tim Akers is a new book to the Steampunk consortium, published late last year – but it is already referred to as a classic work by many afficionados. Thea will be reviewing this bad boy in our second Steampunk Week, next month."

Also, Niall at The Speculative Scotsman has previewed the Shine anthology over here.

"I love me a good short story collection, and Shine looks it could be just what the doctor ordered..."


Andy Remic releases 'Hardcore' promotion video

There aren't many authors who would dress up in a rubber nurse's outfit to promote their military SF novels.

I'm just sayin'.


10 rules for writing according to Jon

Okay, so apparently the Guardian has been running a 10 rules for writing thingy, and David and Jenni thought it would be interesting/amusing/shocking/inspiring for me to give my take on these, seeing as I'm an editor and I've written one book and that. Anyway, this is going to be messy so bear with me:


1. If a publisher says they are closed to submissions don't e-mail them an entire novel and then spend every other day asking them whether they've read it yet and reminding them how amazing this novel is. They will not thank you, your submission won't be read and, very likely, neither will your future ones. Also do some research on your chosen publisher, don't just use a scattergun submission approach. It's unlikely that Graveyard Books (I made that name up, apologies if it's real) is going to want to see your book on Breeding Newfoundland Dogs.

2. Enjoy what you're writing. If you're writing SF/Horror/Fantasy you should at least be a fan of these genres and well read in all. After all, you're going to need to know what has gone before and what works or doesn't work. In fact, read as widely as possible anyway. If you just confine your knowledge of literature to the genre stuff then not only are you missing out on some gems, but your work is likely going to tread too familiar territory. Mix it up a bit.

3. Don't think that just because an idea would make a great film/TV series that it's going to translate well into prose. Sometimes fiction can do things that film can't and vice-versa. Also, don't write a book with a view to it being one day a great movie. That's a hostage to fortune and, ultimately, you'll probably be disappointed when it happens anyway and the studio rapes your precious work.

4. Don't just repeat what you've read and imagine that it will work. I've you're a big fan of David Gemmell I'd be unlikely to publish your novel Driss The Legend. "You'll love this, it's just like Gemmell," you'll say. Well, in that case I'll read Gemmell then won't I? Influences are fine, but try to make your work your own.

5. And this is where I start running out of ideas... erm. Nice weather.

6. Oh yes, it's usually useful once you've finished your mighty tome to get someone else to read it, in fact several people will be ideal. After all, after months/years of working on the damn thing you probably no longer have any critical distance from it and can't see the wood for the trees. A fresh view on it will pick up on things you may not have noticed and show you the way to further revisions and improvements.

7. On that note, when you submit a final manuscript to your publisher, send them something you would be happy to go to print the very next day. In other words, send out the most final and polished version you can.

8. If you're writing a fantasy novel, avoid overly complex names. Okay, so we don't particularly want to know a story about Bob The Slayer, or Derek The Destroyer (or maybe you do?) but neither do I want to get bogged down in the trials of Yglikinikas The Third, Son of Ylinkizasmus The Second, Heir of all Allundrianianuyhusus.

9. Just because one publisher doesn't like what you do, don't give up and don't chuck your work away. After all, none of us editors are perfect and sometimes what doesn't work for us, may well work fine for somebody else. Hell, it may even become a huge seller. If someone had pitched Pride and Prejudice and Zombies to me for example, after I'd stopped laughing at them, I'm sure I'd have politely said no.

10. Tell the best story you can. Doesn't matter what kind of writing you're doing, if you're working on your finely created opus, or doing a series of action/adventure books based on a cartoon/film/cereal then just do the best job you can. Professionalism and commitment will get you a long way. If you do a project half-arsedly it will certainly show and you won't be invited back to the party.

Anyway, that was profound wasn't it? I may well be wrong about all of the above and it may turn out I'm a massive hypocrite or something, but them's my thought at 4 in the afternoon on a Thursday.

Happy writing folks!

Jonathan Oliver
(Editor/Overlord/International Playboy - delete as applicable)

Second Podcast is up now!

Hi all,

The second Abaddon & Solaris Books Pocast is now up! Point your iTunes to this link, or search "Abaddon" (or "Solaris") in the "Search Store" box at the top-right corner of iTunes, to check it out. Or if you're a good boy/girl and subscribed to our feed last time, just run iTunes and it should find and upload the new episode automatically.

The editors and staff at Abaddon Books and Solaris Books continue to deliver the "very best, most hard-hitting and innovative"* of podcasting entertainment in this second, thrilling instalment.

The Abaddon & Solaris Books Podcast #2: Juliet McKenna and the SFX Weekender (okay, it's a functional title; it does what it says on the tin) is introduced by junior editor Jenni Hill, who's trying to overcome her fear of the microphone, so everybody be really nice about her. Jon Oliver interviews Juliet McKenna, author of Solaris's The Chronicles of the Lescari Revolution books, sharing thoughts on coming up with fantasy names, writing and the future of fantasy fiction, and Juliet gives us a reading from the second Lescari book, Blood in the Water. Finally, Jon and David talk about the SFX Weekender, and we hear David's interviews with daleks, authors, and a couple of special guests.

Seriously, you can't get this stuff anywhere else. Barack Obama's considering starting a war with the UK, just so he can justify sending the CIA in to kidnap us. That's how cool we are.

Please listen to it, and once again, we'd love feedback. We got some great feedback last time, and have tried to make completely different mistakes this time.



*my mum again.

  • Not on iTunes, and have sworn to end your life rather than download a single Apple application? Here to help! Just point your RSS client here to download the feed without putting a penny in Steve Jobs' pocket. Keep an eye on the blog for updates, in case we change the host or something crazy like that.
  • Bewildered by the term "RSS" and unsure what all this means? No problem, ignorant Luddite! Just follow the exact same link, click on the link to the mp3 of the episode you wish to hear, and you can listen right on your browser! Everyone's a winner!

Gemmell Award: Vote Now!

Hi all,

As I may have mentioned, Mark Chadbourn's The Lord of Silence (cover by John Picacio), Emily Gee's The Laurentine Spy (cover by Larry Rostant), Ed Greenwood's Archwizard (cover by Jon Sullivan), Gail Z. Martin's Dark Haven (cover by Michael Kormarck), James Maxey's Dragonseed (cover by Michael Kormarck) and Juliet E. McKenna's Irons in the Fire (cover by David Palumbo) have all been longlisted for the David Gemmell Award, in both the Legend (for best heroic fantasy) and Ravenheart (for best cover art) categories.

Current voting is for the short-list, to be published in April, and ends on March 31st; there will be another round of voting, the details for which will be given when the shortlist comes out.

The Gemmell Award is relatively new - this will be the second award - but already well supported and quite widely recognised, and winning either category will be a great coup for the author or cover artist (and for us). So be sure and jump on the website, sign up and get your votes in!



Podcast Coming Up!

Hi all,

The Abaddon & Solaris Books Podcast second instalment, "Juliet McKenna and the SFX Weekender: From Lescar to Camber Sands," is underoing final editing now, and should be up tomorrow afternoon.

Featured is an interview with Juliet McKenna and a reading from her book, Blood in the Water, and a convention report from Editor-in-Chief Jon Oliver and the roguishly charming David Moore on their recent jaunt to the SFX Weekender at Pontins Camber Sands, including interviews with some of Abaddon Books' authors, with a dalek, and some pretty exciting surprises.

Keep an eye out on the blog. Should be a good one.