There’s an awful lot that’s been going on around here, so this morning’s post is a little scattered. Good press for The Bones of the Old Ones continues to roll in, so I’ve updated the official page with some new quotes that link to the reviews. And, as I mentioned yesterday, there’s an e-book promotion going on right now until January 7th. My British publisher is offering e-copies of The Desert of Souls for only 1 pound. (That’s a British pound, not a pound of, say, peanut butter fudge.)
My British publisher, Head of Zeus, is offering the book for one pound through January 7th! All the details and links to sites like Amazon.co.uk and Waterstone’s (among others) can be found on their web site by clicking this link.
I hope all of my British and European friends can help me spread the word.
Also, Head of Zeus has cooked up a pretty nifty series introduction for The Chronicles of Sand and Sword. I like it so much I wish I’d thought of it:
THE CHRONICLE OF SWORD & SAND: Baghdad, AD 790. Caliph Harun al-Rashid presides over the greatest metropolis on Earth, ruler of an empire that stretches from China to Byzantium. His exploits will be recorded in Alf Layla or, as we know it, The Book of One Thousand and One Nights.
But The Thousand and One Nights are silent on the deeds and adventures that befell two of the Caliph’s subjects: the renowned scholar Dabir ibn Kahlil, and his shield and right hand, Asim el Abbas. For their story, we must turn to the Chronicle of Sand and Sword…
It’s been a busy week, so I thought I’d just point visitors to a grab bag of posts. It being barely over a week since The Bones of the Old Ones was released, some new reviews have been released, but I wanted first to talk about an excellent series of essays about the Edgar Rice Burroughs Mars series.
Black Gate’s excellent essayist Ryan Harvey (really, why doesn’t this guy have a paying gig doing this kind of thing?) read every single Burroughs Mars book over the course of the last year, detailing highs, lows, weirdest moments and generally providing the kind of overview that I have always wanted. Me, I’ve read and enjoyed a little over half of the eleven books, and thanks to Harvey’s reviews I now have a pretty good idea about which ones I will probably skip. Harvey’s talented, honest, and funny, and any fan of the Mars Burroughs stuff –or anyone curious about the series- should visit these, pronto. Here, Part 11 links to all of the preceding sections.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about some of the treasures I had in the form of one-of-a-kind pulp adventure books. In amongst the mad rush of promotions week and holiday activities, I’ve escaped into some of those adventure tales to relax.
Pulp magazines have a pretty bad reputation, and I have to say that it is fairly well deserved. A lot of what they printed is pretty dreadful, and some of what passes for exciting popular entertainment in one era leaves a pretty bad taste in another. Take the story “Death’s Domain” shown in the picture to my left. Wow, was it a cracking good mystery story with all sorts of eerie elements… until the final third, when it became the most astonishing “beat you over the head with ugly race hatred” tale I’ve yet found in my pulp adventure reading. I’m pretty good at looking past stories as a product of their time and still enjoying them, but the depiction of… well, never mind.
My point is that I want to focus on some of the stuff these pulps did right, not what a lot of them did wrong. For instance, I recently read though a minor Argosy tale of the Yukon titled “Mail Boat” by Frank Richardson Pierce. Owing to the way I inherited these stories, and the fact that I do not have an index to Argosy, I am unsure as to when the tale first appeared, but it is by a writer I’d never read, and it is fairly minor.
It is also short, so I kept reading despite it’s somewhat wooden character depictions. I would describe the writing as “workman-like.” Yet, by the end, it got me thinking about writing more than the last several of these pulp tales I’ve read.
I am delighted to announce that a major studio has optioned the Chronicles of Sword and Sand (AKA the Dabir and Asim novels) and that they’re looking for screenwriter. I’ll release further updates about that as events warrant.
Over at TOR, at their Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe series, I answered some pretty wild questions. Between that and the interview over at Jean Book Nerd I think it’s possible to get a better than usual idea about who I am and what I’m really about. These weren’t the usual “where do you get your ideas” kind of questions, and I had a lot of fun with them.
Also, there a new book give away AND another glowing review of The Bones of the Old Ones, over at Jean Book Nerd, on the same page as the interview.
I WAS going to post today about a great pulp story I read last night from one of those old collections I posted about last week, but I figured everyone would be interested int his news. And to be perfectly honest, I was dying to tell someone!
Traffic to my little corner of the web is skyrocketing today, and I can only assume that’s because today’s the launch of the next Dabir and Asim novel, The Bones of the Old Ones.
If you’re new to the site, and me, welcome.
- If you’re curious about The Bones of the Old Ones, there’s a chance to win a free signed copy of the book and its standalone predecessor, The Desert of Souls, at reddit, so I hope you’ll drop by.
- If you’re wanting to see a sneak peek of the book, the first chapter and a half are live at Black Gate, and can be found by clicking on this link.
- And if you’re curious to see what people are saying about the book, I’ve collecting all of the reviews in one place on the web site. Short form is a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, enthusiastically positive reviews from BookPage and Staffer’s Book Review, and two 4.5 (out of 5) star reviews from SF Signal (here and here).
Long time site visitors, thanks for sticking with me. Things are apt to be a little wild here for a few weeks as I run around trying to work promotional miracles. I don’t know whether guest blogging or mailbox stuffing with flyers about my upcoming book signing or podcasts help, but it does keep me out of trouble and gives me some illusion of control.
It’s going to be a busy week here at Jones central. I have a book reading at the local Barnes & Noble at 2:00 Saturday the 15th of December, and today is the official book launch day. I’m doing my best to spread the word to as many corners of the web as I can reach.
Yesterday, to help spread the word about the book reading, I drove all over my community, stopping at more than 200 mailboxes so my daughter could lean out the truck window and pop in flyers. Those who saw us might have been curious about what we were doing, but they were perhaps more curious that my daughter was dressed like a ninja.They saw that we had flyers. I was wondering if they assumed we were passing out information for a new Ninjitsu dojo.
My daughter had been thinking ahead for next Halloween and putting a pretty cool all-black ninja outfit together when I asked her if she could help. She bounded down the stairs, looking for all the world like an extra from a martial arts film. Okay, well, a pale, red-haired extra from a martial arts film, but, still, she definitely looked like a ninja, or, because of her age, perhaps a ninja-in-training.
She was more than glad to help and no, she did not want to change. As she leaned out to drop off the first few flyers I told her she was like a ninja delivery service, whereupon she invented a jingle that didn’t quite get old with repetition and had us both laughing.
Later today I’ll announce another The Bones of the Old Ones giveaway contest. For now, though, it’s my pleasure to reveal the winners of the Goodreads giveaway contest. Each of the three winners will be receiving a signed copy of both The Bones of the Old Ones and its predecessor The Desert of Souls. More on that in just a moment.
In other news, I was invited to write about my current reading choices over at the Campaign for the American Reader, and why I’m reading them. Naturally I discussed the glorious Shanameh first, because I’m always in the midst of reading some part of it. Click here to read my essay, along with those from a great many talented writers.
Friends have been writing or calling to let me know of sightings of The Bones of the Old Ones out there on bookstore shelves, even though tomorrow’s the actual release date. That’s right, today’s the last day that the book is available for pre-order. If you follow this link and scroll most of the way to the bottom, the book can be ordered through Macmillan, Barnes & Noble, Powells, Books A Million, Indiebound, Amazon, or Walmart.
Alright then, here are the contest winners from Goodreads. Watch this space for details on another book giveaway, starting soon.
Usually I fill up one of my Paperblanks notebooks in one year, but this time it took a year and a half. The back half of the notebook on the left there is full of various scribblings related to the third Dabir and Asim novel and my second Paizo novel. Both have changed a lot since their initial conception.